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How lucky are we?

Non VAG Cars and Bikes. News and discussion.

How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 11:19

Sometimes I think we forget how lucky we are the huge choice of desireable cars we have. In North America they seem somewhat restricted in choice. Here is a Canadian article from yesterday's newspaper. (I know it mentions the roc but its only in passing so thats why its in the other marque section)

North Shore News - Vancouver Canada

North America needs these hot cars

Brendan McAleer, North Shore News
Published: Friday, July 10, 2009

All right, I'll just come right out and say it: I want a Ford Focus.

Yes, I'll happily give up the keys to my modified, 300 horsepower WRX with all the time, effort and money I've spent tweaking it (and all the money I've spent paying professionals to undo the tweaks), and drive away in a Focus.

You're surprised? Well, just to be clear, I'm not talking about any old econobox Ford here. No, I'm talking about the Ford Focus RS, which you can't get here. Not yet anyway, (he added hopefully, with an expression of wistful longing and a large measure of pointless optimism).

The Ford Focus RS, a fun-to-drive hatchback pumped up with 300 horsepower, tops columnist Brendan McAleer's list of cars that should be made available in North America right now.

The RS is currently at the top of my list, but idly leafing through any Euro car magazine reveals even more great cars that manufacturers just won't sell in North America.

FORD FOCUS RS

So let's start with this one, shall we? First of all, the RS is based on the excellent Euro-Focus, which is pretty well universally regarded as the most fun-to-drive hatchback you can get across the pond. It makes the VW Golf look as pointless and stodgy as . . . well . . . golf, I suppose.

Ford takes this spirited platform and then pumps it full of eight Barry-Bondses-worth of anabolic steroids and four Lenny-Bruces-worth of amphetamines. Its enormous exhaust pipes make the Chunnel look like a juicebox bendy straw. Its rear spoiler creates so much downforce, it can actually move the Earth out of orbit. Its wheelarches are flared in the same way that Bruce Banner's pants are flared when he changes into the Hulk. Three-hundred horsepower. REVO-knuckle suspension. Terrier-like reflexes and attack-dog savagery.

And what kind of Focus do we get here? Oh look, a fancy iPod dock. Well, that's just perfect for my Anne Murray playlist, but I'll happily go without if you'll just bring the RS here, Ford. Do it. Do it now.

VOLKSWAGEN SCIROCCO

Don't feel like wrestling with 300 rampaging horses constantly trying to wrest the steering wheel from your hands? What about a nice VW GTI, the perennial favourite for its hot-hatch lively driving, a beautifully made interior and that Germanic level of precision in the build quality?

No thanks, I'll have a VW Scirocco instead. Why? Well, it's a GTI underneath, but it's lighter, prettier, slightly more powerful, prettier, a little bit faster around a track, and prettier. And it's cheaper too. And prettier.

If VW didn't hate us all so much, they'd bring this gorgeous coupe/hatchback cross over the Atlantic and sell it instead of the two-door GTI. You could still buy a four-door GTI if you only wanted a Golf, but the Scirocco is a hundred times better. I'll even stop making cracks about electrical problems if they do it.

FIAT 500 ABARTH ESSEESSE

Another hot hatchback we don't get, although this one is so fashionable it makes the Mini Cooper S look like a sweatshirt with sequins and an airbrushed wolf on it. Fiat's 500 is pure excellence, and probably the best retro-based car you can buy in Europe today.

The Abarth takes that retro-excellence and adds a dash of hot sauce, but not too much. With a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing just 160 h.p., it's unlikely to set any landspeed records. But, with a hummingbird-light curbweight and a sport-tuned suspension, this car should take to the curves like only an Italian can.

Best news yet, we might actually get some form of the 500 as part of the Fiat-Chrysler merger. I, for one, would happily set fire to 10,000 PT Cruisers if we could make just one of these little firecrackers.

TOYOTA IQ

Not everything has to have the turbocharging turned up to 11 or be riding around on huge alloy wheels. Some normal people might actually appreciate having a car that's efficient, easy to park and cleverly optioned. If you're in the market for a micro-sized car here, you buy a Smart. If you wanted something a little cleverer overseas, you'd get an iQ.

The tiny iQ (har har) is a four-seater, two-door car that has the short wheelbase of a Smart car, but with way more interior room due to innovations like a flat fuel tank and rear-angled shock absorbers. With a tiny three-cylinder engine, the iQ consumes just 4.3 l/100 km, but it also has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

I suppose I'd like to see a modified version of this little car, just to hear someone say, "Hey, I just lowered my iQ!" but really, just bring it here Toyota.

