Our A8 Assault
Just a little remark in regard your Audi A8 4.2 test (Audi A8 4.2 Test)...
It is funny how the rest of the world puts the A8 in front of its main
competitors. Even in Australia it
was voted Luxury Car of the Year, but all you do is compare it against Holden -
it’s like comparing a Hyundai Sonata against a Holden Caprice. Nobody by their
right mind would do that unless you judge cars by how much metal they have.
In regard to the Holden price being four times cheaper – well, it’s a
dinosaurus of a car with very old technology and bad fit and finish. You only
have to drive a Holden to experience the ultimate rattle machine that they
become after only a few years of usage. And I am sorry that Audi did not explain
the car properly to you - it is clear to me that you don’t understand it at
Goran Dekich (Audi Centre Brisbane)
As stated in our test, the A8 offers
great build quality and – yes – it has far more technology than a Caprice. However, the
fact remains that the A8 has flaws not found in a vehicle costing around a quarter of the price. Being from an Audi dealer, we’re sure you’re aware of the A8’s
awkward sideways lurch when driven over sharp bumps...
Re Slow Bikes #14
Re Driving Emotion...
It's always a bit of a giggle to hear a non motorcyclist comment about bikes -
particularly when it's the rather typical "why are they so slow" or "they are
not that fast" type of comments. You tend to come across that a lot depending on
what crowds you socialise with and, to be honest, it's a fair enough question
when it's coming from someone who really just does not know better.
I'd like to say it’s simple to answer but unfortunately it isn’t. You can
bang on about rider ability or tyre contact patch, but there’s a lot more
contributing to why bikes are/are not slower in any given situation.
Yes, bikes are very open to slow in, fast out types of situations due to lots
of power and insane brakes - but not all bikes and not in all situations.
Likewise, rider ability has a lot to do with it. Many years ago you had to be
far more hardcore to want to ride so generally most riders were a lot more
competent - but alas, in the age of cheap transport and for want of being
trendy, there are plenty of people out there now who really just can barely
ride. This is unfortunately true of any form of transport these days.
Will a 2004 Nissan 350Z corner faster than a Niki? Yeah sure - but is there a
90 year old, half deaf and blind person driving the Nissan and F1 driver in the
Niki? Answers are not really simple and neither are the types of vehicles out
All I can really suggest is if you really want to know, go out and get a
motorcycle licence, buy a bike and ride. The worst case scenario is you may find
the real answer to your question, the best is that you find a new joy in life -
that is the world of two wheeled transport.
I knew you would miss a car from your Weekday Warriors article ... I kinda think it was
because after the 350Z responses, Nissan owners are, probably rightly, good
sport! Nissan SSS Pulsars have a
tad more power and are lighter than Ford/Mazda duo and have a larger interior.
And, yes, I do own one for a number of reasons - a balance of all you mention in
the article. The Pulsar can carry heaps in the back - 3 mountain bikes (1 wheel
off each... and the third person walks!), a 68cm TV in its box and a 6 burner
BBQ (not all at once!). It's great on the open road, cheapish to run and insure
and is reasonably stealth (maybe a pitfall, looking like a Mum’s taxi). I really
think at least it deserved a mention.
Info for the Fiat nut Response... Why
doesn't he look at motivation from within? Fiat turbocharged some of their early
2.0 litre cars. Alfa and Lancia also have a raft of turbo’d engines – sadly,
most not seen here. An absolute firecracker of an engine for the 124 would be an
engine from an Integrale.
Or why not turbo the Fiat engine locally? Many Alfas have been done here. And
I'm betting there will be much less hassle getting another Italian engine into
the front of a Fiat 124.
Better yet, I just did a Google search for "Fiat 124 turbo" and found lots of
Hey guys, I am looking to purchase a Nissan S13 Silvia non turbo automatic. I
only have about AUD$5500 – 6000 to work with. The dealers are quite expensive,
so I was thinking of a direct import. I was wondering if you could give me
details on how to go about this - how I could speak to a Japanese agent about a
personal import or who could show me how.
PS - with regard to Julian Edgar's article on being in an automotive toyhouse
with 3 to 4 thousand dollar imports... Where are these places and how do I find
‘em! I’d love to see such a yard.
Well timed! We have a 3-part series on
the ADR-ing and registration of a 15 year old Nissan S13 scheduled to appear very soon. The “automotive toy house” mentioned
in Julian’s article belongs to John Verban of Yahoo Motorsport in Adelaide – see
site currently lists pre-ADR’s NA Silvias at around AUD$4000.
Fuel Feelings #1
I enjoyed your Driving Emotions article on the price of fuel.
