Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X

Well, well, well, if it isn't Mitsubishi, the company that brought us such hits like the Outlander, Galant, and Eclipse (which by the way is totally a chick car...typically a hot chick's car.) Back in the day, Mitsubishi used to be the shit, but more recently here in the US they are on a bit of hard times. With that being said, enter the Lancer.That front end is aggressive. Aggressive is badass. Thus, the Lancer's front end, is badass!
I am impressed Mitsubishi. Very impressed. This is a very good looking car. Since you are reading this blog, I am sure that you know the Lancer's rich Rally past. So the question is, the car looks badass, but how does it drive?

Wonderfully. The Lancer is a testament to AWD. The car has so many options in terms of differential and suspension settings, I am surprised that this baby doesn't wipe your ass at the push of a knob. With the impressive 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, and about 360hp in the UK version (why do we get 291hp? Apparently those limeys can handle power better...) While it is heavier than the Evo it replaces, this car is nothing to scoff at. Top Gear picked it above the Impreza hands down, which seemed to be an unfair challenge, for the poor Suburu looks like a tricked-out Jellybean. While the Autoblog loves European cars, this offering from the Japanese stole our hearts, and for a measly $35,000, it won't steal our wallets.

Mitsubishi, you F-ed up in the American market recently, but if you continue to build cars like the Lancer (which totally is not a chick car), you won't need worry about making a better Diamante or Galant. The Evo is just fine. Just build more Evos please.

Hello Suburu Impreza. My name is the Evo X. I am about to kick your ass? You cool with that? Good...

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Mercedes C63 is Bat Shit Crazy

While the Autoblog's parent website (www.savemybenz.com) is mainly about a Mercedes C280, the Autoblog must be unbiased when commenting on the automotive world! With that out of the way, the new Mercedes C 63 is fucking crazy. Not even like good "let's do it in the church when no one is around" crazy. It is the "As we do it I'll murder the shit out of you" kind of crazy.
Like every hot, crazy girl you may meet, this one fuck your shit up. (not in the good way)

Do you know how many horsepower this monster has? 451. The advertisements state that giving a car 400hp is nuts, so they gave it 451hp. Its true. Isn't that messed up?! On top of that, the power from the 6.3 L V8 is transferred directly to the rear wheels, and you have the ability to switch ESP off. In creating this monster, Mercedes had the M3 in their sights, and boy did they hit their mark. In all the comparo tests in the auto magazines, the M3 won (it is the darling of the automotive world, the sweet girl next door that does not try to murder the shit out of you), but the Mercedes C 63 was close. The only problem they had with the car was that it is too fucking wild.

Only the Stig mastered it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNDA7wMp8WE&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T57e0q5Ebzo&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgeHE1grb2A&feature=related

So what is the lesson here? Well...
This car can, and probably will kill you if you attempt to drive it. Buy a Corolla and play it safe. Unless you are the Stig of course.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

GM and Chrysler are on the shitlist

http://reviews.cnet.com
/8301-13746_7-10024776-48.html

What the fuck GM? Pontiac is no longer going to be RWD exclusive? Do you guys at GM see that something is positively received, and than proceed to take a shit on it? I wish you cancer of the
eyes.


As for Chrysler- may your first born infant die in a plague that rivals Moses'. As Automotive News reported earlier, they may be selling off the Dodge Viper, but it is under "strategic review." Here is a strategy to consider Chrysler- Don't be such a fucktard and sell off an American Icon!
I hope this has its way with all of the Chrysler executives wives while their kids watch.
Harsh? Probably. Necessary? Why of course!


THE VOLVO REPORT!

Ugh! Here is a new tradition on the Autoblog....The VOLVO report.
To beat thy enemy, one must know thy enemy, and that is the purpose of this!

Let's see what stupid thing Volvo is doing this time.

