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  • Rob
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2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI convertible: Worst idea ever? {Autoblog Archive}

Feb 27th 2011 1:16PM There is a guy in Boston that would apparently disagree with you.

Some young guy in an red MX-5 can always be spotted with the top down. When we got slammed with snow, he put on snow tires and enjoyed having the city to himself.

Every time I see that guy out there, that car never has the top up, and is never traveling in a straight line. It is always sideways. Shine on you crazy diamond.

First Drive: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 {Autoblog Archive}

Feb 24th 2011 2:03PM I absolutely would've bought one... if Ford dealers weren't marking up the 302 between $15K and $25K.

When they start charging me about Boxster Spyder money for a Mustang, well... I'm going to instead buy a Boxster Spyder. Mostly because I only had $43K or so to plunk down right now, not $65K. Will get a 981 Spyder when they hit, probably.

Report: Roundabouts proliferating in America, drivers confused {Autoblog Archive}

Nov 28th 2010 4:58PM I live near one in Boston's Charlestown. They added stoplights to it, probably to limit confusion.

LA 2010: Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet debuts with $46,390 price tag {Autoblog Archive}

Nov 19th 2010 3:36PM Porsche Boxster.

I realize it's $47,600, but I think the 3% price increase is worth it. Just a bit.

Report: Honda Civic sales ending in Japan {Autoblog Archive}

Nov 15th 2010 4:32PM This isn't unsurprising.

As others have brought up, first, there is size inflation across all manufacturers. Compare a compact now, to a "mid-size" sedan 20 years ago, and the compact is larger than the 20-year old midsize. Civics bigger than Accords, Corollas larger than Camrys, Polos larger than Golfs. This adds weight, cost, and reduces fuel efficiency, and increases insurance cost.

Japan also produces Kei cars which aren't sold in other markets (i.e. the US). Think Scion xB styled vehicles with 600cc engines. They're buzzy, but fuel efficient, very simple, not very long (more can park in less space), cheap, and cheap to insure. Go to and notice how incredibly different the line up is. What sells? The smaller, boxy vans and MPVs with the smaller price tags.

Next, Japan has a mass transit network worth a damn. One of the better ones on the planet. In the US, mass transit isn't viable for most people that are more than 15 miles outside of a major city, certain urban areas excepted (LA, NYC, Chicago, Boston, DC) due to extended commuter rail networks. Mass transit works extraordinarily well in Japan. Living in Boston, my MX-5 is 100% luxury, and 0% necessity. Why buy a car, insure it, garage it, etc. when you can spend that money on other things? Granted, when I lived 50 miles south of Boston, in a city with 100K people, you barely had buses. You needed a car. This is not the case for much of Japan.

Finally, younger audiences have no interest in bland, less fun, boringmobiles when new gadgets and such allow them to do things that hold their captive interest. Auto manufacturers have failed Generation Y in general but not having inexpensive, fun cars -- modern versions are overweight, large, more expensive shadows of their former selves. Those just starting out aren't anywhere near their peak earning potential, and grads are taking 10-30% pay hits from 10 years ago just to land a job (and that cut will haunt them for 10-15 years as they try to catch back up to where they would've been if not for the financial crisis).

Civics not selling in Japan? I'm not surprised.

Report: Lamborghini Sesto Elemento approved for limited production {Autoblog Archive}

Nov 12th 2010 7:19PM 2200lbs?

Holy hell. You figure the next generation Miata is aiming for that, and it won't even put down 1/3rd of that power (the current NC is ~165HP with the 2.0L MZR). Not only will this be ridiculously nimble, but at nearly 520HP/ton, a rocketship. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is only 481HP/ton.

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 dealer allocation will be limited, determined by sales and lottery {Autoblog Archive}

Sep 10th 2010 7:30PM @dhammond

I mentioned specifically the Boxster Spyder, not the Boxster. The Boxster Spyder's yearly run is only 3000 vehicles/year worldwide. Only 1200/year for the US. Most US dealers are getting one car a year. One I've discussed with is getting three (they've already sold two of them). None are marking them up (some are loading them up with worthless options like the non-exclusive wheels, or removing the 911 GT3 sport buckets, to pad their margin...). Calling every Ford dealer in the eastern half of the state, all currently intend on marking the car up $15-20K. Assuming the 302 will about $40K stripped, that's 35-50%. Again, Lancer Evolution VIII MR all over again -- a $36K car getting marked up to $50-55K.

