Sometimes, as with the Continental Mark II convertible, you track down a car. Other times, you walk out your front door and you see a caravan of two families of Norwegians driving Renault R4s (plus an RV) on their way from Oslo to Los Angeles via New York (and back). How they ended up on a residential street in a quiet Detroit suburb is due to the vagaries of navigation systems, but I don’t believe in coincidences. After all, if the Creator could be concerned with the Brownian motion of a mote of dust, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that He wants you to see these cars.
Despite being in sensual Paris, no one is going to accuse me of shameless sexual exploitation by posting this ugly little R4, or the woman behind it. I was late on the draw, and just missed a gaggle of cute girls who just walked behind it thirty seconds earlier. Why do they all have to smoke, though? Back to the subject at hand: I know many Americans may barely know know of the R4’s existence, and would be quite happy to go their graves without being enlightened to its Gallic charms. But it does represents one of the most important milestone in the development of the modern car: this lowly little box created and defined the whole genre of the compact hatchback. And it has a few other significant honors in its resumé. So put your anti Frenchy-car bias aside for a few minutes, and I promise to make it quick. And I have a bit of sexiness for the end. (Read More…)
After backing away from the ridiculous torque figures it gave with its R8-based e-tron, Audi is having another crack at the electric sportscar theme with a second e-tron concept at the NAIAS. Of course by not giving it a new name, Audi created the impression that this might be a very similar concept to the R8-based model it says its going to build at some point. The e-tron mk II is, however, a very different beast. Where as the first e-tron was an electrification and restyling of the R8, the e-tron 2 actually previews the look of an eventual R4 sportscar, based on Volkswagen’s Blue Sport concept. If Audi eventually sells an EV version of that vehicle (and they say the e-tron name will become a brand for Audi EVs) and it’s materially the same as this concept, it would be the first RWD production Audi since… well, why don’t we have some guesses?