April 27, 2011

$199,000

So I was sitting in a car worth $199,000 tonight.  Something came up and I wasn't able to get a pic snapped (No, it was not the owner yelling at me to get away from his car.), but I will give it another shot soon.  The car was a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which has a 6.3L V8 and iconic gull-wing doors.  This car is definitely on the Wish List!
It is even more gorgeous in person!

April 26, 2011

Audi S4

So after our Camaro drive we swung past the Audi dealership.  They happened to have a 2008 S4 on the lot for only $45,000 and change.  We, at Every Man’s, are basically kids at heart, so we just had to see for ourselves.

“Holy Crap,” is the most family-friendly version of what was said inside the S4.  The Camaro was fun to drive, but the S4 was out of this world.  I purposely tried to force the S4 into a tire squealing turn again and again (within the legal limits), and couldn’t hear a peep from the tires.  With 18,000 miles on it, the S4 was a total dream.

Exterior:
audiautoz.info

                The S4 looks like a true sports car and the rumble of the 4.2L V8 is a German Symphony (Flight of the Valkyries should come preinstalled).  While the Camaro sounded gruff and angry, the S4 sounded like a precision tuned machine designed for lightning quick havoc!  The curves are aesthetically pleasing and modern still at 4 years old.  This car is very much a testament to “less is more.”


Interior:
2008 Audi S4 Interior View
motortrend.com
                Where the Camaro lacked visibility, the Audi was open and airy.  I never hit my head on the roof and drove over the culprits that caused the nuisance in the Camaro and hit nothing.  The S4 was roomy in the front, while there are very few humans capable of sitting comfortably behind me.  The blind spot catastrophe of the Camaro was a non-issue in the S4.  One great feature is the sunroof control.  Just like in Volkswagens, the sunroof is controlled with a turn dial.  If you only want the roof to open halfway, turn the knob halfway and it responds accordingly.  No longer are you sitting in the vehicle waiting for the roof to close. Turn the knob and walk away.  Just a small feature, but one that I loved.  I know, I’m quirky…

Performance:
                The 340hp 4.2L V8 hurls the chassis around any corner.  In a straight line, my heart leapt into my throat, I was that shocked with its speed.  The clutch and transmission were smooth.  The 0-60 test completely surprised us. The time is listed from Audi at 5.3 seconds, but it felt so much faster than that.  The pure acceleration was thrill inducing and almost caused me to wet myself.  Sixth gear still held power to accelerate and pass on the highway whenever I wanted and downshifting to fifth was a blast to shoot passed the slow lane.  The Audi gets 13city/20hwy, but it was so much fun to drive. 

Summary:  
                If you ever get a chance to drive a 6-speed manual S4, DO IT!!!  It is by far one of the greatest cars that I have ever driven.  Every corner caused another squeal of glee to escape.  If this feels like a short review, it’s probably because we gave up writing to go drive the S4 some more!  I actually talked to myself in the car just like Jeremy of BBC’s Top Gear.  To the S4!  Wheeeeee! 



Thank you, Molle Audi!


We also drove a 2011 S4 with Double Clutch paddle shifters and a turbo charged V6.  We were underwhelmed with the paddle shifters and the delay in the auto transmission.  We have been assured that we were just driving it wrong and are going to be given another shot in a 2010 S5 cabriolet, also with paddle shifters.  We promise, you will be the first to know if it’s us or the floppy paddle shifters that are flawed.

April 25, 2011

Wish List

Since the likelyhood of us driving a Porsche Panamera is almost nil, we post this to the Wish List of cars we hope to drive.  It isn't much to look at, but everything we've come across says they are a dream to drive and fast!
Seriously, if this is your's, let us know!

