2011 NAIAS: Audi A6 & A6 Hybrid

Photos by Zerin Dube

Audi showed off its all new A6 at the 2011 NAIAS stating that it has the potential to become one of the most successful business sedans in history.  Shown in two different flavors, hybrid and TFSI, the A6 was a definite hit with the media as they crawled all over the cars for two full days.  Though no real information was given about what powertrains North America will see, we guess that the 3.0T from the current A6 and S4 will be at least one of the options.  A twin-turbo 4.0 V8 might be in the works down the road, but we really hope that Audi decides to offer the A6 with a diesel option here in the States.

Our verdict?  The initial press photos of the A6 left us bored, however seeing it in the flesh is a completely different story.  The new Audi A6 is one of the hottest sedans in any segment that we’ve seen.

Full gallery after the jump.

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2011 NAIAS – Hyundai Veloster Reveal Gallery

Photos by Zerin Dube

Hyundai pulled the wraps off the new 3-door hatchback Veloster.  The Veloster is powered by a 1.6-liter GDI Gamma engine which produces 138 horsepower and is estimated to get up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway.  Weighing in at only 2,584 pounds, the Veloster is meant to be a sporty vehicle that delivers utility with a fun driving experience without stepping on the toes of the more performance oriented Genesis coupe.

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Lord Byron — NAIAS 2010. What’s it to ya?

*Logo Courtesy of NAIAS

“So you’re a journalist?” The question snaps me out of my hung-over trance. The landscape around Detroit Metro Airport isn’t terribly fascinating, but even the bleakest horizon is a welcome anchor for my primary senses while the parking shuttle trundles along as only domestic passenger vans are want to do.

I didn’t catch his name; my inquisitive chauffeur offered me a lift across DTW to the North terminal after passing me half a dozen times as I waited for the terminal-to-terminal shuttle-a brotherly gesture punctuating an otherwise inhospitable morning.

I don’t answer immediately. I prefer not to introduce myself as such, but I put the brakes on that particular train of thought before it blows a whistle that will further stoke the three-alarm Jack-and-Captain number that is still beating my nerve endings like bongo drums. Too deep. Too early.

“Nah, I’m a blogger,” I finally deliver in my most refined turn-that-freaking-sun-off-so-we-can-all-go-back-to-bed grunt. “I write for a Web site.”

“A blogger?” he responds as he pulls the shuttle into its stall and hops out to retrieve my bag. “What’s the difference?”

I hand him a fiver I’d plucked from my back pocket on my way to meet him behind the van.

“Journalists don’t tip. Thanks for the lift; I appreciate it.”

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Lord Byron — Pontiac (Was) Car.

Here to Stay

By Byron Hurd

GM’s press conference on Sunday was not the most depressing of the day’s events (See: Chrysler), but it certainly wasn’t the most inspiring either. Wagoner’s communications team set him up with a healthy four hundred words that had nothing to do with GM’s financial trouble. Now that’s a solid corporate communications strategy when everything is business as usual, but when you’ve just been floated a loan by some 300 million of your peers, a little humility may be in order. (See: Chrysler — sensing a pattern?). But while ChryCo’s conference may have been the most depressing of the bunch, it was the non-event that was Pontiac’s presence at NAIAS that depressed, disturbed, and frankly offended me as both an enthusiast and as “member” of the press. If you’ve ever shown up to a party where you’re surrounded by dozens of people who were your friends just days before and suddenly don’t want to talk to you, look at you, acknowledge you, or even share the same hundred-square foot area of their apartment, then you know what it’s like to be Pontiac. You don’t know what you did (or didn’t do), but suddenly you’re the fattest, pinkest, most foul-smelling elephant ever to be under the table.

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Avoidable Contact #21: Oppose the “bailout”? You’re a moron.

Click for Larger Image

Photography by Dave Everest

SMACK! My right fist banged off the arm of my pumpkin-colored Natuzzi recliner as the swelling bloodthirsty tide of righteous f***ing indignation crested in my feverishly twisting heart. I almost spilled my coffee over the Natuzzi leather. What a disaster that would have been! In the space of a moment I?d redone all the tendon and ligament damage so patiently healed over the course of the past month, an injury suffered in a last-ditch but ultimately successful attempt to keep my completely sideways Neon race car off the man-killing concrete wall in Putnam Park?s final turn by dialing in steering corrections faster than my hands could accomplish without literally ripping the sinew from the bone. The pure adrenaline which had then twisted the wheel into a blur of spokes now bulged my eyes from their sockets. I was going to find this guy and beat him until he couldn?t stand. I would pull him up by his neck, flick out my titanium-gold-nitrided Kershaw assisted-opening knife, and cut his eyeballs out, one at a time, taking care to pop each optic nerve off with a delicate finishing flourish. And then I?d really get angry. Death would be too good for this guy.

It was a single typed sentence that gave spur to my murderous rage. A single sentence that neatly encapsulates the sullen stupidity at the heart of so many so-called ?automotive enthusiasts?. A single sentence that any thinking man would be ashamed to utter. It was, paraphrased a bit to protect the guilty:

lol american cars suck the last one im glad the last one i ever drove was a 1980 buick skylark that totally sucked

Putting aside the bloody infernal cheek of insulting the premium X-body compact, the friendly-looking, velour-lined small Buick known in contemporary advertising as ?The little limousine?, can you see why I was angry enough to contemplate booking a last-minute flight to California (of course that kind of idiocy finds its expression in California) for the sole purpose of committing a bit of the old ultra-violence? This drooling moron wants the ?Big Three? to sink into the abyss of history? because he didn?t like the 1980 Skylark? He?s deriving his perspective on perhaps the most dangerous moment in the entire history of the American middle class from a drive in a twenty-eight-year-old car? It?s too ridiculous to seriously contemplate ? except for the fact that, judging by what I?ve seen and read of the Detroit ?bailout? hearings, the elected officials of our government aren?t much smarter than Mr. Skylark.

It?s time to cut the crap, and that?s why this will be the shortest Avoidable Contact you?ll ever read. The ?bailout? must happen. Without it, we?re all going to suffer serious consequences, and by ?we? I mean you, me, the guy down the street, Mr. Skylark, and everybody who has ever spent more than five minutes of their life away from ?World of Warcraft?. I don?t care if you love American cars or despise them; without the bailout, you?re in trouble, pal. You can take my word for it, or you can keep reading to find out why even the most testosterone-challenged, America-hating, hemp-wearing, Prius-pedaling tree-hugger needs Detroit to keep cranking out the American Iron.

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