Well, well well. Those rat bastards are up to no good. Look at this article!

http://www.acadvertiser.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring-car-news
/2008/08/29/car-makers-look-to-russian-revolution-65864-21614119/
Those A-holes are spending 100 million Euros to expand into....RUSSIA! I guess they like Soviet farms, Gulags, and Cuban missile crises.

"
Russia is the new powerhouse in the global automotive industry. We have already sold 21,000 new vehicles this year, an increase of 95 per cent. And we are confidently expecting this figure to be nearer 29,000 by the end of the year. Everything points to the fact that the Russian market is in full swing and one of the most important for the growth of the Volvo brand."
-Evil Volvo Executive Fredrik Arp
He is thrilled. This portrait is hanging in the Volvo corporate offices.

ACK! What the hell! 21,000 vehicles in Russia?! Volvo single-handly is helping the Russians invade Georgia! The Russian troops are wrapped in chic, bland khaki interiors and safety! This is bullshit! Volvo, the Autoblog does not condone such actions! This is why we hate you. Add it to the top 5 list we previously posted, thus making it a top 6! Ugh! This is all from the Volvo Report....I need to go eat Apple Pie and shower in my Rights and Civil Liberties!
Hey Volvo, you mess with the Bull, you get the Horns!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FWD+Paddle Shifters=Sports Sedan?

Nissan has balls. Normally the Autoblog (the greatest thing to hit the autoworld since the Mustang II!!!) does not like to cover brands in back to back entries, but damn Nissan, we need to give you boyahakasha respek! right here. With the Americans going back to RWD platforms, looks like Nissan is one of the few FWD sport sedan Defenders of the Faith. The Maxima is a very pretty car, especially with that aggressive front fascia.
Car and Driver recently however did not really understand the Maxima's purpose- how can a sports car be FWD with out a true manual tranny? It was pretty daring for Nissan togo for a FWD sports sedan, and it was badass to give this car paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Yes. Paddle Shifters. Fucking awesome.
I don't care how the Maxima is "confused with it's identity" and blah blah blah. It is an FWD car, with paddle shifters. Hell- some RWD platforms in it's price segment don't have paddle shifters, and the press is giving this car shit for not being a true sports sedan? I don't expect this thing to win 24 hours of Sebring anytime soon, but cut it some slack. The car is a businessman who dabbles in football on the weekend. Let the guy be both conservative and sporty at the same time.
Peoplez should respek da Maximas more!

MBS Deep Freeze

According to various sources, the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been buying somewhere between eighty and ninety percent of all mortgages recently. This has led to very rapid growth of their mortgage portfolios. Just a few weeks ago, this report appeared in Newsday:
Fannie Mae, the largest provider of funding for U.S. residential mortgages, on Wednesday said it grew its investment portfolio in June at the fastest annualized rate in nearly five years.

Fannie Mae's mortgage portfolio increased at a
22.8 percent annualized rate to $749.6 billion in June, from $736.9 billion in May, the Washington-based company said in a statement.

The government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) has been boosting growth in its investments since its regulator earlier this year began easing requirements on capital it must hold against the assets. Lawmakers consider such purchases by Fannie Mae and rival Freddie Mac as playing a key role in supporting the U.S. housing market that is going through a wrenching downturn.
What a difference a month makes. Buried deep inside a Bloomberg article today, we find this:

Freddie's portfolio expanded at a 9.8 percent annualized rate to $798.2 billion in July, the slowest since March. The holdings may shrink this month based on forward commitments, according to the company's monthly volume summary today. Fannie expanded to $758 billion, an annual rate of 14.4 percent, the smallest increase since April.

The declining demand from the federally chartered companies, the biggest buyers of home loan securities, is sending mortgage prices lower and causing home loan rates to increase.

``It's become pretty obvious that they're not going to be able to grow going forward,'' said Walt Schmidt, a mortgage-bond strategist at FTN Financial Capital Markets in Chicago. ``Without a capital raise, you're not going to see a major recovery in'' mortgage securities.

