My new car – factory supercharged and DOHC!

Posted on July 18th, 2004 in Opinion by Julian Edgar

Australiais becoming bizarre. Yep, ‘bizarre’. The other day I bought a car – it’s a good condition 1988 model, with an immaculate interior and a very good body. It’s six-cylinder, rear-wheel drive, DOHC and supercharged.

Yes, factory supercharged.

Oh, and it’s also got climate control, electric everything and brilliant NVH suppression.

OK, currently it isn’t perfect. One of the internal climate control actuators makes a ‘click, click’ noise when that function is selected, all the hubcaps are missing, and also not present are two external trims – one on the top of the door and another on the lower panel of (another) door. But these are minor things, able to either be relatively easily fixed, sourced or ignored.

You want to know the price I paid for the car? Two thousand, two hundred Australian dollars. Yep, AUD$2,200.

Haven’t driven an expensive car? You’re probably not missing as much as you’d expect…

Posted on July 4th, 2004 in Opinion by Julian Edgar

Perhaps for many of you this it is the most esoteric of hair-splitting, but after spending a week in the AUD$207,000 Audi A8 4.2, I can say that the advantages of forking-out $200,000 on a car – as opposed to AUD$100,000 or even $150,000 – aren’t really there. Well, not if the Audi is indicative of the category, anyway.

AutoSpeed contributor Michael Knowling put it best: the Audi A8 4.2 is a $100,000 car with another $100,000 of gadgets installed in it. That’s not to say that the gadgets are unimpressive – with brilliant sound, cruise control and navigation systems, they’re actually very good indeed.

But the Audi as a car simply isn’t good enough for the money.

Some of you won’t believe me, but let me try to put it into some kind of context.

Whatever the figures say, a 5.7-litre Holden Caprice has far more effortless performance. (Oftentimes – and especially in hot weather – the 4.2-litre, 246kW A8 feels rather gutless.) The Audi has lotsa cams and a six-speed sequential shift auto with steering wheel paddles – but it all amounts to ‘so what?’ when you put your foot down and not much happens.