Archive for badge snobbery

BMW GT5 – absolutely crap or just relatively crap?

Posted in Crap cars with tags , on 24/05/2011 by Alexander

Autoblog reports that sales of BMW’s unclassifiable 5-series-based aesthetic horror are lacklustre on the State-side of the Atlantic. Which is odd considering it’s very American in its concept: big, ugly and thirsty. However, it would seem that some 5-series Gran Turismo sales stem from customers choosing this monstrosity over the 7-series, while other potential buyers took a look at this disgusting “crossover” and went and bought an Audi or Mercedes. This hasn’t stopped BMW from dreaming up a future 3-series GT (or 4-series as it may be called), which follows along the same lines of hideousness.

BMW have a solid reputation, though it owes just as much of it (by their own admission) to badge snobbery as it does to quality. As such, their one of those car manufacturers who can get away with introducing a heap of absolute horrifyingly ugly horse manure with four wheels on the market and have it sell in quantity, such as the X6, the X1, the 1-series, the previous 5-series, the Bangle-bum 7-series and so on. But because, as the saying goes, you can only fool all the people some of the time, etc., even die-hard BMW fanboys have to recognise that the brand’s aesthetic line-up has been… unfortunate over the last couple of decades. The proof is how the new styling cues are shifting away from Chris Bangle’s forms. Steadily of course, since the Bavarian motor company is very conservative, but the lines on the latest 5-series are far, far more pleasing to the eye than any car BMW has put out since 1988.

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A question of coupés (3)

Posted in Crap cars, Desirable machines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18/02/2011 by Alexander
  • The French It’s debatable whether the French have consciously tried to put up a fight with the Germans in the coupé segment. Some notable adversaries were the legendary Citroen SM, the Renault Fuego and the lovely Peugeot 504 coupé, but to be honest, it would seem that the cheese-eating so-and-so’s have decided to leave that niche alone and focus on more mainstream segments. Which is definitely a pity, because they’ve always put up an interesting fight.

    Peugeot 407 coupé – Argh. What a bloody awful car. If looking at it on its own isn’t dismal enough, when you consider it was preceded by beauties such as the 504 and 406 coupés, it makes you wonder what the hell were Peugeot thinking. Both the 504 and 406 had a fantastic trait that was to be able to be different from their saloon versions, making them look like whole new models even though they were practically the same. And they were gorgeous. This 407 coupé manages to incorporate all the ugliness of the saloon version and none of the inherent coolness of coupés.

    Peugeot RCZ – Dang, this thing’s nice. I’ve said it before, though my prediction that it would become a runaway success was biblically wrong (I tend to never be able to foresee which cars will sell like hotcakes and which will flop terribly). I won’t delve into its pros and cons, because I’ve already done that in the article linked above, but I’ll say this: it blows the Audi TT out of the water in every way (except for sales, by the looks of it).

    Renault Laguna coupé – Renault don’t delve much into the coupé market. Fortunately for car lovers, they did, with the Laguna coupé. And what a courageous move it was, with Renault making a car for one of the most badge-snobbing segments of the market. The result is interesting, to say the least, a breath of fresh air in a segment dominated by mostly the same solutions. The Laguna suffers from looking too much like its saloon counterpart (as you can see by now, it’s a common sin), which in turn was ugly to start with. So much so, in fact, that it’s the first version of the Laguna and one of the only Renaults that’s not disputing the top sales spot in its segment. Anyways, even though the Audi A5 is the best rational choice for a coupé, this two-door version of the Laguna is the best emotional choice available. And that’s important, since buying a coupé isn’t rational to begin with.

  • Citroen – Citroen doesn’t have a coupé in its line-up, and hasn’t had a proper one since the fantastic SM back in the 70’s. Which is a huge loss to anyone who appreciates cars, because when Citroen delves into the upper end of the market, it always makes something interesting, beautiful and that usually ends up getting cult status, as the DS, CX, SM, XM and C6 attest (not that their lower-end cars are bad, in fact, they’re quite the contrary in most cases). The problem is, if Citroen were to decide sit down and make a coupé right now, it wouldn’t be as good as it should, given that Citroen’s current styling cues are debatable to say the least. And Citroen wouldn’t consider it, since their strategy nowadays is to try to imitate the Germans and steer clear of their fantastic but risky projects. Just look at how they’ve abandoned future development of both the current C6 and a successor. Morons.