Growth went from north of 20%, to low double or high single digits, then possibly to NEGATIVE in just a few months. It is a tribute to the speed with which leveraged pyramid schemes fail once the confidence is gone. Since the massive growth of the GSE portfolios was unable to arrest the rapid fall in bloated housing prices, the removal of this prop and sidelining the buyer of last resort is likely to result in another down leg in prices and unit sales.

Although Treasury Secretary Paulson pushed the GSE bailout bill through Congress by saying he needed a bazooka so he wouldn't have to use it, the market appears to have called his bluff. The problem is that many commercial banks hold Fannie and Freddie preferred stock as part of their capital. Simply guaranteeing the debt does nothing for the preferred it would be wiped out in the re-organization - adding another hit to capital and more failed banks. Government purchases of preferred stock would be less bad for the banks but they would still be diluted and have less capital. Only purchasing common stock would leave the preferred (and bank capital) intact. But that would bail out the management and prevent a much, needed re-organization of the companies. More to the point, it would also be seen as a pure bailout and politically very damaging heading into a national election.

There has been very little reason for the credit inflation crowd to cheer lately and the rapid growth of the GSE portfolios was one of the few bright spots for them. This growth appears to be done as well. The Shadow Banks are now shattered banks as off balance sheet vehicles are unwound and hedge funds shut their doors. We should expect to see even more of the later in the near future. The WSJ reports that July was the worst month ever for the Morningstar 1000 hedge fund index at negative 3.07%.

The Nissan GT-R


Look at that ass! Yes! The GT-R is awesome.


This one isn't half bad either...

The Nissan GT-R is causing quite the stir in the auto world. It weighs about 3800 lbs, but the AWD makes it drive like a Miata- erm sorry MX-5. How in the hell did Nissan defy physics?? Technology and so fourth thats how- but the Autoblog will not bore you with the details. This car is so cool it had the makers of friggin' Gran Turismo program all the digital info displays. This car knows it will be in video games. Thats how you know it is badass. That is all you need to walk away from this post: this car is badass. The beast isn't too pricey either for what you get ($70,000- but they are selling upwards of at least 15k of the list, but a Porsche is way more expensive.) The 3.8 L twin turbo V6 is ferocious, churning out 480 hp at 6400 rpm. While the engine doesn't rev as high as the piercing M3 's, the twin turbos will thrust your ass into the seat, and leave shitty volvos in the dust. I feel bad for it's opponents in Super GT.
Well- Nissan GT-R, the Autoblog salutes you!

A Choreographed, Musical Showdown! (Minus the dancing or music)

Have you all seen the recent comparisons between the Infiniti G and the BMW 3? It is quite the heated battle. The Jets and Sharks got nothin' on this shit (and the G v. 3 Battle has alot less dancing. Easy Action! Cool as Ice!)


The BMW is getting ready to merk the G

The Infiniti is a quality contender for the 3's crown. It is quite the looker, with its strong muscular stance, and it is powered by that famous athletic Nissan 3.5 (or 3.7L) V6. It is a strong entry from the Japanese, and its build quality is exceptional. However, it lacks that German handling, and firm suspension, and it still has to earn its laurels in the auto world. All of this combined make it a losing battle against the titan that is the 3-series.
The BMW on the other hand has it's way with quality contenders like the G, and doesn't even have the decency to call them the next day to say thank you, or plan a second date. The 3 has been in Car and Driver's 10Best 17 times since 1983. Let me retype that. The BMW 3 series has been in Car and Driver's 10best 17 times. Why? well- its a BMW 3 of course, and that almost speaks for itself. When BMW picked their slogan, the badass claim to being "The Ultimate Driving Machine", it turns out that they weren't just talking shit. During the BMW 3's run in those 17 10best appearance, the 3 was kicking everybody's ass in motorsport and sales. The E36 was one of the most dominant sports cars ever.
So, while it is nice to toy with the idea that there is actually a contender to the 3's crown, in reality the Japanese are close, but still not ready top the 3. It just has too much excellence in its pedigree to be dethroned as of yet. If BMW gets cocky in the next model years however, the Infiniti will be more than ready by then to catch up.


