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Member since: Jan 12th, 2006

Nick's Latest Comments

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Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart priced at $26,490 (Autoblog)

Jul 31st 2008 6:02PM Sadly, you're probably right. Options packages done right (power windows + locks + cd player) can save both customers and manufacturers money as it both increases the likelihood that a car a customer wants is on a lot and reduces the cost to manufacture a car, as there's some logistics overhead involved in providing multiple option combinations. Some psychology comes into play- people are willing to pay a little more for a car with an option they don't want than settle for a car without an option they want. Reducing vehicle permutations helps with this.

In your case, you clearly didn't want the HID lights or stereo with the Recaros, and Mitsu is betting that most people want the bundle and are willing to pay for it. FWIW, aftermarket Recaros will not give you a lot of change back for your $3000 bill, and won't have side airbags in them.

The bottom line though is that the Ralliart has all the performance bits standard and Mitsu isn't going to nickel and dime you like BMW does for things like folding seats. You also get a 5 year/60K warranty as Mitsubishi tries to mend their image here. I've had two Evos and they have been by far the most reliable cars I've ever owned.

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart priced at $26,490 (Autoblog)

Jul 31st 2008 5:54PM Actually, the 08 and later WRX's lost the rear LSD when they got the VSC stability control as standard. Apparently the WRX VSC is incompatible with a rear LSD (or so they say, the STI has VSC and 3 LSD's).

You raise good points- it's much cheaper and easier to add power than it is to change differentials.

Flex designer casualty of Ford bloodletting (Autoblog)

Jul 29th 2008 1:04PM I used to work at Ford, so I have an educated guess on how this went down. Ford probably (unofficially) asked for volunteers to reduce headcount. Because the org thinks of people as resources and not as unique people with individual talents, HR simply wants to remove X people from payroll.

Now that the Flex is out, Richard had a good opportunity elsewhere and opted to take the package (which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on seniority). In any event, I'm sure Richard had the option to stay if he wanted to, I find it hard to believe that Ford would simply let him go.

After moving from SE Michigan to northern california, I don't blame him.

Sales of premium fuel fall sharply (Autoblog)

Jun 19th 2008 6:23PM Any car made after 1995 has fairly sophisticated knock sensors. So regular gas won't damage your engine, but some engines severely pull timing on lower octane fuel which results in both a performance degradation and an efficiency degradation, which may negate the savings of regular fuel. Remember that a 10% reduction in fuel economy on regular fuel(which Edmunds has seen on their long term G35S) wipes out any fuel savings. Your mileage (literally) may vary. For instance, a 4.6L Mustang engine can probably run regular gas with few if any side effects, whereas my 286 hp 2.0L Lancer Evolution is barely happy with 91 octane.

Apple forbids navigation apps on iPhone 3G (except its own) (Autoblog)

Jun 12th 2008 11:59AM Yeah, that's not gonna work. No nav company is going to risk their relationship with Apple by having users Jailbreak their phone in order to install the app, and if they charge money, Apple will make an example out of them by a) updating the iphone software to keep the app from running and b)locking them out of iphone development. While there are some geeks who jailbreak and run homebrew apps, the iPhone is a consumer product and the audience is simply not going to do it. Apple is going to be VERY aggressive here in defending their turf, for better or for worse. This doesn't mean that there isn't a third part out there, but if TomTom is developing on iPhone, you can bet your ass that they wouldn't make that investment without creating some sort of arrangement with Apple.

More proof that Mazda RX-8 owners want to be Ferrari owners (Autoblog)

Jun 11th 2008 11:43AM Does anyone think this guy is not out to fool anyone but is just being cheeky? I once saw a Toyota FX16 (small hatchback) with all its logos replaced with Bugatti logos, but I doubt anyone was fooled, and I doubt the owner intended to fool anyone...


Paris Preview: Audi to unveil supercharged S4 (Autoblog)

Jun 3rd 2008 2:23PM The car actually makes more power than the old S4, which had 340 hp from a 4.2L V8.

Good to be King: Lewis Hamilton borrows TechArt Porsche for LA trip (Autoblog)

May 30th 2008 8:02PM Pulled from the site. I presume it has something to do with Lewis's relationship with McLaren and McLaren's relationship with Mercedes...

If I had a $140M deal I wouldn't mind being told what to do once in a while...

Finally... Mitsubishi Evo X MR coming to the U.S. this June (Autoblog)

May 22nd 2008 2:34PM I think as a halo car the MR will sell adequately well, and Mitsubishi has the range covered with the new Ralliart. Once that car comes out Mitsu will have the mid 20k-high 30k performance range covered. Maybe the MR won't be the bread and butter of the line, but it's definitely not a 335xi. While similar in specs, in practice the cars are quite different. BMW will get the lion's share of the sales because of the way its strengths play to the US market, but the MR will undoubtedly carve a small niche for itself. And thank god for that- if Mitsubishi built an exact clone of the 335xi in terms of comfort/power/handling/price then they would have no niche at all.

The other commenter who mentioned the R32 made a good point- these cars are meant to prove to enthusiasts that Mitsubishi has a world class engineering organization, something they desperately need to prove, though the last generation Evo has already helped them immensely in this regard.

Since press coverage is worth its weight in platinum, I'd say the MR has already paid for itself in a world where millions are spent on print ad campaigns.

Ghastly! Saab may have used human cadavers for safety research (Autoblog)

May 9th 2008 1:54AM What a shame it is that these bodies were wasted in the pursuit of saving lives.