Monthly Archives: October 2011

hey BMW. why?

why can’t you just go back to making timeless cars with crisp, distinctive styling?  What in the world is this front end?  Was it designed by 25 people following drinks and sandwiches? This is overstyled, cluttered, and schizophrenic looking.

the new F30 BMW 3-series.  I can’t even get myself to post more photos of it…

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foto of the day. coming ’round full circle.

BMW.  they were crappy in the 50s and early 60s…went to being cool in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s….now back to being crap again.

 

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ad of the day. Lancia

i dig it, even though the Lancia Beta could never live up to this amount of hype!

 

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foto of the day. stuck star.

an incompetent woman driving a winter-deprived SL into a snow bank and having a W123 E-Class estate hatch her escape plan!

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Updated Audi E-Tron Spyder

Moments after posting “bootleg” photos of the Audi E-Tron Spyder busted in California on Audiphile, i found Audi social media publishing the ‘official’ photos.  The E-Tron Spyder has been updated and been given some styling tweaks since its original iteration at the Paris Auto Show, and I have to say it looks greater than ever.  I still want the Coupe version though!  Still all types of goodness going on here.  I’m more curious about the “twin electric engines” though…..what’s that all about!?  Electric cars…..errr….I am still not convinced.

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foto of the day. the depressing difference in size.

btw, the car on the left is the Alfa Romeo Mito, which is currently the smallest car that Alfa Romeo sells.

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Porsche museum collages.

I love the mash-up collages made on the Carfreax site—–here are some they posted from the Porsche Museum.  You can see more at the link below.

SOURCE: http://www.carfreax.com/carfreax/2011/07/porsche-museum.html

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the new Heuer Monaco McQueen watches.

I love Tag Heuer/Heuer watches, however I do know that they now have a bazillion versions of the same watch in the Monaco. It’s a watch I love, and aspire to own a version of someday—-although I will admit that the watch has become a bit of a cliche within the watch world.  Do i really care? No, not really.  I still really want that black dialed Monaco McQueen edition they had made a few years ago with the Gulf colours—–however i am really digging the progressive look of these new versions.

 

source: http://www.calibre11.com/2011-tag-heuer-monaco-mcqueen/

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BMW M1 “Procar” series

Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates on the IEDEI Blog lately—-i have been battling a lack of time attributed to my job (i do have another job y’know!), but have no fear—-there is plenty of content waiting to unfold here with due time.  I still owe you all a big Petit Le Mans report—-which is still being curated.

The BMW M1 was specifically created for racing—–and it has to be one of the coolest production race cars built.  It’s unfortunate BMW strayed from this path, and has yet to produce anything to even remotely put up a show against the mighty Audi R8.  Hopefully one of these days, they’ll come to their senses—-and build ‘another’ M1 or something of the same caliber.

Meanwhile, here are some grand photos of the mighty BMW M1 in racing glory

source: http://bmweffect.in/bmw-m1-procar.html

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RIP Steve Jobs.

Yes I don’t really cover non-automotive related topics, but the passing of Steve Jobs made me sad.  Why? Because i’ve been using Apple computers since i was a little kid—–Mr. Jobs’ computers introduced me to computing, and without my trusty Macs, I wouldn’t be making music or writing blogs with such delightful ease as I do now….or sitting on airplanes with my fantastic iPad automotive e-magazines….or editing IEDEI from my iPhone. You will be missed, Steve.

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PLM: Audi R8 V10 review.

Finally after hearing hype for the past several years about the legendary Audi R8, I finally was able to get an unhinged, 30 minute drive of the R8 V10 Spyder during my fantastic trip to Petit Le Mans this past weekend.

So let me be very straightforward like a bow and arrow when I say that all the hype you’ve heard about the R8 is very much true.  This was quite simply one of the greatest cars i’ve ever driven, and i’m not just saying this because it’s an Audi—–i’m saying this because this has to be the greatest combination of driveability, exclusivity, desirability, and character in a car i’ve felt in a long time.

I’m not a convertible type of person, and originally I had asked to take a Coupe out for a spin, however when I was welcomed to the area to pick up my car—it was a black V10 Spyder they had signed me up for, and hey I wasn’t complaining.  So on a day where it was 70 degrees and perfect harmony—-i was given the wheel of the R8.

Upon taking a seat in the R8, what struck me instantly is just how fantastically Audi the car was—-the mirror settings, seat settings, climate controls, steering wheel, gauge cluster—-it all felt familiar, and It felt like a direct descendant of my MK1 TT quattro and my 8P A3 quattro.  Audi make the best interiors in the business, and the R8’s was no different—–extremely well made, easy to settle into, and easy on the eyes.  I felt right at home.

