Saturday, April 26, 2008

2008 Perth Motor Show

Last night I went on up to the 2008 Perth Motor Show to have a look at the current, and possibly future, offerings from a good portion of manufacturers. A couple of notable absences of official stands in BMW and Mercedes Benz, but they were represented outside in the foyer. Seems odd, that in a state where there are a shitload of cashed up folk, and more moving here, that the two main prestige brands don't officially show their wares at the only real car show we have.

Now onto the cars:

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Fiat 500

I was looking forward to seeing this little car, as it has received tons of praise from Europe. I wasn't disappointed, the retro-modern look works really well and the quality seems quite high too. I am sure these will be a good seller when they finally go on sale in a few months time. Can't wait to see, and drive, the Abarth version.

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Alfa Romeo Brera

I had heard a fair bit about this car, Top Gear's James May was enamoured with it and lots of other folk have raved how good they look, and I would have to say this is one of the best looking cars I have ever seen. Sure, it may be an Alfa and spend a fair bit of time in the shop, but it is god-damn near perfect in its execution. And then I saw this...

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Alfa Romeo Spider

The old Spider was a bit of an odd design and very much a product of Alfa during hard times. But now that Alfa has regained some marketshare and profitability, they are starting to take chances with their design and this new Spider is a winner. The great proportions of the Brera, but without a roof. It doesn't need to be fast or a good handler, it has pose appeal by the bucketload. And it will be priced high enough that hairdresser's won't be able to afford it.

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Proton Satria RRR

Proton seem to be moving ahead quite slowly but their feature car was a big let down. A company that has Lotus as one of its subsidiaries is still putting out a car based on old Mitsubishi Mirage. The Satria looks about 15 years old and the addition of stickers (some in reverse), wheels and exhaust does not make it a performance car. Proton, get your Malaysian minds back to the drawing board and make an Turbo AWD Gen 2. You might actually rate a real mention then.

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Proton Jumbuck

Currently the most affordable ute on the market in Australia. The car isn't the focus here though, it is the free ATV they are giving away with every Jumbuck sold. Have a good look at the pic of the ATV and tell me how the hell you remove the ATV from the tray without taking the barwork off or deflating the tyres...

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Nissan GT-R

I think this car would be one of the reasons why I decided to go to the motor show. And I think it was the same for many other attendees at the motor show. I have seen, read and watched so much media about this car and I really wanted to see it in the flesh. Some people reckon it is ugly, I don't. Ugly is where a designer tries to make something look good and fails miserably, the GT-R is a case where the designer had a function to perform and designed it to meet that function, and they succeeded. Stunning car. I just want to drive one...

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Skoda Genuine Accessories

Not a car really, but from a car manufacturer. The Skoda bikes (road and mtb) that they had strapped to an Octavia were really impressive. Carbon fibre with Shimano XT gear, they were nice. Didn't see a price tag though.

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Volkswagen Passat R36 Estate

The Passat is a nice car, pretty much a cut price Audi, but throw in a big V6 and the quattro system and you have a winner. Pity about the stupid stickers on the side though. This car should be a sleeper and with a 0-100 time of only 5.8 seconds, you can scare some bogans whenever you feel like it without worrying about a cop pulling you over whenever you are out for a drive.

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Ford G6E

The new FG Falcon is a very anticipated car, if it fails then the future of the Falcon, and manufacturing in Australia, is not going to be good. But I think they are on a winner here. The mods they have made from the BF Falcon have been executed quite well, especially the rear door openings (as shown above), you can actually get into the back seat without banging CRW_6724your head now. The G6E, in particular, is one very nice looking car, it certainly carries the new Ford design language that can be seen on the new Mondeo very well. I'll let you play spot the difference with the Mondeo :)

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Honda Civic Hybrid

The Civic Hybrid has not been doing well in competition with the Toyota Prius and from the car that Honda had on hand, I think they believe it is due to the Civic Hybrid not looking different enough to the normal Civic range. Their solution, let's paint the thing to make it stand out as a green car. Excuse me Honda, pardon me for saying, but it still looks boring.

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Subaru Impreza WRX STi

I'm sure you have all seen the latest STi and it does look good. Much better than the plain Jane WRX. Amazing what a set of pumped guards, suspension and bumpers can do. But the tail lights still look really shithouse. C'mon Subaru, we all know you can do better. These lights look like something you might find at Super Cheap Auto with a made in China badge attached to it.

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Audi A4

It has taken a few years but it seems that Audi is starting to find its feet with the whole front end as a grille design theme they have been going for. The new A4 is starting to look good. The previous model is really woeful. There are better executions of this theme and that can be found on the...

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Audi R8

Now this is a good looking car. I really don't know why Audi didn't put this car at the front of their display, instead they hid it behind an A4 and Q7. This car is stunning, the proportions are just right and the engine is proudly on display under the rear window. The LED running lights look really cool too.

