Thursday, May 29, 2014

From Hyundai to Tatra: today's slice of the atuomotive world!

Well my initial intention was to do a bit of an in-depth analysis of Fiat-Chrysler's new long-term plan, but so many automotive journalists have already weighed in that I didn't really think it was worth my time.  Probably the most important thing to remember is tat the company that makes your Caravan (which is slated for the chopping block) also makes Ferrari.  Which means, this new Dodge Challenger Hellcat should be AMAZING (although also not long for a world where fossil fuel preservation is a key issue). 
On the less amazing front, but still fairly important, the newly redesigned Hyundai Sonata is going to cost about $300 less than the current version.  Of course after taxes, dealer fees and set of snow tires, it isn't really much in the way of savings.  Then again $300 is $300.  Of course it could be a rebate for the decrease in horsepower across the board.  I'm not too sure if there is a big market for slower cars, but if there is Hyundai is sure going to tap into it. Having driven Sonatas with both motors, the power on the turbo version is going to be missed by some.  It was a blast to drive.  

Speaking of speed, the new Mustang is doing well in Europe already.  The first 500 units slated for European soil were spoken for in 30 seconds!  Having spoken to some Europeans regarding American cars, I do know for a fact that there is a huge market for classic USA muscle.  Just like we covet the vehicles that are only released in foreign markets, those foreign markets covet the vehicles that are only released here.  We're not so different after all. 

On the Eastern front of the performance car spectrum, apparently Mitsubishi will continue to sell it's four door rally monster, the Evo, for another model year.  Originally, the company had stated that there was going to be no 2015 Evo.  However, the gods of fun said "nay!" and the uber-boosted riot on wheels gets one more crack at the can. 

Now on to Mitsubishi's rival, Subaru.  Their BRZ (twin of the Scion FRS and the Toyota F-86) was universally applauded for its amazing handling and low traction tires that allowed for a "safe" level of hooliganism with relatively little power being produced under the hood.  Thus, despite what looks on paper to be a lackluster effort, the BRZ scores super high on fun scale.  However, just about every review I've read mentioned that the car could certainly benefit from a few more ponies under the hood.  Most cite the WRX and STI as potential power plant sources for this as-of-now-imagined turbo powered BRZ.  Well, if you were hoping that the new Blue edition would be the answer to that hope, you better be sitting down.  Although the car is peppered with STI badging, the BRZ Blue does not benefit from that car's awesome motor.  Bummer. 

And last but not least, it looks like Roman from TFLCar made it to Prague to buy himself a Tatra that he will now have to bring to Pebble Beach in time for the annual car show their.  The good folks from my favourite Colorado automotive blog had been trying to raise money for this adventure for some time.  The last time I had checked out their kickstart page they weren't even close to raising the money needed to do the trip right.  I'm glad to see that things seem to have worked out somehow and Roman can now make his dream a reality.  You can visit their site here to see a list of posts that cover the journey TFLCar has taken to get this project from concept to reality.     


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