Friday, March 25, 2005

New York, NY

My home town, the one and only NYC, is making anyone who is a fan of missing motors very proud. The New York Autoshow, which opened to the press this last Wednesday, included some very interesting introductions that have an exceedingly international flavor. Nissan, for example, showed off the Nissan Sport Concept, who's design was oozing with French influence. Think of it as a Scion-ed Renault M├ęgane. A nice option for any Yankee who happened to fall in love with a Renault 5 Gt turbo as a child. Like yours truly ... go le car, go.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Marcos: a muscle car looking for a fight

The days of American muscle cars are long gone, but maybe the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 should look across the Atlantic for a fight. Marcos, the small independent British manufacturer, keeps proving that America is not the only nation that can build old school muscle cars. The company recently headed down under to unveil their new TSO GT coupe at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide motor race. The beautifully sculpted two-seater GT features the 5.7-liter V8 engine from the last-generation Corvette and Pontiac GTO. While the Marcos certainly has an air of British distinction and style, deep down it is all muscle. By introducing the TSO GT in Australia, Marcos is clearly setting its sights on one of the last great automotive markets in the world, and looking to out power and out drive the likes of the Morano and Falcons. Tuned for 400 bhp, the TSO accelerates 0-60 mph in just over four seconds, and to 100 mph in just over nine seconds. Top speed is estimated to be over 185 mph. Or simply wow. Now where is Don King when we need him? I predict a pay per view special in the works.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Did you say Malaysia?

That's right. Malaysia. The car that is slated to put Malaysia among the elite league of nations that produce super cars is called the ESNA Venere. And, if I do say so myself, this car has the look and drive to do just that. It's 3 litres, tips the scales at 1080kg, and it's projected speed is 300km/hour. It's likely cost will be around $150k to $200k. Is the Aston Martin/Ferrari buying market ready to spend that much on a Malaysian sports car? We'll first have to wait and see how it measures up when it's put to the test in the Le Mans 24-hour endurance test. Come back and find out.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Just when "retro" was seeming popular . . .

Perhaps this is the final nail in the retro coffin, and all I have to say about that is - good riddance. With Ford pulling the plug on the Thunderbird, and Beatle sales falling fast, VW has decided not to bring its new micro bus to the U.S. VW must have checked the numbers and figured out that Americans are in no mood to be reminded of yesteryear. The original VW Bus was a classic symbol of 1960's America, but the new one will be a Euro only affair. I stand with my fellow Americans in looking forward to the day when we never have to stand the sight of another car that reminds us of just how old we truly are.