This is a big moment for American auto industry, one that can mark a turning point toward success or a continued trend of let downs in the luxury market. Obviously the big comparison is with the BMW 3 series, and I have been very unimpressed with the comparisons done by large publications so far (favoritism and bias run rampant over objectivism and sense). So, I went out and drove the ATS and BMW 3 series back to back to see what I thought from the driver seat. I’m not going to string you along, I liked the Cadillac better, and I will explain why in the paragraphs that follow. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the height of what made a Cadillac a Cadillac. These V16 powered land yachts were the epitome of style and status during Prohibition-Era America. Everyone’s favorite movie stars and gangsters had flashy cars like this, and this Caddy the 452A was the pinnacle of the Cadillac lineup. This specific car features a full sedan convertible design, something far too cool to be allowed today, and looks to have all the bells and whistles available at the time. The owner was very proud of the car and had restored it himself. He told me he had changed the color, and while that won’t help the car win at a Concours, I like the look of this dark blue a whole lot more than the car’s previous black. Even with all the curvy Italian cars just up the hill, this Caddy really caught my eye at the show. When I think of Cadillac, this is what I think of. I just wish the people actually running Cadillac even knew cars like this were once built under the Cadillac nameplate. This truly was “The Standard Of The World” at its time. Read the rest of this entry »
While in Zurich it seemed as if the Swiss did not buy any non-RS Audi models, they were literally everywhere. I know many of our European viewers may find these cars a bit normal, but we don’t get these RS models in America so it was quite a thrill to see them for me. Hopefully Audi will wake up and realize they could sell double the number of RS models if they would just offer the full line of them on the US market. Either way it was cool to finally see the V10 RS6 up close, as well as the RS5, and B5 RS4; epic cars. Enjoy the pics.
The Evo 8 was the first version of the famed Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution to hit US shores back in 2003, following the success of Subaru’s WRX Imprezas in years prior. The Evo was a different sort of animal though, offering 271hp to the WRX’s 227hp as well as a higher level of technology in its all wheel drive system. The Evo became the car to beat in 2003, so much so that Subaru decided to bring its WRX STi to the US for 2004. The Evo offers a simple but effective package; on the surface it is just a tweaked version of a Japanese economy sedan, but in its day it could also rival many serious performance cars like Porsche’s, M3s, and Corvettes. My friend Pete, has a 2005 Evo 8, and every so often he lets me get behind the wheel, so after a recent drive I finally felt like I had enough to put pen to paper on the car. Read the rest of this entry »
Chrysler’s Superbowl ad with Clint Eastwood was a nice way to incite faith that the American auto industry will recover. Chrysler has shown much improvement in the last few years, and as soon as I saw the new Dodge Dart I knew they were on the right track. It is based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, meaning its European roots should make it much more attractive than the Civic or the Corolla, which are both shamelessly boring at this point. There is however another market segment that exists with cars in that segment, one where engines are turbocharged, suspensions are stiffened, and priority is given to high MPH over high MPG. Dodge has competed here before with their SRT-4 Neon and Caliber, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the Dart SRT-4 in the next few years. Prior SRT-4s were relics of first half America though, the one that had to be bailed out, so the question is now, what should the SRT-4 of the second half be like?
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The first time I heard about the Volvo S60/V70 R was at their factory in Gothenburg, Sweden back in 2003. My family and I were there on a European delivery trip to pick up my Mom’s new Volvo S80 Executive. The Volvo representative showed us this beautiful turquoise V70 R with a stunning oxblood interior and informed us of its impressive details. I remember being thrilled to hear that Volvo was going to be making a legitimate performance car that would take on Audi and BMW. So, in 2011 with Mind Over Motor up and rolling, I decided it was time to go try out an S60 R and see what it was like from behind the wheel. Read the rest of this entry »
There has been a lot of buzz over the Nissan GTR powered Juke R. It is one of those insane ideas that comes along every so often as a prototype and makes everyone wonder if it could ever make it to production. The last time this sort of thing happened, VW put a Bentley GT engine in a GTI, it caused a commotion and even appeared on Top Gear, but that was all that became of it. I see the GTR powered Juke R as the same sort of thing, a fun prototype that won’t actually make it to production. It does however raise the question of what a high performance Juke could actually be like in production form though. Read the rest of this entry »
As soon as I first laid eyes on the Evoque I knew it was going to be a game changer. It was a completely new formula for a luxury SUV that, not only, drastically redefined style, but also drivability and usability as well. Being the founding member of what seems to be an emerging segment in the high end market, the Evoque sets the precedents for future entries. I have pointed out this segment before in articles concerning the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman, however the Evoque represents the first full on luxury offering of this sort. This past year, at Pebble Beach, Land Rover was holding Evoque test drives, so having been eager to try it out since I saw it, I signed the papers and took one out for a spin. Read the rest of this entry »
I will always remember the first time I saw the Volkswagen CC at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The Bugatti Veyron Gran Sport had just been unveiled and was on display near the Concept Lawn, naturally drawing vast amounts of attention from everyone. While I was in the crowd I looked to my right and noticed a very sleek sedan with a lonely VW representative, it piqued my interest so I went to have a chat. I was then informed that this was the CC, a new sedan coming out that was based on the Passat, but targeted toward a more special market, following in the footsteps of the Mercedes CLS. Ever since then I have had a great love for the CC because it defies the boring trends of the auto industry. The other day I finally went in to try one out for myself to see if it drives as well as it looks. Read the rest of this entry »
A few years back I helped my buddy Tony find his Audi A6 4.2. The Audi A6 has always been a solid car over the years, in all of its variants. Tony had originally wanted the A6 2.7T, but after finding 3 examples that all had blown turbos he decided to go for the V8 model. We found a clean A6 4.2 about an hour north of us, and that is the car that Tony bought, and the car you see here in this review. Read the rest of this entry »