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Three distinctly different cars are in for testing this week at the AutoGuide garage and each one is pretty awesome in their own way. Read all about it on the latest iteration of AutoGuide Now. Continue Reading…
Fast for Less Cash
While it may seem that automakers are focusing more on fuel efficiency than performance these days, cars are actually getting faster and (in some cases) cheaper. If you’re in the market for a performance car under $50,000, you might be surprised just how fast they can get.
Taking a look at 0-60 mph acceleration times*, we have compiled a list of the Top 10 fastest vehicles available on today’s market for under $50,000 including destination.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a lighthearted fairytale highlighting the adventures of a cute little girl and a trio of cuddly bears… or is it? A closer examination of this innocent-sounding narrative reveals that it’s actually a gloomy tale that glorifies breaking and entering, trespassing, vandalism and theft.
Depending on your opinion of the M3 V8, this may be upsetting. BMW may be considering a V6 engine for the next generation BMW M3. You read that correctly, V6 instead of their famous traditional inline 6.
According to M3post.com, BMW may decide on one of four different power-plants. The first option is to strap a pair of turbochargers on their current S65 V8. Another rumour is to modify the turbocharged N54 inline-six or possibly a version of the F10 M5′s twin-turbo V8 S63 engine. The most interesting rumour, however is to turbo-charge a V6. This comes as a surprise because BMW has traditionally used an inline 6. However, Audi’s S4 has dropped the high output V8 for a turbocharged V6 and BMW is quite competitive with Audi. Of course, true BMW enthusiasts would like to see a rebirth of the inline 6.
As a bachelor, Prince William was noted for his Audi S4 sedan, equipped with a 4.2L V8 and a stealthy grey paint job. But now that William is a married man, it might be time for something a bit tamer, and the Royal Family’s relationship with Audi means that the future King of England has his pick of the Audi lineup.
William seems to have opted for a sleek A5 Sportback, finished in the same grey as his S4. While the A5 may be more stylish than the car it replaces (especially with the S-Line appearance kit), it likely lacks the performance chops to keep pace with William’s S4.
[Source: The Daily Mail]
While the British Royal Family are known for their patronage of British cars (with the Queen favoring Land Rovers and Prince Charles being a notable Aston Martin owner), Audis have been making an appearance in the family’s fleet over the last decade, and the Daily Mail reports that the company offers some very favorable terms to the Royal Family to help sway their car purchases.
As valued customers, the House of Windsor is given a 60 percent discount off the sticker price, and their cars are personally delivered. While Prince Charles favors an A8 and an A6 Allroad station wagon, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton both drive A3 hatchbacks. Prince William seems to drive the most exciting car of the bunch, a dark grey S4 with the previous generation 4.2L V8.
While giving the cars away for free would undoubtedly raise concerns about bribery and other unsavoury tactics, the steep discounts offered help sidestep those questions will giving Audi excellent exposure. With the upcoming royal wedding, and Kate Middleton’s status as a style icon, Audi seems to be making some solid moves to get their brand associated with the “right” crowd as they try and take on blue chip German brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW.\
[Source: Daily Mail]
One member of the Audizine forums recently got a surprise when the president of Audi USA loaned him an S4 for him to use while he waited for his ordered S4 to be built.
Forum member DATZ ordered a 2011 Audi S4 on December 9th, 2010, in Daytona Gray. He knew that it would take the factory a while to prepare this exclusive color, but when the build date got pushed back to February, then to March, then to May—meaning a delivery date of late July, 7 months after the order—he knew something was up.
“I decided to vent by writing a letter to various VAG and Audi executives, including the CEO/Chairman of VW, Audi’s President of Production, and the President of Audi USA,” he wrote, “not quite as therapeutic as firebombing the dealership, but letter writing involves considerably less jail time.”
To his surprise, Johan de Nyschen, the president of Audi USA, called back. He explained to DATZ about Audi’s part shortages, the high demand that the S4 carries, and the fact that an 8-month delay, even despite Audi’s struggles to meet consumer demand. And then Nyschen said what every car enthusiast wants to hear from a higher-up at a car company (or at the DMV): he’d agree to pull some strings. He personally called the German factory, bumped the build date to April (for a June delivery), and agreed to lend DATZ a 2011 S4 for him to use until the delivery.
The car shown above is his loaner: a Phantom Black model, with DSG and the Titanium package, which was formerly beaten on by auto journos for 5,000 miles—and is a better deal than what the poster’s dealer could muster, which were a few panicked calls for a free extended warranty. “If you take the right tact with the right people, they may respond 1,000 times beyond expectations,” he wrote. “Not a bad move on their part to build some customer loyalty!”
The current Audi A4 is one of the few cars on the market to have grown in size and decreased in weight, a smart philosophy in a world where performance and efficiency are now placed on a similar footing. The next-generation A4 is set to go on a crash diet, dropping 300 lbs through the use of composites, aluminum and proprietary engineering techniques.
The weight of a vehicle affects every aspect, from fuel consumption to handling to acceleration and braking. Audi is already experienced with using lightweight materials on cars like the R8 and A8. Hopefully by the time the next A4 is ready to be launched in 2015, the costs will have been sufficiently amortized so that they will be affordable to use on their bread and butter cars like the A4. A lightweight, efficient and sporty A4 would be a real threat to the dominance of Mercedes and BMW, while furthering Audi’s rise to the top of the luxury heap.
Volkswagen brands walk away with half the awards
The Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) has just announced the list of nominees for Canadian Car of the Year and Canadian Utility Vehicle of the year. This list is made up of the winners from each of the 12 categories and includes the Mazda3, Mazda3 Sport, Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI, Ford Taurus, BMW 335d, Porsche Panamera Turbo, Volkswagen GTI, Audi S4, Audi A5 Cabriolet, Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Toureg TDI and Lexus RX450h.
Highlights include the Mazda3 as Best New Small Car under $21,000; the Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI for Best New Family Car under $30,000; the Ford Taurus for Best New Family Car over $30,000; the Subaru Outback for Best New CUV/SUV and the Porsche Panamera Turbo for Best New Prestige Car. In total Volkswagen brands walked away with half of the awards.
AJAC released the list this morning in Niagaro-on-the-Lake in southern Ontario where 70 of Canada’s “elite” automotive journalists spent the week testing a long list of 156 vehicles at the organizations annual Test Fest event.
The 12 class winners will now be submitted for the 2010 Canadian Car of the Year or the 2010 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, which will be announced at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Ontario on February 11.
Follow the jump for a list of the individual class winners:
We still have more than half of 2009 to go and already the list of 2010 North American Car & Truck of the Year nominees have been picked. That’s because the list is essentially a list of every new model for 2010.
Nominated for car of the year are: the Audi S4, BMW Z4, BMW 335d, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Fusion, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Ford Mustang, For Mustang GT500, Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus SHO, Honda Insight, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia Forte, Kia Soul, Lexus HS250h, Lotus Evora, Mazda3, MazdaSpeed3, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Cube, Nissan 370Z, Porsche Panamera, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Golf TDI.
The 2010 North American Truck of the Year list is only slightly shorter and includes: the Acura ZDX, BMw X5 xDrive 35d, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Transit Connect, GMC Terrain, Honda Crosstour, Land Rover LR4, Lincoln MKT, Subaru Outback, Toyota 4Runner and Volvo XC60.
Many off these vehicles have yet to be officially released and some (like the Honda Crosstour) haven’t even been officially named yet.
Jurors will now begin the lengthy process of making a short list, with the final winners chosen at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Last year’s winners were the Hyundai Genesis and the Ford F-150.