The first 5 minutes of driving were taken with ease while I tried to understand WHY the R8 V10 felt so stable, comfortable, and easy to drive.  Could it really be this laid back?  Then as my shoes drove down on the accelerator pedal, I began to hear what was lurking behind me in the mid-engined glory of that 5.2L V10.  The most beautiful, symphonic V10 symphony…..slowly rising as the accelerator depressed.  It didn’t take me long to realise that I was driving a hugely powerful car with massive amounts of grip and control, and I couldn’t help myself to pounding on the accelerator a bit more.  The sound I heard bellowing out from behind me has to be one of THE great sounds i’ve heard on any drive—–the most beautiful velvet growl and organic roar.  The throttle response was instant, the grip was severe and complete with confidence never lacking.

One of the great feelings was planting my shoes into the accelerator at full throttle (to the floor) and hearing the V10 at maximum power, the power felt endless, the sound was blistering, and that’s when I understood why someone would buy a Spyder over a Coupe, because the sound that one gets from driving the Spyder is just f*cking sweetness.  On that day, in that car, I’d choose the Spyder.  And you will certainly NEVER hear me ever pick a Spyder over a Coupe in any normal state.  The brakes?  They were phenomenal.  Instant stop with big bite.  The steering was very direct, more than any other Audi i’ve driven—–besides my control-arm modified TT.  The car just felt extraordinarily balanced.

The V10 Spyder I drove had a sequential manual gearbox, which is essentially a single clutch manual transmission with sequential shifting (R-Tronic).  I thought the gearbox was going to let me down—-but it didn’t.  Each gear is shifted like a manual, and jolts the driver (even more so than a regular manual) and shifts instantly.  It feels like a race car—-and to me the R-Tronic is very impressive.  More so than I expected—–but that being said, i’m a HUGE fan of these electronic manual transmissions.  They are better than manuals and to me, just as enjoyable.

Negatives? I honestly can’t think of any.  I have been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to think of some, but the only things I can think of is that I wish the wheels were darker, and that the windshield wasn’t surrounded in silver.  Aside from those small cosmetic issues (which can easily be changed), there is nothing lacking in this car….

So all in all, the R8 is an absolute sensation.  So easy to drive, an amateur can drive it—–but so vivid and entertaining that an enthusiast can envelope themselves within it.  I was speaking with a regional Audi representative about the R8 named Paige (sp?) who told me that in a huge Northeast snowstorm last year—–she drove out into the storm, in an R8 Coupe, on an evening where nobody was on the road—she got to a restaurant to pick up some food and registered looks of shock on the faces of everyone at the restaurant.  It’s not just a sports car, it’s a car for every place and every setting.  Do I want? Yes I want.  Can I have? No, not yet.  Give it a couple of years!  I need time to gather up $150k+! Is it one of the best sports cars in the world? Easily—–is it better than a 911 Carrera or Carrera S? Easily….is it better than a 911 Turbo? I haven’t driven a 911 Turbo so i can’t say…but I can imagine it would be a good comparison.   That being said, all I know is that it’s easily the best car i’ve ever driven.

 

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1972/euro sedans.

A new feature on IEDEI, i’m just gonna pick a random year and find different cars from different marques—to compare how differently companies were moving with their directions…many of these were designs these brands had JUST introduced.  From the ugly Alfa Romeo Giulia to the progressive BMW E12 and Saab 99 to the bizarrely futuristic NSU Ro80—-1972 was full of ‘interesting’ european sedans.

1972

Mercedes-Benz S-Class (116 Series):

 

BMW E12 5-series:

 

Audi 100 LS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volvo 144

 

Saab 99:

 

NSU Ro80:

 

Alfa Romeo Giulia:


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back from the 2011 Petit Le Mans…

All i can say is that I was blown away.  Where to begin?  Should i start with my driving of an R8 V10 Spyder around?  Or that I was in the Audi Sport Team Joest pits for 2 R18 pit stops?  Or that I was in heaven sitting at the track side at night watching some of the greatest race cars in the world go thundering just feet away from me?  Or that I met some of my favourite drivers?  I had a total blast.

More to come about the event, with photos….later this week.  I have so many photos to rummage through.

Oh, and the R18 TDI is even cooler up close!

(picture from the Audi hospitality “chalet” where I had access to, right across from the Porsche base)

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