Jaguar’s been one of the few companies in the past couple of years that hasn’t made a huge mistake with the models they sell. Yes, their product line isn’t as diverse as the competition, but what they have invested in is paying dividends, and the new F-Type is proof that their current focus is one I’m going to keep a close eye on in the near future. From the styling to the engine options revealed recently, I’m unashamed to say that I love this car even before I’ve seen it in the flesh.
I don’t normally like to repost articles without attaching my own opinion on here, but this article just posted on Jalopnik hits the nail on the head I think. I spent my whole summer working on the PR for the Chevy Spark, and the talk was about how to get young people interested in cars. I was a huge fan of the VW Bulli when the concept was released, and I still think it would be quite successful. Give this article a read and see what you think.
The weather in the Northeastern US was incredible this weekend, so I took a nice long cruise in my Miata. This was the first cruise of this sort I have taken in it since I got back from my summer in Michigan a few weeks ago, and in a lot of ways there was some reacquainting that needed to be done. Before I left for the summer I uncovered a few issues with the car that needed, or still need, dealing with. I subsequently found myself second guessing the financial aspects of it all the whole summer, even thinking it may be easier just to part it out. This cruise gave me some much needed quality time with the car, with the perfect weather and on perfect roads I was reminded why I bought the Miata in the first place.
The timing of all this was interesting because Chris Harris had just released a video on the Miata where he second guessed his now infamous stance against the MX5. His conclusion was that the Miata is a great roadster but a mediocre sports car, and one of the most fun ways you can spend a few thousand dollars (or pounds). I have to agree, there are better driver’s cars out there, and it took a few modifications to my car to get it where I wanted it to be dynamically.
The roadster experience though, is second to none, and every time I drive my car I cannot help but thinking the newer, more expensive Miatas could not possibly offer anything more. Sure if you line mine up against the current NC Miata I would lose in a drag race, but neither car is fast by anyone’s standards, and neither car is meant to be.
So what do you really get by spending more than just a few grand on a Miata? Maybe a warranty if it is new enough, but as far as the experience goes you get nothing more for your money. What I’m saying here is that there is really two ways to buy a Miata, brand new, or as cheap as possible. Any other way and you are just wasting money. All of those NB Miatas around $10k are worthless, because a $2800 NA Miata like mine will give you the exact same experience.
I do love my car, and it reminded me why during our cruise on Saturday. A Miata is an experiential machine, and despite my car’s flaws it still puts a huge grin on my face.
I remember the first time I saw a Z8 in person. It was right around the time I was really starting to get obsessed with cars, and I had become familiar with it through the latest James Bond Playstation game. My mom and I had just parked to go run some errands when I saw a sleek, low, silver car approaching. At first glance, I thought it was a Porsche, but then I realized this was 007’s car. In the decade or so since then, many things have changed in the world, but the Z8’s price has remained the same. Many people are surprised this car has held its value so well, especially since it received a rather mixed reception from many journalists. I have been thinking on this myself, and I have a few ideas as to why it has remained so expensive. Read the rest of this entry »
I just saw Chris Harris’ new video on Drive where he informed us he had sold his Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 and had bought a Ferrari 599. While I understand his motives, this made me wonder if he had just made a financial mistake that he would regret for the rest of his life. I have talked to far too many people with the same story, “If only I had held onto that (now incredibly valuable car) I had back then…”. You see, looking forward I think that the 997 series of GT 911s may well be a pinnacle generation for Porsche, just as the 993s were, being the last air-cooled cars.
Rumors have been circulating that there will come a time when GT series 911s will no longer be available with a clutch pedal, and it could even happen soon with the 991. Porsche has already wet their feet in this approach with the 997 Turbo S, which was only offered with their PDK transmission. Paddle shift gearboxes have basically become the norm for high performance cars, and they are undoubtedly faster on the track. So, is there any reason to doubt these rumors? Unfortunately not, and that could make the 997 GTs some of the most sought after Porsches in the future.
This is especially so of the top spec RS models, cars that had very limited production. The GT2 RS and the GT3 RS 4.0 will command the highest amounts for sure, but I see more normal GT3 RSs and standard GT3s appreciating as well. Sure I expect the 991 GT3 RS to be faster and more powerful than the 997 RS 4.0, but without the manual it will never offer the same sort of experience. A similar situation can be seen today where 991 Carrera Ss match the power and performance of the old 993 Turbos, but the 993s still command the same money as a new 991 and will definitely continue to appreciate whereas the 991s will not.
Whenever there is a big change in the Porsche 911, enthusiasts tend to respond with skepticism and turn to the best of the old 911s with their money. It happened with the death of air-cooling, and I believe it will happen again with the death of the manual transmission. So if you are in the market comparing your options, it may be smarter to buy that GT3 RS, or GT2 instead of a Ferrari 430 or Lambo Gallardo right about now. We will see what happens, but you may thank me in a few years.
