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-hh

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Dec 13th, 2012 1:12am
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911
A3
C230K
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old E type convertible; British Racing Green & Tan Leather
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Latest Comments

Audi teases all-new A4 Sedan and Avant ahead of Monday debut [videos]
Hopefully, it won't get RunFlats as an "improvement" ... that was why I passed on BMW last year.
Jul 2nd, 2015 3:28am
Mercedes-Benz's Audi TT competitor rendered
That's funny ... the rendering doesn't look anything like the A Class Coupe concept car that was shown at the New York City auto show back in 2011... http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/mercedes-benz-concept-a-class-wants-the-world-and-wants-it-soon/?_r=0 And the reality is that "Expected in 2019" is merely just another example of Mercedes saying that they will never again bring a fun small hatchback into the USA market.
May 26th, 2015 10:38pm
BMW says 2-Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer are too small for US market
Nicely pointed out, particularly since these two BMWs are comparable to Audi Q3 (the AT is roughly 2" shorter, while the GT is 6" longer).
Mar 11th, 2015 9:05pm
Audi TT Sportback concept gets rendered
Hmmm ... if it's a hatchback, it has possibilities: in the US market, there's zero luxury-based German cars in this niche....of course, one does have to hope that Audi doesn't make the same mistake as BMW and the MB CLA/GLA and try to put anti-enthusiast runflat tires on it! -hh
Sep 27th, 2014 5:59pm
Possible Porsche Macan Turbo S spied testing at the Nurburgring [video]
Ride height looks to me to be quite a bit lower than stock. -hh
Jul 7th, 2014 3:45pm
US-spec Volkswagens deceive Americans for their own good
First, when the news is on a European car, you have to expect that there's going to be a self-selection bias of those who are interested in reading of it (and subsequently commenting on same). Similarly, because you're not paying a dime for reading news here, you also can't legitimately complain about others' comments ... the best you can do is to lead by example. ----------------------------- Second, it is quite understandable that VW wants to "know" their customer, and on the one hand, it is encouraging to see them make adjustments in order to popularize their product ... ....HOWEVER, the danger with such a strategy is that this may very well be out of synch with their existing customer base who was attracted to their product for the very reason that it DIFFERS from the American-tailored design in such design matters. FWIW, I personally test-drove a BMW recently and found this Americanocentric "lots of power in the first 10% of pedal" nonlinearity present. When I brought the car back, the BMW Sale Rep asked me how I liked the test drive and I said "The Throttle Mapping is Wrong." (FYI, the brakes were also nonlinear bad too). I'm sorry if I'm being a "European Fan" despite being an American, but that's what personal preference is all about, and the only thing we can hope for is that there's adequate diversity in the marketplace to satisfy our individual preferences...but having such preferences is not "Wrong": it merely means that we are each different for our own reasons. -hh
May 30th, 2014 3:46pm
2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate
Perhaps if Mercedes had clearly announced that this was coming to the USA Market, I'd be buying one this summer to replace my old C-Coupe. But they didn't...and so, I'll be reluctantly leaving MB for a competitor's product, which is presently on order (ETA ~3 weeks).
May 22nd, 2014 9:51pm
Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV revealed
What is old is new again: http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/gallery/SAAB900Coupe-1905_4.jpg -hh
Apr 22nd, 2014 4:32pm
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate spied up close
Good to note, but given that Mercedes hasn't brought the prior C Estate over to the USA, odds are that this one won't be coming over either. Really need to figure out where there's marketplace barriers in the USA market that prevent manufacturers from bringing over their platform variants.
Apr 14th, 2014 3:39pm
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate rendered after undisguised prototype spy photo
Ah, the misery of market timing. This car won't make it to market by the end of this year ... and even then, MB still will probably not bring it over to the USA (since they've not sold anything even remotely similar in this size class in the USA for a decade) As such, I'll have to go find something else to buy... -hh
Apr 1st, 2014 4:23pm
Porsche won't offer a four-cylinder Macan in America, Macan S Diesel coming instead - report
I believe that the correct 'decode' on this Porsche statement is that the 4-cyl won't be offered in the USA at this time (vs. "never"). The clue is in the naming convention used above, as the V6 diesel is being referred to as a "Macan S Diesel", not a "Macan Diesel". Of course, what this also means is that a Macan that's less costly isn't going to be expected for the USA Market for awhile, either, which at the very least means not anytime in 2014. Ultimately, I suspect the question remains one of product sales volume (for the degree of how much Porsche needs to have a lower price point to motivate sales) in conjunction with how Porsche does overall with meeting CAFE goals. -hh -hh
Dec 16th, 2013 4:18pm
2014 Porsche Macan compact SUV launched at Los Angeles Auto Show
It is ... less big. I hesitate to say "smaller", because it is still over 4,000lbs ... roughly 33% more massive than a 1980s vintage 911.