April 22, 2011

Camaro SS

In college, my roommate had a Camaro. How I yearned for that car… I would try to find new excuses for each errand to drive his muscle machine, such was the thrill of feeling your eyeballs shoved out the back of your skull.  The heart-wrecking moment of flooring it is still a vivid impression.
The Camaro first appeared in 1967 as GM’s attempt to cut into the Mustang market and continued in production until 2002.  In ’67 the SS model had a 295 horsepower V8. Today’s re-introduced SS trim package barely contains a 400HP 6.2L V8. 
Transformer's Camaro

The new Camaro made a splash immediately, starring in major motion pictures.  We absolutely loved the new look and couldn’t wait to get our hands on the real thing!
Exterior:
                It’s gorgeous!  20in. wheels, gun-metal gray accents.  If looks could kill, the Camaro would be a terminator!  The old school lines mixed with modern car production make the Camaro stand out in most North American parking lots.
                There are 10 different paint colors and 5 different wheel types available.  It may not have the most options, but it will look tough.


The auxillary instrument cluster with engine temp., oil pressure, etc. are located down behind the gear shift.


Interior:
When turned over, the V8 literally shakes the interior.  The V8 in the Yukon XL Denali gurgles and purrs, but doesn’t come close to the tremors of the Camaro.  Seismographs nearby have been known to register Camaro ignitions (total hyperbole).  All 400 horses can be heard inside the cabin. 
                At 6’4”, I’m not the tallest guy, but I’m not medium height either.  The headroom is lacking.  Even with the sunroof open, dips in the road caused a reminder to slow down.  Eventually I had a self-induced headache.  The Camaro has an adjustable tilt steering wheel, but it doesn’t telescope.  I would have reclined the seat more to lower my head, but then I would have had to move the seat forward and cramped my legs to still be able to reach the wheel.  In the spirit of proving the Camaro to be a sports car, I leaned towards be uncomfortable and driving fast vs. comfort.
                There is a cluster of auxiliary gauges located between the driver and passengers seats near the console.  Checking these gauges while driving at speed is ill-advised since you wouldn’t see the Prius that you are running up the back of until it’s too late.  The lock/unlock button is also located on the dash under the radio.  It took some getting used to, but isn’t that big of an adjustment. 
                The instruments in general are perplexing.  There are two analog gauges behind the wheel: a speedometer and a tachometer.  Then between the two is your information center, which displays your digital speed again.  The auto industry has been under immense pressure, but the design of the instrument suite feels like the engineer who turned in the most modern design that was the cheapest was selected for production.  The saving grace of the interior is a Heads Up Display (HUD).  It adds a cool factor of 500!  As I accelerated, the HUD seemed to move farther away.  Only drawback is that between the HUD, digital, and analog speedometers, you are viewing 3 different speedos on one dash.  Seems like a waste…

Performance:
                The gear shift was functional but unexciting on the 6-speed manual.  The clutch was soft and difficult to get the timing and the revs to match.  This is not a car that just anyone can hop in and immediately drive well.  Maybe that’s why of the 17 Camaros in stock, there were only two manuals.  GM has started to try and shake the muscle car moniker and build a true sports car.  They missed.  The SS is still a massive muscle car and quick in a straight line. 
                In our 0-60 tests, our shifts slowed us down.  5 seconds is the number generally regarded as the SS’s 0-60 time (Edmunds.com).  It’s fast, but just doesn’t feel earth shattering.  The SS fails to awaken the racer within.  Basically it goes really fast in a straight line.
                At cruising speed, 6th gear felt superfluous.    The tachometer at 70mph was just above 2,500rpm’s.  Basically 6th gear is just there to improve fuel economy, but isn’t really going to improve the performance of the vehicle.
                On the highway, the blind spots on the rear quarter panels are absolutely huge.  The sales rep’s reaction to this discovery was, “You can out-accelerate anything that might be there, anyway.”  In a car that advertises it’s sportiness and legs, to make any aggressive moves in this car at speed is taking your life in your own hands.  The visibility out the rear glass was minimal as well.  It’s a car where whatever is behind you shouldn’t be a worry, but standard highway driving with multiple lane changes gets dicey quick.
                With an 18.8 gallon fuel tank, the Camaro averages 16 miles in the city and 24 on the highway.

Summary:
All in all, the Camaro is still extremely quick in a straight line.  Blind spots are more like blind sections of the car.  For being a realistic two-seater (Even though it has 4 seat belts), it was uncomfortable with just me inside.  It doesn’t quite live up to the sports car reputation, though it definitely is a member of muscle car royalty!

From Deviant Art by cuba985