Though the near-luxury front-wheel drive convertible market has shrunk to the point endangered status, GM nevertheless saw an opportunity to bring its Euro-market Opel ragtop stateside for a little fun in the sun. Convenient, then, that our week with the car in sunny Florida provided plenty of opportunity for open-air motoring.
Category - Speed:Sport:Life Original Content
GM shook up the dwindling midsize pickup field last year when it introduced the “rest of world” Canyon and Colorado twins to the US market. Sales have been strong ever since, due in some part to a good marketing campaign as well as an apparent thirst for an American alternative to the stalwart Tacoma. To keep things interesting, GM announced shortly after the trucks’ introduction that a diesel option would be forthcoming, and after a bit of a wait, it’s finally in showrooms. After driving both of the General’s small trucks in V6 form last year, I came away impressed – the question becomes, has the addition of a four-cylinder diesel done anything to change that?
Despite their seemingly unobtainable status, full-size luxury sedans playing at the pointiest end of the socioeconomic scale occupy highly contested ground. It’s a different playing field than say, that of the affordable midsize sedan, because there are truly no losers in this group. Even the Lexus LS460, arguably the sedan with the grayest temples in this rarefied group, still impresses with its stoic competence. But competence alone isn’t enough to woo the biggest sharks in the pool to plunk down their hard-earned corporate bonuses. It takes something more, something that trades on over-the-top opulence….and the new 7-series pictured here has that in spades.
As the most capable member of an already plenty capable lineup, the Rubicon Hard Rock represents the ultimate in factory Jeep bro-ness: steel bumpers, rock rails, red tow hooks and knobby mud terrain tires finish the job that many hardcore off-roaders have to take on themselves in the aftermarket. I’ve never been much of a Wrangler guy – it’s a Jeep thing, after all, and I’ve never understood – but if there’s one out there that could potentially steal my heart, this Rubicon should be it, right?
The two cars facing you on this page probably aren’t what you would describe as natural competitors. An Audi versus a Chevy? C’mon. Take a gander at their spec sheets, however, and you might be forced to change your mind – because these two line up almost identically not only in mechanical makeup, but sticker price as well. And the domestic more than holds its own against its trendier German competition.