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Peugeot 207

What the hell were the stupid French bastards thinking? Last year I had a whinge about the trend of creating oversized head lights, now Peugeot in an effort to be different has decided to make their tail lights as big as possible. Damn, they look bad.

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Kia

Can you hear the crickets? Kia didn't really choose their position or the cars they had on display very well. It was the only stand where there was not one person looking at the cars. Easy night for the sales reps.

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Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer

The new Lancer looks pretty good, but as a competitor for the WRX, I dunno if Mitsubishi has the goods. Sure it may have a detuned Evo motor and a cool suspension and AWD package, it is still a Mitsubishi and carries all the quality issues they have. The Impreza may look bland, but the WRX would be a better buy.

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Mitsubishi Panther Series

Mitsubishi had five cars done up in their Panther Edition getup as the centrepiece to their stand. All black with grey decals and big chrome rims. No other mods done, but oddly enough they seemed to be getting a lot of attention. I don't get it.

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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

The latest in the long line of Evo Lancers. Looks good but looks cheap. Prolly goes like hell too. I won't judge until I drive one.

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Holden Commodore Sportswagon

I have never been a big fan of the VE Commodore, it just seemed like it was trying to be something bogans aspire to. But what the Holden folks have done by putting a glasshouse on the back of the sedan is pretty damn cool. Definitely given the car a more Euro Estate look, rather than the kid hauler the the Falcon wagon is. The amount of space it gives is huge (not as big as the old one) and the excellent hinge setup requires minimal space at the rear to open. NB: Have a close look at the fit and finish in the interior.

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Holden Coupe 60

As a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Holden (and to try and take attention away from the FG Falcon), the bods at Holden have rolled out a really cool looking Commodore Coupe (don't call it a Monaro). Based on the new Camaro platform, it wouldn't be too hard for Holden to produce this. But the official stance is that this will never reach production, all effort is going to the Camaro at present. My bet is that because the Camaro has taken so long to reach the market, the Camaro will fail and this Coupe will be produced to try and recover the money dropped into the development of the Zeta platform.

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BRP Can-Am

A weird hybrid between a Lotus Seven and a motorbike, this thing is pretty cool. I dunno what it feel like to ride this, especially when attacking a nice set of twisty curves, but you have to give points for the effort.

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KTM 1190 RC8

This KTMs new bike, a very nice looking bike, and their aim is to compete at the top in the World Superbike Championship. 1190 cc and only a twin cylinder, this thing is bound to sound great (not nearly as good as a Ducati though) :)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clearly you never test drive the satria R3, by the way, its Satria NEO R3, not old satria, the chassis are way different than some stupid japs design. It is not the same like Mirage. You won't know until you test drove it.

Craig said...

Going by your broken English, you are either Malaysian or lower on the education ladder.

The Satria Neo chassis is the platform that underpins the Gen-2 (the Waja uses a modified version). Did you know that the Gen-2 and Waja chassis' are based on the same platform that underpinned the first gen Volvo S40 (1995-2004) and Mitsubishi Carisma (1995-2004)? Although I got the model wrong (I'll admit that), the chassis is still based off a design that is nearly a decade and a half old.

I have driven a few Protons, even the Lotus improved ones, and they aren't that great. For the money they are good, but in competition with real competitors (not price competitors), they are passable. Nothing to write home about.

I did say that Proton are getting better, but you had a go at me for my opinion and it is my opinion, now fuck off and start driving some real cars.

Anonymous said...

Like i said, my point is, the chassis are not the same as mirage, like what you pointed in your blog. What you explained earlier are more about Gen 2 and Waja, its not about Neo. I respect your opinion, im giving mine, you as a blogger should accept it. How long have you been blogging anyway?

Power is nothing without control. You might drive a real cars but you ain't a real driver.

Anonymous said...

Correct!!!!You ain't a real driver.You are only the most pathetic proton basher!!!!!!!!

~Satria Neo Lover!!!!!!!

Craig said...

Your reading and/or comprehension skills are pretty bad if you didn't understand what I said.

You said:
"the chassis are not the same as mirage, like what you pointed in your blog. What you explained earlier are more about Gen 2 and Waja, its not about Neo."

I said:
"The Satria Neo chassis is the platform that underpins the Gen-2 (the Waja uses a modified version). Did you know that the Gen-2 and Waja chassis' are based on the same platform that underpinned the first gen Volvo S40 (1995-2004) and Mitsubishi Carisma (1995-2004)? Although I got the model wrong (I'll admit that), the chassis is still based off a design that is nearly a decade and a half old."

The Gen-2, Waja and Satria Neo share their platform and it is based off a platform that is nearly 15 years old. I got the model wrong (not a Mirage and I did correct myself) but it still is an old Mitsubishi.