Canadian demand for big sedans is shrinking rapidly. Sure, a lot of us still need a highway car that's going to gulp down the miles and have a trunk big enough for haybales, but that's just the Albertans.

The era of the small car is upon us already, and it doesn't make any sense to me why there aren't even more choices for the small car buyer now. Mini's success should have proven that people are willing to pay more for less, as long as it's a nice less.

The real test though, will be the Euro-Fiesta that Ford is currently experimenting with. If that little car can do well, expect to see the Euro-Focus hot on its heels, and then (just maybe) I might be able to get my RS.

On the other hand, if anyone at Ford wants to send me one right now, please be assured that my journalistic integrity cannot be purchased. And I like the blue.
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Re: How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 12:31

...which backs up the argument that I often have with my Mustang owning mate. European cars are better than American ones.
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Re: How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 12:32

Wouldn't it be more appropriate copyright-wise to give a short quote and then link to the article, rather than republishing it completely on the forum? (A quotation providing clarification falls under fair use. Republishing without the authors permission does not.)

I'm not having a go at you imitebeurda: But as I spent all day yesterday talking a party out of suing for copyright infringement the government office I work for, I thought I have to speak up about this issue on this forum also. Not that I think there is a huge risk of North Shore News suing you for your posting...

It is a bit more work than copy & paste posting, however, doing it like in the following example you don't open yourself up to legal prosecution, as you completely stay within the boundaries of fair use.


Example:

On Friday July 10th 2009 PLEASE REGISTER OR LOGIN TO VIEW LINKS published the article PLEASE REGISTER OR LOGIN TO VIEW LINKS praising, among other cars, the Scirocco:
Brendan McAleer for North Shore News wrote:If VW didn't hate us all so much, they'd bring this gorgeous coupe/hatchback cross over the Atlantic and sell it instead of the two-door GTI.
polario


Re: How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 12:40

polario wrote:Wouldn't it be more appropriate copyright-wise to give a short quote and then link to the article, rather than republishing it completely on the forum? (A quotation providing clarification falls under fair use. Republishing without the authors permission does not.)

I'm not having a go at you imitebeurda: But as I spent all day yesterday talking a party out of suing for copyright infringement the government office I work for, I thought I have to speak up about this issue on this forum also. Not that I think there is a huge risk of North Shore News suing you for your posting...

It is a bit more work than copy & paste posting, however, doing it like in the following example you don't open yourself up to legal prosecution, as you completely stay within the boundaries of fair use.


Example:

On Friday July 10th 2009 PLEASE REGISTER OR LOGIN TO VIEW LINKS published the article PLEASE REGISTER OR LOGIN TO VIEW LINKS praising, among other cars, the Scirocco:
Brendan McAleer for North Shore News wrote:If VW didn't hate us all so much, they'd bring this gorgeous coupe/hatchback cross over the Atlantic and sell it instead of the two-door GTI.


Don't think it will be much of an issue on a car forum.
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Re: How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 12:56

Evil Derboy wrote:Don't think it will be much of an issue on a car forum.

OK. Is this your your view, as a site moderator, on how to interpret the PLEASE REGISTER OR LOGIN TO VIEW LINKS and international copyright law?
polario


Re: How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 13:08

I think they'd probably be glad of the plug and free advertising.
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Re: How lucky are we?

Post11 Jul 2009 13:08

polario wrote:
Evil Derboy wrote:Don't think it will be much of an issue on a car forum.

OK. Is this your your view, as a site moderator, on how to interpret the PLEASE REGISTER OR LOGIN TO VIEW LINKS and international copyright law?


My view is that I don't really think that we are going to be fielding too many lawsuits by reprinting an article on a car enthusiasts forum and can't be bothered getting into an banal argument about the nuances of international copyright law.

In your originating post you mention "Fair Use". For a start that is a term in US copyright law and as a UK based site it doesn't apply here. The UK equivalent is known as "Fair Dealing". Fair dealing allows reproduction of literary work for the purpose of review, citicism or non-commercial use as long as the source is quoted (which it is here).

Regardless of how you view this. I don't think that a Canadian newspaper is going to be knocking on our doors any time soon. A common sense approach is the stance that we take here. If we over-cautiously obeyed international copyrights to the letter, the forum simply wouldn't be able to function. Like many internet sites, our policy is that if the copyright owner requests removal of copyrighted works we will happily comply. Same applies to the various blogs on any number of topics where stories are republished every day.

Anyway let's not hijack this topic and turn it into a discussion about international copyrights . If you'd like to raise a debate on this subject please do so in a new thread in the General Chat Forum.
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Re: How lucky are we?

Post14 Jul 2009 23:10

its not all bad in Canada my nephew has a 500bhp truck,
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