The Cal Ripkin Jr. of Car and Driver's 10Best

Where is thy Savior?!

Take a long hard look at this image. This is an automotive legend- the Chrysler K Car. I am not even messing around. This is the car that saved Chrysler back in the 80's, and damn do they need one now. This thing came out of no where and single handedly brought the company from the edge of financial ruin. Its platform helped inspire the minivan, and we all know how that turned out. Chrysler today is in deep shit. The 300 quickly became a modern automotive legend that temporarily breathed life into the fledging company, but it wasn't enough. Their German overlords dumped their asses to the streets, and the company is still reeling from the harsh divorce. The new owners however, while enjoying the real estate prospects of the company (and lighting their Cuban cigars with $100 bills) are doing something surprising- giving the company precious time to turn things around, as seen in a recent NY Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/business/20chrysler.html?_r=1&ref=automobiles&oref=slogin

Chrysler, where is thy savior? Is it the new 300? It may be time to come out of left field again and surprise the world.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mayday

We turn to Europe in this commentary as important events are occurring there behind the scenes and Asia has gotten the lion's share of the attention recently. The mariner's distress call actually comes from French, where "m'aidez" simply means "help me." We thought that would be a particularly appropriate title as Europe's financial system is starting to show signs of severe distress. From the actions of the CBs over there, we can infer that the problems there may be significantly worse than here in the US. Current open market operations show that the ECB has 451 billion Euros (about $640 billion) outstanding. This dwarfs the Fed total of just over $300 billion - including all liquidity facilities. It's pretty clear that there are many European banks in deep, deep trouble.

Starving for Dollars
It is also becoming increasingly clear that the European financial system has a desperate shortage of dollars. Since much of the debt outstanding is denominated in dollars and many European banks have taken in dollar deposits as well, there is a need for them to transact in our currency that is not reciprocated. When the Fed and foreign CBs set up the currency swaps, there was some suggestion that the purpose was to give the Fed enough Euros to intervene in the currency markets. That really didn't make much sense as the Treasury and the Fed have conducted a sub rosa weak-dollar policy for years. The logical and obvious explanation is now coming to the fore - Europe is seriously short of dollars and if they were forced to go out into the market and buy dollars, our currency would strengthen too much for the planners at the Fed who have been attempting to devalue it.

The bid to cover ratios from recent auctions make the point quite forcefully. The last set of TAF auctions in the US produced ratios of 1.51 and 2.19 (for the initial 84-day facility). The comparable ECB auctions in Euros had a bid to cover of 1.58. But ECB dollar auctions were bid at 4.56 and 3.85. US banks' demand for dollars appears to be roughly equal to Eurozone banks' demand for Euros. But Eurozone demand for dollars is twice as great as either one. This trend is confirmed by the result of the Swiss dollar auctions. Those had bid to cover ratios of 2.90 and 4.90. Finally, note that the Fed is not auctioning off Euros or Swiss Francs to anxious American bankers.

In addition, the high-yield bond market in Europe is completely frozen. Not one junk issue of any size has come out of Europe this year or for quite a few months of 2007. Retail sales there are falling farther and faster than in the US and the housing bust there has barely begun. Granted that theoretically the ECB had more room to cut rates than the Fed but the strength of unions and the social program costs make a wage-price spiral much more likely in the Eurozone, which seems to be constraining the actions of the ECB.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Buicks and Balls