How the hell do you know if I am a real driver? I made no comment about your driving skill, just your taste in cars. I don't know anything your level of driving skill, so saying that you are an understeering fool would be plain wrong. Although, I am sorry if you are an understeering fool.

I can't believe people get so offended when their favourite brand of car is not thought of as great by everyone. I think Proton make some decent cars, they just need to get a bit better to compete on the world stage properly.

Anonymous said...

LOL at fanboyism. Thanks for the laughs, Dude!

Craig said...

No worries.

I absolutely hate fanboyism, whether it be PS3 vs XBox 360, Ford vs Holden or PC vs Mac.

If you can't accept that something isn't perfect and can't take someone criticising the object, don't come whinging to me about it.

Anonymous said...

well, u shud understand boy...you mentioned bout turbo AWD...what the hell are you thinking???

and everyone knows that Proton is making improvements...so why do you go straight to Turbo-typed cars???

Do you know what Honda made before they started manufacturing cars???they manufactured swords...

Subaru???They made Heli engines and failed...so, do you think it's good to jump onto what you can't really make and achieve and then, fail???

do you wipe your ass before you shit???

I'm a Neo user and I found nothing wrong with the performance, looks and quality...

Craig said...

Your history knowledge is about as good as your taste in cars, pretty poor.

Soichiro Honda came up with his own design for piston rings which he sold to Toyota before WWII. When all the piston ring manufacturing facilities were almost completely destroyed in WWI, Soichiro started attaching petrol engines to bicycles which grew in scooters and motorcycles. Soichiro Honda never made swords, the closest he got was sharpening blades on his grandfather's plough.

Subaru made more than just heli engines, before WWII the company that became Fuji Heavy Industries was the first manufacturer of aircraft in Japan. After Japan's defeat in WWII, FHI's manufacturing changed to scooters and cars.

Now time for some DId You Know for you:
- Did you know that Proton's market share in Malaysian dropped 55% in 2006 alone?
- Did you know that in 2007 Proton incurred losses of $170 million?
- Did you know that the Malaysian government unfairly penalises non-Malaysian carmakers with taxes of 150% on imported cars and car parts (Proton and Perodua are exempt)?
- Did you know that because of the protections given by the Malaysian government, Proton has been able to produce and sell outdated designs and show little regard to providing basic safety equipment (airbags, ABS, etc).

I suppose I should lower my expectations of Proton, they have been living under a protectionist government for so long they don't know how to innovate and expand. I went looking around the place and from what I found, I wouldn't be surprised if Proton go bust in the next 5 years. I just hope that someone will buy Lotus before Proton's management destroys it. We all know what they did to MV Augusta.

No, I don't wipe my arse before I shit (is that a backwards Malaysian thing?), but do you actually put any thought into what you type? I don't think you do.

James said...

Many years ago I visited Malaysia and was picked up by a taxi driver in a Proton Waja... asked why I'd come to Malaysia I said I was going to race a Proton.

The driver thought for a few minutes in silence before looking thoughtfully in the rearview and saying "I think you'll beat it"...

Granted that was a few years ago - but Proton make rubbish cars - or at least that's what they send to the rest of the world.

You talk about the history of these other car manufacturers as though it is a bad thing. Proton was created from nothing but a pile of Mitsubishi castoffs by the Malaysian government hoping to replicate the manufacturing successes of Japan (about 40 years too late). There is no history, heritage or tradition. The company started making knockoffs and despite "designing" their own cars they're still essentially very poor rivals to last generation Hyundais.

If I were you anonymous I'd stop dribbling shit about how good Proton is and how great their cars are. If I want to buy a poorly manufactured tin can I'll buy a 1988 Hyundai Excel not a 2008 Proton.

Anonymous said...

and i wonder, what type of car did aussie ever produced. Hurmm...Satria Neo is bad but yet, they used it as safety car in their track...

Anonymous said...

u better live in perth and never come back to malaysia.that's what you should do.malaysia doesn't need any traitor like you.

and FYI:
since you mentioned about Honda, do you ever think why there's so few stock turbo Honda cars manufactured?

turbo is just for pussies like you.you are just like a person waiting for his death to come with the help of an oxygen tank...

you are just only looking on strong car manufacturers.and well, even Ford used to be the biggest car manufacturer.and now?who?Toyota.

you must lean something from this world that even a crippled person can still stand with their own feet with the determination to live.

you wanna be western?go to america and see how they treat asians.melbourne?you can get killed there you know???

aries67 said...

Bloody hell Craig! All this over cars huh?! I could understand if you were talking about classics like Mustangs and Chevs but this is all gobbledygook to me! Now what about the Mini? Do you think they'll ever bring out a hybrid? If they do (and the kids have their own cars so I don't need a four door anymore) I wanna get me a Mini!

I hope your readers don't start blasting my arse now! ;oP

Cheers
Gabby