Nov 20th, 2013 4:14pm
2014 Porsche Macan compact SUV launched at Los Angeles Auto Show
I've been also watching it for quite awhile, as the market for luxury hatchbacks in the USA market is utterly empty...there's the BMW 328i GT, which is hardly a 'small' daily commuter sled. Overall, I'm good with their design direction, and while I do like that they did improve a lot of the Q5's underpinnings, I don't particularly relish that its MSRP jumps from roughly US$35K to US$50K...yes, its overpriced IMO...what could be a saving grace is if there's lot of "included as standard" equipment to justify simply not just getting a Q5 *AND* a low mileage 1985 911 Carerra for driving on sunny days. EDIT: I notice in the photos that there's a rear window wiper on both of the display models ... I pray to God that they don't delete this, as it is extremely appropriate in winter urban driving. -hh
Nov 20th, 2013 4:13pm
2014 Porsche Macan compact SUV launched at Los Angeles Auto Show
Porsche has a microsite up for the USA ... no sign of the diesel at all, unfortunately. MSRP on the S is US$ 49,900. -hh
Nov 20th, 2013 4:06pm
Porsche shows the 2014 Macan at Weissach test track, interior revealed [video]
Depends on how one characterizes "function", doesn't it? By some measures, one could similarly say that an X6 is no different than a Subaru Outback...or a Fiat 500. However, that doesn't really get to the real intent. I'd expect that BMW considers the forthcoming X4 to probably be the product that they expect to be compared to the Macan. -hh
Nov 15th, 2013 12:05am
Tesla Model S catches fire [video]
True, vehicles do sometimes catch on fire...but what's absent from this story's description is that pouring water onto some battery chemical compositions will make them burst into flames - - even if they weren't previously burning, or even warm. Lithium metal is one of these. Bottom line is that the proliferation of those high-tech battery chemstries (which we desire) is going to have firefighting safety as a hidden cost. -hh
Oct 3rd, 2013 5:02pm
2014 Volkswagen Scirocco facelift returns in new spy shots
Even though my 'fun car' today is a 911 ... I still pine for my beloved Scirocco II whenever I see an old one pass by. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this car will ever come back to the USA...and that represents a lost sale for VWoA. -hh
Aug 30th, 2013 3:39pm
Audi working on a BMW 1-Series GT competitor - report
...and yet, the squareback A3 was just discontinued and replaced with a sedan. Frankly, I doubt that either of these will be exported to the USA market. -hh
Jul 15th, 2013 10:27pm
2014 Audi SQ5 pricing announced (US)
Well, that pretty much means that the Porsche Macan will be $59.9K -hh
Jun 19th, 2013 12:44am
2013 BMW 3-Series GT
It is built on the stretch chassis, so it does indeed have more rear seat legroom.
May 31st, 2013 12:28am
2013 BMW 3-Series GT
@Shumy: the VW Corrado (1988-1995) was a shorter 2 door hatch, but it also had a retractable spoiler element. There was also the similar but also shorter-lived Chrysler Crossfire (2003-2007) in the USA.
