I love that vision of just blasting through the gates, backwards, in a flaming Swedish supercar! Richard Hammond
I’ve just finished watching the live stream of the unveiling of the new Jaguar XJ, A car which is being described as the latest in the line of futuristic, and class leading models to come out of Jaguar in the last 3 years (following of course the XK and XF), a sentiment echoed by Jaguars boss, Mike O’Driscoll; “We’ve remade Jaguar over the last 24 months. The XJ’s the third of our new model range. The XF, the XK, now the XJ and we’ve got three great models that will set Jaguar forward for the future.”
And frankly he better hope he’s right because Jaguar is in the midst of a deep financial problem, TATA Motors, Jaguar’s owners say the company has been losing £1,000,000 a day for the last 18 months. And this financial problem has triggered talk of job losses, so Jaguar really have to hope that the new XJ is going to be a success, certainly its continuing Jaguars step into the future, a far cry away from the days of the depressing S-type, its fully digital interior and roof structure are all revolutionary, the shape of the car is rather pleasing on the eye, and so is the front end, but as many people have said and moaned the rear of the car is at best, “different”, it’s hard to really like, but that according to the designer, Ian Callum, that’s the whole point, ”I know you’re struggling with the rear end of this car,” says Callum. “Lots of people will. That’s the point.” He feels that this is how cars will be in the future and that over time and once seen in the flesh people will start to be seduced by the XJ’s extreme rear end design, and I have to come clean that when I first saw that back end I wasn’t sold, but the more I see the more I like, I still find it kind of weird and ugly but maybe that may just pass when the car comes on sale in late December with prices starting from around €62,000.
One thing’s for certain the new XJ proves that Jaguar is ready to leave behind the days of S-types and horrid grill covers and move full flight into the future, even the unveiling of the car was done to accommodate this change in its consumers and its own company, by having it streamed live online, having Jay leno the talk show king of America and well-known car fanatic present it, it really was an event that looked more like a Hollywood movie premier then a car unveiling, but I like that, why can’t car unveilings be huge social events? Maybe Jaguar have set the ball rolling, but lets first see if the XJ can make it three in a row for this future moving car company
Unless I have been sorely misinformed, supermodels are powerless to resist a man with illuminated doorsills. Richard Hammond
Most people irrespective of their love of cars, have a favorite car, a car which to them is personally special and holds a deeper respect and love over all other cars, mine is the Aston Martin DBS, to me this car is perfection, it combines everything that is magnificent about cars into one single machine. for me the greatest car, ever. and one of my soul ambitions in life is to own one. if you’d like to make a contribution to help me achieve my ambition feel free..
Now in my time i’ve had many weird and frankly scary moments, last december one of my favorite cars was the recently released Opel Insignia, i do still love that car, as a sign of opel moving forward and its a deserved winner of the european car of the year. But how much do i love the DBS?, well i’ve looked into marriage laws in Australia and have found no law against marrying an Aston Martin DBS or indeed making love to it. So for anyone else out there looking for ways to have a more personal relationship with their car there is no law against marriage to a car,except the Fiat Multipla, for which could destroy not only the eco-system in Australia but end mankind as we know it.
I also can’t work out why people could choose a DB9 over the DBS, yes it has two more seats..but the DBS is just sooo beautiful, it’s a work of art, and undoubtably the best looking car ever made, (in my opinion), its interior, looks, presence are all superior to that of the DB9, except the price, if your dealing in euros, it will set you back €335,000 where as a brand new DB9 €289,000, even less if u consider that particular DB9 is a project kahn,
The DBS is acknowledged as a cool car, its James Bonds choice of car, its slick, and irresistible, but seen by some as a misfit, 510bhp and a top speed of 191mph slower then the Vanquish S, its apparent replacement. Aston Martin though claims it to be the flagship car of the range. Personally of course i agree, but another accurate and agreeable suggestion, that made by Jeremy Clarkson, is that the DBS should be viewed as a DB9S, a DB9, but sharper, were every little piece, is a little bit better, and when you think about it? Why would you need four seats in a luxury sports car? And I’m sure if you had the money for a DB9, a DBS would be within budget too. I really do want to see more of these cars on the roads. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll get my wish and own a Aston Martin DBS, but until then sadly i have to make do with watching it in Bond movies and pricing them on Carzone.ie.