Regarding the 'stang, it is a weird consideration for me to begin with, as it's not a proper sports car (much more "sporty coupe"). I've driven the GT with a 6-speed and the 3.73. It was considerably better than expected, save for the obvious during mid-corner bumps, and some rear brake shimmy at speed. My interest is the fact that it's an oddball thing to bring to the track for Solo 1. The second point was the fact that the 302's different camshaft profile and intake really lets it wind up. Let's be honest, V8s revving to 7.5K (or higher) were more or less the exclusive realm of the Germans recently, save for very high-end Italian hardware. I like engines I can rev the nuts off of. That's actually one of the points about the Spyder, and what has always irked me on the Boxster -- the Cayman S develops peak power considerably higher than the Boxster S. The Boxster Spyder has the different cams and intake, and actually sounds proper with the optional sport exhaust (Boxsters otherwise are a bit on the quiet side).

Regarding markup from the factory... that's Evolutions and STIs in general. The reason why dealers gutted the prices on the Lancer Evolution VIII RSes they couldn't sell was because they could. They still made money getting rid of them at $6K under MSRP. Porsche is the same way -- heck, isn't it Porsche's modus operandi to not sell a car they can't make at least $10K off of?

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 dealer allocation will be limited, determined by sales and lottery {Autoblog Archive}

Sep 10th 2010 6:44PM I should add, for those that are thinking "LOL, sour grapes...", I'm not.

I think the move is incredibly short-sighted, by dealers that are looking at their situation "right now" instead of long-term.

Back when the Lancer Evolution MR first hit, I was harassing dealerships for *months* before it was official. Months. I was willing to give someone a deposit check for $15,000 for a car that was still a rumor for the US market. Then it was announced. Some dealers (east coast US) sold their allocations to SoCal dealerships in exchange for other vehicle allocations. The SoCal dealerships were marking up the cars to the price of a BMW M3.

I did finally get one. The dealership refused to take that large a deposit, as he said it was completely unnecessary. In the end, he sold me the car for $1500 under MSRP. He got exactly ONE of them. And still wanted to ensure I felt I got a deal. Why? Hoping that I'd come back if there was another product that interested me, or I would recommend his dealership to others. To quote him "You know, I could make a lot of money off you. Once. Since I'd never see you again since you'd be so bitter about getting screwed. Or I could treat you well, and either you'll come back, or you'll send other people my way, which in the end, I benefit more from treating you right in the first place."

At the time, the Ford GT was undergoing markup fever. I remember the BMW Z8 being marked up 150% by one dealership -- I'm sure the owner was livid, as the Z8 never really was a great driver's car.

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 dealer allocation will be limited, determined by sales and lottery {Autoblog Archive}

Sep 10th 2010 6:32PM Every dealer I've talked to has said they're marking up the car 40 to 50%. Except for two dealers. They're not selling them to the public -- they're keeping the car if they only get one, for themselves. Sounds like the Lancer Evolution VIII MR all over gain...

A track-day special that, odds are, will never see many tracks. Many will be locked in garages as trophies.

The dealer I bought my Miata from said he'd "only mark it up 40%" since I was a good customer. I told him for that money (I'm assuming $42K with the Recaros or $58K marked up) I'll scrounge up a few more bucks and buy a Boxster Spyder instead. I haven't seen a Porsche dealer yet that is marking those up. Disappointing. For a Mustang, I was very interested, and prepared to pay cash if necessary.

Spy Shots: BMW M5 prototype gets towed off the 'Ring {Autoblog Archive}

Sep 3rd 2010 12:10PM BMW should try to set a record with that X5 towing the M5. Well, at the very least they'd establish it, since I don't think there's any tow records on the 'Ring.