Dublin Saab

Cars, politics, sports and what not from my view. (Closed Sundays and Holidays)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Thumbs DOWN: VW Eos

VW has had a few problems lately, not GM health care cost sized problems but problems none the less. Namely, quality issues and a failed attempt to move up market with cars like the $45,000 W8 Passat, $80,000 Pheaton and $40,000 Touareg. At this time the high end Passat is gone, the Pheaton is leaving this year and the Touareg is a slow mover. It is in this time that VW is coming out with the Eos, or EOS, whatever. The Eos is a expected to be a premium hard top convertible. Trouble.

People don’t want a premium VW. People that want to drop money on a German car look up Audis and BMWs. The sales stats show this. So can the Eos prosper where other cars, that did get favorable reviews, have failed? Let’s see my view…

The Look: Ho hum. It’s certainly not a bad looking car, and it does have a nice VW interior but does it excite? I think not. I think it’s not as attractive as the new G6 convertible – which will get reviewed later – and the Eos can be expected to be much more costly. I think to break the mold VW needs bold designs and not merely interpretations of the classic Golf look.

Look at those little bits behind the door! Way too much going on.

The Top: As I stated VW has been plagued with reliability issues for the last 10 years or so and are still often at the bottom of the ratings. Into that environment the Eos shows up with a powered droppable hardtop that is so complicated looking that it would make a Japanese origami master cringe. The comments I heard around the display at the show can be summed up as people wanting nothing to do with a top that complicated combined with VW’s reliability ratings.

The "trunk" of the Eos while deep and long has only a 10 inch tall opening. Try to get a piece of luggage in there.

The Eos will fail, unless it starts at $25,000 and comes with at least a 5 year warranty.

Thumbs DOWN: Mini Traveller

The Mini Traveller is silly. It’s basically a regular Mini, with a slightly altered nose, that has an extended wheel base to add about 2 extra feet of length behind the rear seats. A Mini for people who need a bigger car they say. Well how long until a 7 seat Mini SUV I ask.

While I find the nose a very nice update over the current car the extra length creates a Mini that when seen in person is disproportionately long. The car just looks odd, too long and too narrow.

Mini is looking to expand the range from 2 (Mini, Mini convertible) in the coming years but seeing as the Oxford plant is already maxed out I don’t see the need. I fear a watering down of the brand image.

Mini always has a neat display and a DJ under a Mini parked on the wall was this years trick.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Thumbs UP: Audi Roadjet

The Audi Roadjet concept is a near mid sized 5 door with AWD and a turbo charged V6 pulling the whole thing down the road. The concept of course has some absurd amount of horsepower but what it doesn’t have is outlandish sheet metal. This car is good looking and would make a wonderful A3 replacement.

On a Saab note I am disappointed to see the name “Roadjet” go to Audi. Since the Opec created oil shortages of the 1970’s all major car makers have dabbled with forced induction but only Porsche and Saab has been producing turbine driven supercharged cars, continuously for the last 30 years. Unfortunately Saab’s 9 naming convention and Porsche’s recent obsession with difficult to pronounce names beginning with the letter “C” have left this wonderful name slip past them.

Good News: Last week Audi announced that due to over whelming positive response to the Roadjet concept at the Detroit show that the car is going to go into production.

Bad News: Audi stated at the same time that they doubted they’d bring the Roadjet to the US market.

WTF?! So Audi is saying, in essence, that our concept was so well received at the American auto show that we are going to make it, only once made we won’t sell it to the same people who convinced us to make it in the first place.

Or more likely Audi had every intention of producing the car and simply decided to take advantage to the buzz to pretend to have been “pushed” into production by consumer demand. However, they failed to notice the astounding idiocy of saying that American interest has convinced them to not sell the car in America.

Dirty bastards.

Heading to Detroit

After an interminable delay tomorrow I will begin posting my views on this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will be a simple thumbs up, thumbs down, not all inclusive and leading up to a third Geely post.

Rolling up 75 towards Cobo.

Keep an eye out!

Woe to those who log on

Scams, child porn, spam, government intrusion, dot com bubble, one more thing to make life even more hectic. These are only a few, in a never ending litany of the ever growing evils that is the wild-west world of the internet. Why I dare say an alien race, monitoring our TV news broadcasts, could be expected to list the invention of the internet alongside other human follies like the French Revolution or the Designated Hitter Rule.

So, it is at this time, when all seems dark that I would like to pass along to you, my faithful readers (Chris) this one sliver of shining light from cyberspace.

How To Bake A Potato

This website has helped me in my time of need, hopefully it can help you as well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Where’s an “apartheid” wall when you need one?

What's up with Mexico flagrantly assisting their citizens attempts to break US laws by entering the US illegally? For years they have been complicit in the movement of people north but recently have been bold in their actions, with today announcement to provide illegals with maps to the AZ desert.

NEXT: Mexico to issue US Social Security numbers to all Mexican citizens so they can start getting Welfare.

They say it’s to help people survive the journey. BS. If you want to save the lives of people wandering in the desert then do something to stop them from entering the desert in the first place. That’s what a responsible government would do, but then we are talking about Mexico.