Many expensive cars are simply no longer worth it

Posted on August 27th, 2006 in Opinion by Julian Edgar


It’s a truism to say that car technology is improving. What is really happening is that the level of base car technology has dramatically improved in the last five years – especially here in Australia – as the trickle-down of features previously available only on prestige cars now greets the masses. Lots of airbags, stability control, ABS, sophisticated engines – even sat navigation – were once things that you had to pay a huge amount for. But, wonderfully, not any more.

So what happens when you now step into an AUD$80,000 car? Well, the short answer is that you don’t see a helluva lot for your money. Even in Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH), the differences are now minimal between an $80K car and one that costs half that. When analysed in terms of the engine, suspension, in-cabin features, NVH, handling, safety, comfort and space, the advantages of these more expensive cars simply aren’t there any more.

And that’s a dramatic change. To be blunt, I think many manufacturers (especially the Europeans) are now trading solely on their reputations – and buyers are being blinded by the marketing bullshit. In fact, I can’t think of a car I’ve driven in the $80,000 – $100,000 category that shows huge advantages over a locally built car – like a Falcon – that costs less than half.

I can forgive you if you’re rolling your eyes and suggesting what I’ve written is rubbish. In fact, that’s exactly what I used to do when reading Australian car mags in the Seventies and Eighties that continually suggested the local cars were world class.

A biography of one of the automotive greats

Posted on August 13th, 2006 in Opinion by Julian Edgar


This one’s rare. Firstly, the number of cars that have been produced in the last fifty or so years that can be traced back to the creative efforts of one individual are uncommon indeed. (Well, successful cars, anyway!). Secondly, while there has been a handful of individuals that have achieved automotive success in this way, very few biographies have been written about them.