joke about their wives having "four-holes"- this is a classy blog...). Now the brand is perceiveYou know what this world needs? A Buick with balls. Why? Well...Buick back in the day used to be the shit. If you drove a "Four-Holer", you were basically the guy on the block who was envied by your fellow man, and yearned for by their wives (I will take the high road and not make ad to be what Old People drive to the Old Country Buffet after Murder She Wrote. GM has castrated Buick, and for a while it was basically a eunuch brand. Today however, Buick has a stigma with the Baby-Boomers that is hard to shake, but I am hoping that the next generation of Buicks bring back some semblance of relevance to the public. The Lucerne and Lacrosse, both with their classic "Super" trim lines, should finally put some balls on this long docile brand, with the latter having a top speed of +150mph. If it worked for Pontiac, it can work for Buick. Let's hope GM doesn't fuck up.The Lacrosse a pretty car, with a muscular stance, and holy shit- it has muscle under the hood! A 5.3 L LS 4 V8 is behind those four holes (tee hee). If you look closely you can see the balls. If I keep on typing "balls", I am going to attract a different type of crowd (not that their is anything wrong with that)
See? Balls!


hmm...speaking of Fuel Prices....

The NY Times did an interesting little piece on the most relevant offering from Ford Motor Company....

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/automobiles/autoreviews/10BLOCK.html?ref=autoreviews

The Ford Excursion...EL! (thats Extended Length folks)
Driving this screams two things:
1. My Penis is Small
2. My Penis is small, and I love supporting oil-rich countries that oppress their populaces!

This beast can tow 9,000 pounds! That number is so awesome, let me write it again. 9,000 lbs. All at an exceptionally dismal 12 mpg in town, and 18 on the highway, but thats the base model, so who knows what damage the fully decked out version can do. 9,000 lbs is like, 4 Kias....but Jesus H. Christ on a pogostick... who in the hell needs that capacity while lugging eight assholes and "their gear" as the times eloquently put it. Don't get me wrong, Detroit Muscle is badass and all, but this beast has to be subsidized by Exxon or something.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fuel Crisis? What Motherfuckin' Fuel Crisis?!


These cars are sick. It takes balls for domestic automakers to make cars like these with $4 dollar gas. That is why these cars are so fucking awesome. Imagine, that during the reign of the Prius, The Challenger, Charger, Mustang, Camaro and G8 are roaming free, kicking hybrid ass with engines that are way too large. Rear Wheel drive? Oh how we have missed thee! Thank god!

Nice Hybrid! THEEEEAAAANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

The Maserati GT

Tags
I love the Maserati GT. It is a beautiful car. I don't even have anything funny to say about it. Look at it. Sex on wheels. Besides that incredibly badass grill with the Trident, it is a bargain. For the price, you can buy a Merc SL. Now that is a nice car, but every geriatric at the country club has one. It is pretty common. A Maserati though, now that shows taste and a dignified knowledge of the automotive world. The Autoblog raises its glass to you Maserati!

Mangio il volvos per la colazione, il pranzo e la cena! - That is what it screams.

The Ford Flex


This thing has a mini fridge to chill your brews. The same mini fridge that Maybach uses. DUI's can now occur with a frosty Coors! Score! The design is just soooo retro, and the interior is oh so chic. I can picture it now, cruising while my bros chill and look out the vista roof. Me and my multi-cultural brahs will be the talk of the nightclub getting this thing valeted. Chics will be achin' to see my 3rd row in this beast. Ugh- What the fuck Ford? We are not dumb. Its a fucking Minivan/Crossover. Here is what I do not understand about the Flex. It is a replacement for the Freestar (by the way- that idea of having all Ford car names beginning with F was fucking stupid. That could of been a car name: The 2009 Ford Fucking Stupid), yet it is being marketed to affluent Urbanites who are always dancing to shitty techno. A family car...that is being marketed to trendsters in Soho.

$42,770.

What the fuck!? 4-2-7-7-0?! For a FORD?! That is just not right! Who in the hell would buy this shitbox for $42,000 when you can have so many other nicer cars. The base is even pricey- $28,000, and thats for a bare bones people mover. Ugh I got douche chills.

This also gives me Douche Chills.

Thanks Ford!