Even though the BMW 1 Series M Coupe is gone forever, performance-minded 1-Series customers must have a high-end performance model, even if a lot of them don’t even know if the car is front-drive or rear-drive.
Scion has had a sordid past. Originally, Scion was Toyota’s solution to a lack of 18-25 year old shoppers. Over the past 9 years however Scion has lost their way and lost their youth. Their median buyer just turned 42. The tC coupe, which started out as a car for college kids, now has a median buyer of around 30. Scion claims the FR-S is a halo car – to me, that means the FR-S will be bought by older drivers (who can actually afford it), attracting younger buyers to their showrooms. Despite being out of the target demographic, Scion flew me to Vegas to sample the FR-S’s sexy lines to find out.
A funny thing happened while reading the comments on Monday’s CTS-V coupe design study: I recalled that car design students are brands unto themselves, complete with perception gaps. I was certainly a Yugo, no “gap” needed. Others were solid BMWs, most of the time. We had a few Ferraris, even if they performed like every other Corvette in class. And there’s the rub: just because a “Ferrari” makes something great looking, did they make the best concept in the class? Is a flashy rendering really that great, if it will never make production without a truckload of compromise?
With that in mind, walk about 100 yards with me from our last case study. Behold: another radical GM coupe on the same lot.
As much as we all like the CTS-V coupe for merely existing, it is sorely lacking in ATD. (Attention To Detail) If you want to rally around the General for making a coupe with brass balls and brilliant ATD, well, you could do much worse than the 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. (Read More…)
Our man Bertel Schmitt is en route, all set to cover the Beijing Auto Show for the next two days. By our count, there are over 70 debuts, with many of them being Chinese market products; concept cars, older vehicles re-issued and manufactured in Chinese JV factories and obscure concept cars. A complete list, with a brief description can be read at just-auto.com for anyone really interested in the Brilliance Jinbei Large Sea Lion Camper or the HaiMa Yao.
A few years after I left Detroit, doing my best to forget my heart-wrenching decision to give up on car design, a similarly disheartened automaker named Saturn made something called an Ion. I saw it at the Houston Auto Show circa 2002. Wounds from Detroit still fresh on my mind, I had absolutely no problem with the Saturn Ion shown behind a velvet rope. I honestly thought it was a design study commissioned by Playskool, not a production ready vehicle from General Motors.
I mean, it was that awful. So imagine my surprise when the General’s peeps come up with something nearly as ugly…and this time it’s a Cadillac. (Read More…)
Maserati will be lending a hand to baby bro Alfa Romeo when the brand launches its 4C sports car in 2013. Having previously been tasked with production of the ultra-low volume 8C, Maserati will handle the annual assembly of the 2,500 4C coupes, that will supposedly serve as a halo for Alfa’s U.S. re-launch (stop me if you’ve heard this one before).
Well, we knew it would happen. Some dealers are already starting to ask for markups on the Subaru BRZ. And some people are dumb enough to pay them.
In an unusual twist, BMW decided to release the redesigned 650i coupé after the drop-top version we snagged last November. The reason for the coupé’s late arrival is simple; BMW tells us it accounts for only about 30% of 6-series sales. Two-door luxury cars usually drive better than their chop-top sisters, but if you have the cash to burn and care about driving, should you still go topless? (Read More…)
Dentists and divorcees, rejoice! The BMW M6 will debut as a convertible first, with deliveries starting in June. The hardtop will go on sale later this summer – both will get all the same mechanical bits as an M5, but with only two-doors, you can shed the family image in favor of someone who pays (or receives) alimony.
We don’t always cover motorsports here at TTAC, but when we do, we make sure it’s grassroots. Following the Spec Miata, Spec E30 and Spec Focus race series, NASA and Nissan have partnered to create a Spec Z series for the 2003 to 2008 350Z coupes that were so popular earlier in the decade.
Luxury roadsters have always been niche vehicles. With the economic implosion over the last decade, that niche has become even smaller. Last year the Mercedes SLK and BMW Z4 each sold less than 3,500 units on our shores, down from over 10,000 each back in 2006 and Canadian sales are roughly a tenth of that. While Mercedes is likely crying in their delicious geflügelsuppe, roadster shoppers benefit by being able to drive one of the most exclusive Mercedes models available on our shores. While the last model awkwardly aped the unholy union of a Mercdes F1 car and a bottlenose dolphin, the new model sells itself with sexy new sheet metal, 29 MPG on the highway and a $54,800 base price.
It seems unlikely that anyone in 2037 will be inclined to keep a 2012 BMW 650ci in such excellent condition as the 1987 635CSi pictured above -and even if such a thing happens, will said 650i make it that far into the future without a catastrophic electronics failure rendering it a two-ton paperweight? Although Jack and Steve have offered their own context on older cars, mine will be different. I’m still not yet legally able to rent a car on my own. This 635CSi was built before I was even born, so driving it gives me a glimpse into the past, but without the benefit (or handicap) of contemporaneous context.
Rotating alone on a turntable: the Subaru BRZ. Looks good, if you ask me. Unfortunately we couldn’t touch the dashboard for all of you dash-touchers out there… more shots after the jump.
“You know,” Mark Templin of Lexus told the press, “the first time I saw this car, I was speechless.” I know I have that quote correct, because it was in the copy of the speech handed out after the press event.
Speeches about speechlessness aside, however, this is the new styling direction of Lexus. That much is obvious from the pinched grille. What else can we learn about it?