I certainly agree with some points in your article, particularly from the
manufacturer's point of view and SUVs. With another addition to the family on
the way I've been toying with the idea of replacing our Forester XT with
something that has more carrying capacity and some limited off-road and towing
ability. After having a good look around, the
Ford Territory seemed
to fit the bill.
However, I haven't been able to get past the horror fuel consumption (vs what
I currently drive) with the average performance. Yes, it's a bigger car than the
Forester but does it really have to be 500kg heavier? Apparently (and I'm
quoting something I read from a media release somewhere on the Territory from a
Ford PR person), fuel consumption wasn't high on the list of priorities of
consumers when they designed the car. I'm personally loathe to give up the fuel
economy and performance I'm currently getting, so I'll probably just whack a
luggage pod on the Forester’s roof when we go camping.
On a separate note, I recently purchased a Honda Accord Euro and was
absolutely astounded at the fuel efficiency. On a trip from the Gold Coast to
Dubbo - some 1900km return, which I have to do six times a year - I had
previously taken a VT Commodore and BA Falcon and averaged 700km to a 70L tank.
I got a little bit better with the Forester at 700km to a 60L tank, but with the
Accord I was getting 850km to a 60L tank. It may not sound like a large
difference but for that trip and with the price of fuel out there, it's a saving
of around AUD$50 each trip - AUD$300 a year. And oddly enough, the only car that
has a major straight-line performance advantage over the Accord is the Subaru -
the second most economical car of the group...
When you're spending a little bit of extra money on fuel each week, the
difference at the bowsers may not seem like much. It's when you add it up you
realise how much of a difference it is, particularly if you're doing a long
trip. Perhaps if those compulsory fuel economy labels on new cars showed dollars
saved or spent a year (rather than outright fuel consumption) consumers might
take a bit more notice – which, in turn, might make manufacturers notice.
Fuel Feelings #2
In reply to you’re "let’s all happily increase fuel prices” Driving Emotion
I’m sure that you were jet lagged and failed to realise that not everyone has
a decent and sustainable income to afford a new car every few years - let alone
pay for the fuel that goes into it. With so many taxes now in our society, I
don’t think we need another. Last financial year my income was AUD$32,000 and
AUD$8000 of that was taxed. I received back AUD$280 from the ATO, of which
AUD$80 paid for my accountant's fees. So in that year, I brought home AUD$24,000
to live, pay rent, food, power and phone bills, pay for my child’s day care
fees, etc... I did not save one cent towards a house.
So, please, drop your self down a level to a "Real Australian" and open your
eyes. Not everyone has money to burn on fuel. Why don’t you in your position
write a letter to the Government and ask them to pump some money in to the
development of a salt water driven engine that has suitable horsepower and
Fuel Feelings #3
Re. Driving Emotion: I Think the Price of Fuel Should Go Up.
I agree with all of your arguments. I've watched more and more SUVs and large
engine’d, heavy cars appear on the road and haven't been able to convince many
people that they are the devil =).
They keep repeating the sales brochures back to me and I have been
frustrated. I especially
object to the Humvee being a domestic sale vehicle. I only hope people don't use
them as a daily driver. Your argument about the 4 litre Fords versus a 2.5 litre
turbo coincided with a discussion I had earlier this week about buying a 4L V8
or a 2.5 VVT-i Turbo and the fuel consumption pros/cons. I think lack of
information/good marketing is as much to blame as low fuel prices however
(could get a circular argument going here so I won't continue).
Fuel Feelings #4
I've just finished reading Julian Edgar's article on increasing the price of
fuel as an incentive to vehicle manufacturers to make their cars more efficient (Driving Emotion).
While I agree with almost all of the views expressed by J.Edgar regarding
creating incentives to build more efficient cars, I cannot agree that increasing
fuel prices will have the desired effect. As an Economics and Finance student I
know enough about the elasticity of demand for fuel to suggest that any
realistic price increase will have little/no impact on the amount of fuel that
is purchased and used. Subsequently there would be no incentive to the
manufacturers to develop more efficient vehicles. Julian's other comments on
taxing less efficient vehicles is far more accurate as the demand for
inefficient cars would severely drop if the taxes imposed were severe enough,
forcing manufacturers to used improved techniques/materials etc. to entice
buyers back to these vehicles.
Furthermore, I'd like to raise another angle on the issue - and, while it is
not entirely feasible, it is something that can be implemented in the future.
That is, that the authorities have a responsibility to ensure that the transport
systems in place allow cars to operate at their optimum efficiency. By this I
mean that roads should be planned to reduce the amount of stop-start driving and
limit the amount of corners, etc. This may sound far fetched but, as I'm sure
you are aware, fuel consumption (as a general rule) tends to increase
dramatically during 'city' driving. Anyway, the article just got me thinking and
I thought I may as well toss a few ideas your way. Keep up the good work.