Mclaren released their one off X1 at the Quail motorsports gathering in Monterey this past weekend. It is the culmination of “3 years of hard work” they said, and I have to ask for what? I find the X1 unappealing; it looks like its design is trying to hard to be extreme, and real supercar beauty usually comes from function and purity of design. There is also the obvious influence of elegant 1930’s French cars, and that sort of Cruella de Vil look does not work well on a supercar. The covered rear wheels take the car’s aggressive stance away as well, leaving us with an appearance that is just plain awkward. On top of this, that 3 years of work has only gotten the customer a normal 12C with an ugly body kit, so again I have to ask, why?
Looking at all the supercar news sources I can see the usual amount of oogling over this car. Most people only like this car, and cars like it, because they are rare, expensive, or just stigmatized as a “supercar”. That, to me, is mindless dribble. I will give credit where credit is due (like the Ferrari P4/5), but I am at a personal point now where I don’t care at all about a car being a status symbol. It must have its own legitimate merits to get my good graces, and this Mclaren falls way short. I saw a normal 12C go by tonight, and it looked brilliant. So why bother making this ugly thing if not only to use as another soulless status symbol by someone with far more money than self security?
Different is not always a good thing, and I could care less if the owner locks the X1 away for eternity. In fact, I kind of hope he or she does.
By now most of us car folks know that BMW has been working on a line of front wheel drive cars, but today it has basically become official. I saw on Jalopnik that BMW will launch their first front drive car at the Paris Motor Show later this year. For me this marks the end of an era for BMW because they have finally made the commitment to stray from the ideals that made their great name. This is on top the fact that their entire line of cars has been getting bigger, heavier, and softer in recent years. In my opinion there are also no “true” M cars right now either, as all of the current ones put luxury as the priority over proper driving dynamics, when traditionally it was the other way around (see the fake engine noises in the M5). BMW has been going soft for some time now, whilst catering to the yuppy, poser crowd that just wants a status symbol in their driveway; the same people who buy X6s, X3s and whatnot. I see this as the end of an era for BMW because by making a front drive car they are showing their priority commitment to this plastic sort of customer at the expense of the brand’s own established identity and their previous customer base. BMW has always been about driving pleasure, now they are more about being a fashion accessory; going a similar route Toyota did back in the early 00s with the “green” stuff. They will likely be financially successful, but the BMW brand will have lost its significant reputation, in favor of becoming a cliché trademark of superficial and insincere culture. Cherish the memories folks, as there were some really great times over the years.
PS: Buy late model M cars soon because they will likely all be appreciating within a few years. I could’ve had an E30 M3 for 7k when I first got my license, now I’m kicking myself.
This new M6 is the very essence of the trend for modern cars; heavier with more power. BMW has gone a bit too far this time I think because the M6 now weighs 4500lbs, and that is nearly as much as a VW Touareg. This sort of weight is not really what comes to mind when I think of a sports car, and it renders the car’s 560hp far less impressive than it suggests. I am not a fan of this new M6, and I am someone who covets the previous M6 with the V10. A GT car should have some solid weight, but it should not be bordering SUV territory; enough is enough. Carlos hits the nail on the head at (3:27-3:35), saying he can respect it but he doesn’t desire it. That is the problem I see too, and it is one that I see shared by the Bugatti Veyron and other cars like this. Sure companies can engineer a heavy car to perform well on paper, some of the numbers the M6 achieves are staggering (especially considering the weight), but at the end of the day heft is heft when the laws of physics step in. There is an answer somewhere for making cars faster and more efficient, and adding weight like this is not it. Motor Trend hit it on the head in this vid.
Ever since Pontiac was killed off as a result of the financial crisis, GM has not had a proper American sedan to compete with the successful Dodge Charger. The Pontiac G8 had been in this segment, but it came out right as many people became wary of buying GM products, due to their economic uncertainty at the time. A replacement for it has not yet been seen, although there has been talk of it coming back as the Chevrolet Caprice. I think this would be a great seller now, if GM’s lineup were structured properly, because they have basically recovered at this point and have been doing great things. Read the rest of this entry »
There have been two videos in the past few days about Pagani. One was JF Musial’s visit to the Pagani Factory for his segment on the Drive network, and the other was EVO Magazine’s video of the Zonda 760RS. The Drive video was more like a documentary and featured an interview with Horacio Pagani himself, offering a lot of valuable insight into Pagani Automobili, their values, and their history. Evo’s video was more targeted toward the Zonda 760RS specifically. It was one of the typical, somewhat quirky, Harry Metcalfe videos that fans have come to know and love. But Harry did a fantastic job of showing us what the 760RS is all about, and he made sure we could hear the car’s glorious soundtrack. The mix of these videos started me thinking about the Zonda specifically, and its significance in the world of cars. Read the rest of this entry »