TTAC commentator tedward writes:
I thought I’d finally throw my hat into the ring as my wife and I are on the hunt for a second family car.
We currently own a ’91 BMW 318is and a ’13 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen 2.5 — both manual, of course. In our previous lives as NYC residents, this was an extravagant stable that required personal sacrifice and demanded constant justification in casual conversation.
On one hand, we find ourselves with one real life car that fits us all; on the other, a relatively unsafe car that shouldn’t be relied upon (at 200,000+ miles) for day-to-day duties.
While we were hanging outside the Staples Center begging passersby for photos, information and leftover shrimp from the Los Angeles Auto Show to share with you all (well, maybe not the shrimp), there was still news happening that we didn’t get the chance to cover.
So, here it is in condensed form.
If there isn’t some sort of church-basement support group for unrepentant car shoppers and buyers, there should be, with stale coffee and plenty of doughnuts. I know there are thousands of us nationwide, eyes bleary from constantly refreshing eBay and Craigslist searches.
Those two are gateway drugs, certainly. The layout of eBay and Craigslist easily allow one to browse their listings like an automotive Silk Road until a car catches one’s eye, whereas places like Cars.com and Autotrader are for the hardcore junkie; the one who knows somewhat specifically what machines they choose to lust over.
I guess I’m the methadone user who is also selling the good stuff on the side: Obviously, I write about these classics a few times a week, pushing the product onto screens everywhere, but I barely have enough spare funds to shop the free section of Craigslist.
Alfa Romeo will delay two models critical to that brand’s comeback and will likely miss its ambitious sales target of 400,000 cars by 2018, according to Automotive News.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said a weakened market in China forced the brand to reassess its sales target, which he initially set in 2014.
“I still think that Alfa belongs in China,” Marchionne said last week during the company’s announced third quarter earnings call, according to the Detroit Free Press. “The expectations of volumes out of the total pool of 400,000 cars by (2018) are, I think, given current market conditions, not achievable.” (Read More…)
Reuters reported Tuesday that Hyundai will spin off Genesis as a global premium brand to compete with German automakers such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The news agency quoted sources “close” to the company and said an announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
Hyundai didn’t comment on the report.
According to Reuters, Hyundai would launch Genesis with the Genesis sedan — and possibly coupe — and the Equus sedan. Genesis would add a mid-size SUV around 2019.
I recently had the chance to test out the “new” Volkswagen Passat, which is so new that the designers were explaining to a whole group of journalists how the position of the rear reflectors has changed compared to the outgoing model.
Actually, I kind of like the new Passat. It was impressive in a lot of ways, right down to the new touchscreen, which finally sees Volkswagen catching up to some of the technology and features rival models have been using for roughly five years. As I was driving it, I couldn’t help but think to myself: I like a good touchscreen.
What I don’t like is a knob.
It seems that these are our only choices in today’s infotainment world: a touchscreen or a knob. Some cars have touchscreens. Some cars have knobs. And given that basically every new car has an infotainment system, this is an important choice. Do you want to control your screen by touching it, like a smartphone? Or by moving around a controller located on the center console, like a computer?
Lexus took the wraps off its LS Concept in Tokyo on Tuesday to showcase the automaker’s big plans for its flagship sedan.
The car — which is about as long as a 1995 Cadillac DeVille Concours — boasts a hydrogen power plant to drive all of its wheels, an “advanced human interface” to recognize hand gestures, and a spindle grille the size of Rhode Island.
The concept shows the direction Lexus designers may take for its future full-size sedan, including floating L-shaped lights in front and back. (Read More…)
Jared Gall at Car and Driver has compiled a fantastic list of coupe vs. convertible weights and found that, on average, roughly 200 pounds is needed to give God a direct look into your car. But there’s hardly any consensus among different automakers.
Porsche, for example, has no difference in weight between its Cayman and Boxster, whereas BMW’s 4-series carries a 500-pound penalty for plein-air cruising. Many bespoke two-seaters carried small penalties for drop-top enthusiasts: Jaguar’s F-Type, Alfa Romeo’s 4C and Chevrolet Corvette convertibles were all only 1 to 2 percent heavier.
Because a lot of Uber riders are 7-Series buyers (maybe), BMW said Monday that it would make available its newest sedan for selected rides in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Chicago before the sedan goes on sale to the public.
The drives will be offered by BMW product specialists, according to the company. Riders can request 7 Series cars by entering a promotional code for their respective city; i.e. for New York, riders need to enter “7seriesnyc” into the Uber app.
(Do the Uber riders still have to pay the fare? Update: According to a BMW spokeswoman, they do not.)
On paper, the BMW M2 should deliver the full-boat of M-division goodies above the M235 — a car that has plenty of promise and fun, albeit at a price.
The M2, which BMW unveiled Tuesday, sports a fully fledged, electronically controlled rear differential, a modified oil sump, more power, wider stance and six-speed manual as standard. It tickles all the right notes for the well-heeled Munich enthusiast.
But the official announcement left plenty of questions about the car, which will go on sale next spring. (Read More…)