Category - Avoidable Contact

A weekly opinion column by Dubspeed Driven staffer Jack Baruth

Dubspeed Driven Review – 2008 Ford Focus – Looking for Ford’s Silver Lining


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Story and Photos by Jack Baruth

It’s a shame P.T. Barnum didn’t live to see the release of the ’08 Focus. The man who coined the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” might be surprised to see just how bad that publicity can be. From the moment Ford lifted the sheet at the 2007 Detroit Show, the race has been on between the media and the bloggers to concoct the most demeaning dismissal possible. The buzz spread through every car-related forum on the Internet: Ford screwed up! They could have had the Euro Focus – the charming-looking, if a trifle bland, “C1” model that is the basis for the Mazda3 and Volvo S40/S30 here in the United States – but they didn’t take it! Instead, they facelifted the old one! And it’s a disaster! Disaster! That was the very word they used, as if Ford had ground troops stranded in Somalia, instead of a rather homely-looking little car rotating on a blue-lit platform. Disaster!

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Dubspeed Driven Review – Audi RS4 – Audi’s speedboat: emotional, costly, and rarer than an R8


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Story and Photos by Jack Baruth

Eighty-two thousand dollars. Three hundred cars to be available. No reasonable discussion of the Audi’s new-to-these-shores RS4 Cabriolet is going to be possible without first addressing those rather shocking numbers, so we might as well take care of it right away. The droptop RS4 is going to be a very rare car. Not rare in the Acura RL sense, which is merely another way of saying “unwanted”, but rare in the deliberately-limited-production sense. It will be rarer in the United States than any number of well-known supercars, from the Ferrari 430 to Audi’s own R8. A discreet inquiry to our hometown Audi dealership indicated that there was simply no chance of acquiring one; the allocation had been sold long before the first car was built. Audi’s decision to import this car in these quantities amounts less to a serious assault on the upmarket-convertible segment and more to a friendly tip of the cap to the most fervent members of the marque’s wealthier cognoscenti.

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Dubspeed Driven Quick Look – Bentley Continental GT Speed – Ice Sculptures and eye candy help to pimp a very polished Phaeton


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Story and Photos by Jack Baruth

Call us unfortunate; we missed the official press introduction of Bentley’s not-entirely-new-for-2008 Continental GT Speed. In doing so, we threw away a chance to drive the car around Spain at the kind of astonishing velocities the Spanish police are reportedly happy to permit. Perhaps we missed a bit more besides, judging from the suspiciously dreamy reviews given the car by The Press As A Whole. There may have been wine, and cigars, and even Bentley-branded vinyl windbreakers. A lack of complimentary windbreakers (in the sense that they were free, not in the sense that they would, in any way, flatter the wearer’s appearance) would not stop us from obtaining this vital story for Dubspeed Driven readers, however. We’d simply pose as Bentley customers and attend one of the customer preview events held across the country, perhaps sneaking in a quick test drive in the process. And so it was that, after driving onto the grounds of a small Ohio airport, showing our credentials, and walking into the private jet hangar rented for the occasion, we came face-to-face with The Ice Sculpture. This massive item of hilariously poor taste had been carefully fashioned into a winged “B”, all the better to shock, we suppose. For what seemed like minutes, we stood and started at it in disbelief.

“It’s an ice sculpture,” said a helpful Bentley salesperson.

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