31st December 2008

Nissan 350Z Pricing Now Available

Figuring many TTAC readers would be interested, I input pricing for the new 370Z into TrueDelta’s pricing database the day it was released. Since TTAC licenses this information, this site is about the only place you can already configure the new, 332-horsepower 370Z. Media reports suggest that the new car handles better and has a nicer interior than the less compact, slightly heavier 350Z. Compared to the 2008, the base price is up $1,425, to $30,625 (the $30,000 figure you’ll read elsewhere ingores destination). BUT the new car has airbags, stability control, and a few other features as additional standard equipment. Adjust for these, and the 2009 is actually priced a bit lower than the 2008. The more agile Mazda RX-8 runs about $3,500 less, but no doubt most people will opt for the much more powerful Nissan when choosing between these cars. When both cars are loaded up, the related Infiniti G37 coupe runs about $3,800 more than the 370Z. But adjust for the Infiniti’s additional content (sunroof, additional power seat adjustments, etc.) and the difference is close to zero.

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31st December 2008

BMW PAS: the old man’s Bimmer?

We’re still scratching our heads about the upcoming BMW Progressive Activity Sedan (PAS). We’re not quite sure where this Mercedes R-Class competitor really fits in the BMW line-up.

It seems we are not alone. The car has just been reported to have gotten a full green light for production, and the BMW spin machine is already in full effect. A BMW executive told Autocar that the PAS is, “one of the bravest designs ever signed off by BMW”, and another insider called it a “modern grand tourer with a luxury cabin and interior flexibility”. While the overall car still defies definition to us, BMW is now characterizing it as a “5-Series GT”. That’s very PR friendly.

Even though all of this may sound like good things, it still doesn’t explain why anyone would really want to buy one. But the truth about the PAS can’t hide forever. Autocar also found an insider that suggested BMW is aware of an ageing population who now find conventional sedans’ seat positions too low for comfort. In other words: a BMW for old people.

It could be the idea behind the PAS is to give grandpa something to drive when he can no longer get into the Z4. So, just like how you told him it wasn’t an “old folks home” but an “active senior’s community”; don’t tell tell him it’s a “progressive activity sedan” but a instead “5-Series GT”.

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31st December 2008

Teutonic Two-Step: C63, CC Are Germany’s Best in Power and Style

I recently spent long weekends in two German four-doors — the Volkswagen CC, which I had driven briefly before at the 2009 Car of The Year program, and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, which, alas, I’d driven not at all — and my seat time got me pondering, ‘where do these sedans rank among their national peers?’ In terms of power (C63) and style (CC), most definitely at the top.

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31st December 2008

GMAC, GM make it easier to buy cars

Also Tuesday, GM rolled out promotions to boost sales, including zero percent financing on some vehicles and low-interest rates on about three dozen 2008 and 2009 models. The offers expire Jan. 5.

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31st December 2008

Ex Pininfarina design boss goes to Bertone

Former Pininfarina design chief Jason Castriota is the new design director at Stile Bertone.

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31st December 2008

Ford Gran Torino – Starsky & Hutch

Ford Gran Torino – Starsky & Hutch


By
Tim Pollard


20 October 2008 14:21

Ranking: 33      

Year of release: 2004.

The car: Several Ford Gran Torinos – in homage to the original Seventies TV series.

Why it’s special: The way it lampoons the 1970s. Look out for the clunky technology and the chunky knitwear. But there’s no arguing with the bright red Gran Torino, usually seen screeching sideways with plenty of rubber being singed.

Best bit: The chase across a golf course – and the jump where they try to hit Feldman’s yacht. They miss, of course.

Pub fact: The TV series ran from 1975 to 1979 – anyone younger than thirtysomething won’t be familiar with the references to the original programmes.

Plot overview: Overly dedicated Detective David Starsky (Stiller) is forced to work with overly laid-back Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (Wilson), whose only angle is his connection to street-savvy informant Huggy Bear (Snoop Dogg). A lead on a new type of undetectable cocaine takes them to the door of businessman and philanthropist Reese Feldman (Vaughn)…

For: The irony of a bright red Gran Torino police car. Hardly your subtle cop car.

Against: It’s just a big old Ford.

CAR verdict: Worth watching just for Ben Stiller’s anal appreciation of his wheels.

Is this really one of the best cars in film history? Click ‘Add your comment’ and have your say

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