May 31st, 2013 12:26am
Audi A3 MPV planned, concept due in 2014 - report
Sounds partially like a realization that due to classical "platform size creep" the current A4 Allroad is as big as the A6 Allroad had previously been. Granted, it might also be to try to meet the USA's next set of fuel efficiency goals (where smaller helps), the problem is that since it is "not a sedan" nor SUV, Audi probably won't bother to consider this product in the USA market at all. Which merely means that Audi is also forcing us "Empty Nest" consumers who do want something more 'rational' than a sedan or SUV to go buy a different marquee. -hh
May 30th, 2013 4:54pm
Next-gen BMW 1-Series might not make it stateside
Hatch ... with a stick (hopefully). There's a dedicated niche of enthusiast consumers whose only real EU product is the VW GTI. Sure, there's Mini, but the perception (right or wrong) is that they're all significantly smaller than the GTI. Besides, I prefer my instrumentation cluster to be in front of the driver's wheel, not off-axis. -hh
May 9th, 2013 2:21pm
2013 BMW 3-Series GT
Saw this at the New York auto show a few weeks ago. Damn thing is BIG...as in a mere 2 inches (5cm) narrower than my garage door's opening. The BMW representative alluded to it actually being built on the 5 Series platform, which I'd also believe. The big thing for me was that the liftback does (yes!) have a hard platform to minimize interior cabin noise. What remains to be seen are the engine/transmission combinations: what was shown in NYC was a 335 GT with an Automatic & X Drive for $48K ($47,745 w/destination charge). Thanks, but I'll take a stick and don't need that much motor (nor do I need X Drive), particularly as the wife doesn't want to see me break the pyschological $40K barrier. -hh
Apr 30th, 2013 3:17pm
Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake confirmed
Quite frankly, I'd be happy to have either one here in the USA market. The choices from EU are that you either can have a sedan w/trunk or an oversized SUV ... if you want anything else (eg, a nice small hatch/wagon), you have to go buy Asian (for quite a bit less $$s) and lower your expectations on ride, performance, NVH, etc. -hh
Apr 30th, 2013 3:08pm
Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake confirmed
Quite frankly, I'd be happy to have either one here in the USA market. The choices from EU are that you either can have a sedan w/trunk or an oversized SUV ... if you want anything else (eg, a nice small hatch/wagon), you have to go buy Asian (for quite a bit less $$s) and lower your expectations on ride, performance, NVH, etc.
Apr 30th, 2013 3:08pm
BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz Chinese divisions investigated for using asphalt as sound deadener
Which raises an interesting question, namely "What's the big deal about asphalt?". Afterall, it is one of the most common road surface materials worldwide, so what's the problem with it being used **buried down** inside of a vehicle like this? From an environmental perspective, I'd expect this to be a "Both, or Neither".
Apr 3rd, 2013 4:15pm
2014 Audi A3 / S3 sedan revealed [videos]
After having A4's for nearly two decades, wife moved 'down' to an A3 in 2009 because the A4 had grown too large. In this regards, it is good to see Audi offer a smaller sedan. However, on the hatchback question, I'm a big fan of them (haven't driven anything else since 1984) and I lament the loss of the A3 hatch in Audi's prdouct lineup ... I can only hope that the Allroad will get an A3 variant in the USA market - - but given the ongoing momentum for SUVs (and also that the Q5 is 10% *cheaper* than the Allroad), I'm not optimistic about those prospects: the manufacturers have effectively decided that US enthusiasts who want a bit more luxury than a GTI while still having some utility (hatchback) have to suffer with a 2000+kg SUV.
Mar 27th, 2013 3:12pm
BMW 2-Series Coupe spy video
I can already anticipate this being yet another "Not for USA Market" product ... and even if it were to materialize, the USA will only get a two door sedan/coupe ... no GT hatchback. Makes me wonder if I'm going to be forced to keep my Mercedes C230K hatchback for another decade because this consumer simply doesn't want a small trunk nor an SUV.... -hh
Mar 7th, 2013 10:53pm
The New York Times responds to Tesla & CEO Elon Musk
Unfortunately, if one assumes that one's product is only ever going to be purchased/used by the top 1% (or even 5%), then you will have a niche product that never gains marketplace relevancy. As things stand, the only direction that can be pushed/pulled for the near term* (less than 10 years) is in infrastructure for recharging stations. So while we can certainly condemn the NYT writer for making some "unwise" power management decisions, the reality is that these are factors that are going to be real world considerations for the product if it ever breaks through being a niche. * - the other alternative is to throw money at the problem. You can get an 80kW-hr battery pack from SAFT for a mere $125K a copy...but that just makes this niche vehicle even the more so.
Feb 18th, 2013 9:18pm
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