When i started writing about cars, it was for many reasons, mainly just to give my own opinions and views, but occasionally i get the chance to introduce a new car to people, unfortunately the usual response to my find is; “it’s nice…but………….” but sometimes i find one car i like so much i just have to scream it from the rooftops, only this is a virtual rooftop, so people of the world, space, and Switzerland, i give you the Toyota Mark X, i found the Mark X after one of my friends bought a car in Japan and shipped it over. So then being the curious man i am decided to see what kind of bargains i could find, and quickly found what i think is possibly the greatest saloon Toyota have ever made, and i don’t make that claim lightly my own Dad has a Toyota Camry, which is in Toyota’s own words the most luxurious and comfortable Toyota and saloon that they’ve ever made (except from Lexus)
Now i know what you’re thinking, drawbacks, and it’s not the price which for a top of the range model which includes Sat Nav, Tv, and a classy wood wheel costs not even €25,000, so if it’s not the price, what could it be? It’s the cars availability its only sold in Japan, and yes i know it’s quite a drawback as drawbacks go, but think about it, importation costs for the car are only around €2,000, and for the level of trim and tech that you get the price including import costs is still a bargain. Its already a left hand drive car.
So why don’t more people import cars like this?.. hopefully with help from the global financial crisis more and more people will start to look for cheaper and more affordable ways of buying a new or used car. I know there’s a few horror stories of people maybe paying money and getting nothing in return, but there are plenty of local car import specialists who have links to dealers in Japan whom I i know to sell the Mark X. And don’t think for a minute that maybe this car has escaped the net wave of international car imports because its not alone, soon i hope to bring you more about the Proton Santria Neo, which is only moderately available in Europe.
If you’d like to know more about the Mark X, email me.
As you’ve gathered from my last blog entry I’m not an overwhelming fan of Mercedes, but i do really like them, i even like some Mercedes cars, such as the old S-Class, the current C-Class (which i think is capable of making Mercedes cool again) , but there’s one model that’s starting to annoy me. The E-Class, i have one question for Mercedes regarding the E-Class
Do they expect anyone under 60 to buy it? To me it just seems like the type of car that a retired insurance broker would buy, with their white turtle neck, beige chino trousers, brown leather shoes, And beige Cartel jumper and of course with their golf clubs in the boot, (which is a perfect size for such). I think what has made the E-Class so attractive to senior citizens is its conservative looks, it blandness, and again just its plain boring appearance, and features. I mean an AMG E-Class series might change all that but its still a grandfather type car.
And if you’re a 20 something old company executive looking for a slick, luxurious, and sporty saloon car you’re not exactly lacking in choice, you have the BMW 5 series, new Jaguar XF, and Audi A6, and there’s an even better choice in the lower price range; the New Opel Insignia, Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Volkswagen Passat, and Audi A4 all stand out. Mercedes are missing out on this young business type market, which they shouldn’t be, the C-Class has saved them from missing out entirely, but it could and should be better.
Its easy for Mercedes to become uncool and for old people. But its just as easy for them to be a cool car maker again, the C-Class in proof that they can do that so is the SLK and the SL, and even how Mercedes is run, in how they have the AMG division and the within that the Black division, but the E-Class unfortunately lets the sides down. But i have seen the new 2009 model, and i can say that it seems Mercedes have realised what has been happening to this car, in fact apart from those oddball headlights i’d take back everything bad i could find about Mercedes. But it does look good, its sleek, sporty body, its bang on rear end. It maybe just maybe has become once again a car for someone who loves the pleasure of driving, and the gift of style in doing that. Just maybe Mercedes have been able to do this.
So I’ve been thinking, thinking about luxury saloons, which i know sounds weird but maybe its something worth thinking about i mean is their actually a good luxury car you can buy in that €110,000-€160,000 region. So then i started looking around,
I thought, Audi A8; very nice car, has the power, has the luxurious interior, the toys, but is it interesting enough? The rear of the A8 just isn’t good looking enough, it reminds me of a rugby player’s nose, broken so many times its smudged into their face.
Mercedes S-Class; for years the S-Class has led the way in saloon luxury and innovation, and certainly in terms of innovation it again leads the way with its radar guided cruise control which seems to be the future of car safety and technology. But in my opinion it’s ugly, and boring. With a boring interior, So what about the new BMW 7 series? Well straight off its an extremely good looking car, except for the taillights, which are just a bit too extreme. The interior too is nice, not a master class but it’s i-drive is very smart and is in a way the BMW’s party piece,
so then finally i thought about the Lexus LS,for a start its a stunning looking car, a huge car, it has presence, its a filled out car. Its safety technology and computer technology is enough to send the Mercedes S-Class tumbling for its smugness. The interior too is such a nice place to be. I do accept the dash maybe lacks the presence that would match the rest of the car. But is still brilliant, and in the 460 model you get 375bhp. The only thing i do not like is the fact the car is Japanese, something which my dad (whom is in love with the LS) loves, mainly because to many people a symbol of reliability. But to some, including myself Japanese cars lack passion, build quality, and luxury. But i will however happily admit that in no way can that be said about the LS. Its truly a fantastic car, and possibly finally able to overthrow the S-Class.