October 18, 2010
March 5, 2010
By Sam Barer
If you read the major car publications it’s easy to get the feeling that all automotive journalists agree on everything. When journalists sing universal praise, throw jeers or are notoriously silent, it’s hard for readers to disregard.
There are plenty of conspiracy theories that blame editors beholden to advertisers scaring writers into not even trying to say something good about one car or bad about another. Personally, I buy more into the explanation of groupthink, as it’s easy to be confident in your opinion when others have come to the same conclusion time and time again.
I, however, being totally independent (not to mention subtle-as-a-chainsaw) have no problem saying where I differ from the rest. So here is my list of Top Ten Automotive Things About Which I Disagree With My Colleagues.
10) Chrysler 300C: I’ve owned plenty of Chryslers in my time, so maybe this is why I approached the 300C with a more critical eye. Consequently, I never liked the 300C (and its lesser variations) as much as the rest of the automotive journalists.
Everyone else saw a good-looking car with ample power from the “Hemi V8″. I saw past the nice styling and focused on a huge car with sub-Honda Accord-sized leg and knee room (courtesy of typically ultra-thick, but not very comfortable front seats). As nice as the Hemi (sans hemispherical combustion chambers) was, it couldn’t overcome the totally numb steering and spongy braking that made the car feel cumbersome. Plus, as someone who lived through Chrysler ownership, there was always the certainty that the 300C would be just like Chrysler’s other vehicles — engineered at low cost to ensure high failures, which would only be made worse by one of the most poorly trained dealer service networks in America.
Continue reading after the jump!
January 12, 2010
Audi has recently taken to the idea of going electric, and is making a point to show just how much fun it can be. During late 2009 Audi introduced the e-tron concept at the Frankfurt Auto show, a car that was loosely based on the current Audi R8. This car featured a slightly more sculpted design, and an electric motor with an output of 313hp and 3,319 pound feet of torque.
The car unveiled at Detroit was not another version of the e-tron, and should be addressed formally as the ‘Detroit showcar Audi e-tron’ (not to be confused with e-tron), and is a completely new design and powertrain. This car features muscular shoulders, and a more compact design that houses a powertrain putting out a respectable 204 hp, and 1,900 lb-ft of torque.
September 25, 2009
Supercars are famous for being a lot like exotic snakes – if you’ve got enough cash you can own one, but you do so at your own risk. In either case, if you lose control for just a split second, you are going to get bit; though unfortunately no anti-venom in the world can quell the humiliation and financial ruin of a totaled supercar. Or at least that’s how it used to be, until the advent of the Audi R8.
Named after Audi’s five-time Le Mans winning prototype, the R8 may go down as the world’s first truly forgiving supercar. Its mid-engine balance and Quattro all-wheel drive make the relentlessly fast and immensely capable R8 astonishingly easy to drive at speed. And now they’ve gone and wedged a V-10 in it. Don’t get us wrong, the standard V-8 R8 was no slouch, but it hung out more in the Porsche 911 circle than it did with the supercar crowd. But now that it boasts 525 horsepower and a robustly exotic V-10 soundtrack, it has true supercar credentials. Inside, drivers enjoy typically stellar Audi build quality, not to mention the sound of that mid-mounted engine cranking away. Certainly people will find a way to wreck even this most tolerant of land rockets, but with such impeccable balance, grip and agility, they’re going to have to kick this snake pretty hard before it bites back.
January 23, 2009
January 21, 2009
Let’s say you have $120,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and you want a classy sports car. Two options that come to mind are the V8 Vantage and the R8. The Aston Martin has the motor up front while the Audi is mid-engined, but both cars have V8s that put out 420 hp, and they both weigh in right around 3,600 pounds. So, which would you choose?
November 21, 2008
October 9, 2008
By Ryan Porter
You tell me, did Lauren Conrad hop over to her local Audi dealership with the notion that she wanted an Audi R8 to drive all around Los Angeles, or did some Audi marketing team come up with the idea that putting "young Hollywood" in one of their hottest cars would be a good marketing tool? Check out more of LC and her R8 over at Celebrity Cars Blog.
August 20, 2008
By John Coyle
Ever wondered what happens if you wreck a car during a test drive? Well, a 33-year old man in the Netherlands is about to find out. Depending on who you believe, the German supercar was traveling somewhere between 80 and 125 miles an hour when a bump in the road reportedly caused the driver to lose control. Neither the prospective owner or the salesperson presumably riding with him was injured in the crash, but the R8 has been written off. Hopefully, this unfortunate incident directed the customer toward a more sedate set of wheels. Thanks to AutoJunk.nl for the great photo of a sad subject. CarScoop via Autoblog.nl
July 21, 2008