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airmale
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VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 2:55 am

I always thought they were handling that side pretty well with Audi and Porsche so what was the need to go to luxury with products under the "VW" and "Volkswagen" badge's, we know they're associated with the beetle and other econo marques, or will owning a "VW" be as hip as owning a BMW was in the 80's.

By the way the car looks like an Audi/Lexus/Mercedes with VW badges.



http://www.vw.com/phaeton/mini/flash.htm

Besides this car they have also taken out a 4wd SUV called "Tuareg" and a new roadster is also due in the future.

[Edited 2004-01-02 19:02:50]
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airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:05 am

Actually I prefer it to the Audi/Lexus/Mercedes.
.....up there with the best!
 
Jkw777
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:08 am

If you have been up close to one and sat in the driver seat. You will tell the difference to Audi/Merc/Lexus and anyone else immediately. The only thing I don't agree with is the price tag.
[email protected] or +447751242989
 
racko
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:36 am

I like the Phaeton, looks classy. It is becoming more popular here after a horrible first year (almost except the chancellor bought one).

VW's strategy is obvious, the Golf is also more upmarket (and expensive) than its direct competitors from Opel, Peugeot etc.
 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:36 am

Things may be different now, but in 1990 I drove a 1989 Mercedes 300SE, automatic and except for the psychological uplift that it was a big Merc I was actually driving(dream come true), the ride and comfort factor were quite disappointing as was the antiquated interior, inspite of which I would not have minded owning it just as I would not this VW.

Here are loads of pics from various angles of this beautiful new car, http://www.germancarfans.com/photos.cfm/photoid/3020523.002/volkswagen/1.html Love
.....up there with the best!
 
Sonic
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:42 am

Remember, Volkswagen has other brands for the "downmarket". Škoda and Seat for example.
 
airjampanam
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:44 am

Good point Sonic... except most of the average American public have never seen either of those products.
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
ryanb741
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:52 am

Hmm - not sure how many people are going to pay upwards of £70k for a VW though. Not when you can get an S Class for that money.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
Sonic
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:52 am

So I believe Škoda and Seat are mostly oriented at European market (probably also Asian, don't know). These cars are quite small, and the biggest versions (e.g. Škoda Superb, about size of Passat) are equiped worse than much smaller cars of other manufactorers (e.g. no automatic transmission, air conditioning, weak engines, etc.). Such cars wouldn't be popular in America.
Seats are a bit better (and more expensive) than Škodas are. They now takes market niche in which Volkswagen was maybe ten years ago.

Maybe they will start exporting Seats or Škodas to America but now they most likely things that such cars wouldn't have market there...
 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 3:53 am

How much does it cost? and how many variants are available?

America used to import the "Yugo" in the 80's from then Yugoslavia, why?

[Edited 2004-01-02 19:56:19]
.....up there with the best!
 
Sonic
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:01 am

Airmale, you mean Škodas and Seats?

If so, these are the variants:
Škoda Fabia - hatchback, about the size of VW Polo
Škoda Octavia - about the size of VW Bora
Škoda Superb - sedan, about the size of VW Passat
More info: http://www.skoda-auto.com

Seat Arosa - hatchback, about the size of VW Lupo
Seat Ibiza - hatchback, about the size of VW Polo
Seat Cordoba - hatchback, about the size of VW Golf
Seat Leon - hatchback, abou the size of VW Golf (hatchback version of Toledo)
Seat Toledo - sedan, about the size of VW Passat
Seat Vario - universal version of Seat Toledo (like VW Passat variant)
Seat Alhambra - minivan, like VW Sharan (only design differs a bit)
More info: http://www.seat.com/su/com/SEAT/site/main,lang=en.html
 
Alessandro
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:04 am

Airmale, because someone thought it was a good idea to import Yugos.
I think the Pheaton is allright, but the Bugatti Veyron would be better choice,
the most expensive car from VW-group...
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:33 am

.....up there with the best!
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:54 am

The Phaeton is not expected to sell very well, at least the first generation. The lack of sales in the first year in Europe could be attributed to many factors, including lack of snob-appeal, and also wrong engine choices at first. The Phaeton was introduced in Europe with V6 and W12 gasoline powered engine options. The V6 was lethargic and got bad fuel economy, while the W12 is too over the top, especially for Europe. The V10 TDI diesel goes a way to rectify this, although a V6 TDI would be a more obvious engine choice for Europe.

Another point is that the Phaeton is supposed to sell more up-level Golf's and others. For instance, increase the proportion of VR6's compared to 2.0's.

The Touareg by the way, is doing very very well. VW has had to increase production to satisfy demand, with the V10 TDI having 6 month waiting lists in Europe.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
desertjets
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 5:07 am

You can't blame VW for wanting to go upmarket with its product. The margins for premium cars are so much better, which means more profit.

The main problem for VW in North America is that, for the most part, their dealer network sucks. Many of those franchises have been around since the days of the Beetle, and they haven't changed much since then. Along with subpar facilities come subpar maintance departments. VWofA hasn't exactly been a really responsive organization either. For now VW is only selling Phaetons at select dealers, which I would imagine push many of them to significantly upgrade. Which is what is happening at a Mazda-VW dealership I test drove a Mazda3 at.

What I find somewhat bizzare, is that one can buy a W12 Phaeton in the same dealership that you can buy a 1.0L Lupo. So obviously things are still in the works. And at least some of the development costs of teh Phaeton are shared with its platform mate the A8.

Apparently VW built this AMAZING factory in Dresden to exclusively build Phaetons. If there was a factory delivery program available it would be well worth it.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:32 am

From what I understand, Phaeton owners do get factory tours, and I believe they can take delivery in Europe (for North American purchasers). I know somebody who took advantage of European delivery for a Jetta back in 1990 or so. Phaeton owners also get to customize their cars with woods, leathers, colours, etc. It seems like a more special car in the category, almost like a Bentley on a budget.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
yka
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 8:56 am

Its a great car, a funny bit is that my cousins boyfriend makes the wiring loom's for these cars right here in Poland. So If anyone is to ever buy a Phaeton and have electrical problems, he's likely to blame.
 
VectorVictor
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VW

Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:18 am

Wow, I had never heard of Seat until today - Friday Jan 2. I was driving in San Antonio, Texas and passed two Seat Leons...both bright yellow. I saw the big "S" logo on back and figured it meant Suzuki. S.A.'s close proximity to Mexico explains why I saw these cars

So VW owns this marque? The Leon is great looking little car.
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:25 am

The Leon is engineered on the same platform as the VW Polo.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
bobrayner
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:54 am

It's just badge-engineering. Seat & Škoda are made on the same platforms as Audi & VW, but aimed at different markets.

Think of it like Fiat / Lancia / Alfa, or Ford / Mazda, or...

This is why the new VW confuses me; doesn't it encourage internal competition with Audi?

[Edited 2004-01-03 17:55:36]
Cunning linguist
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:59 am

It won't sell well in the states, period.
No one wants a $75K VW.
 
Inbound
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:33 am

We've had Seat and Skoda here in Trinidad for years.
I believe the Skoda Octavia also shares the same tried-and-tested Audi 1.8 Turbo engine with tiptronic transmission.
The car even looks like a bloated Jetta/Bora.

not sure if I would buy a Phaeton if I could afford one though. But it would be interesting to see if they eventually bring out a performance version like the S6, S8 etc.

As for the Touareg, I can see this becoming a big seller although it's late on the market. It's already been dubbed as Motor Trend's SUV of the Year 2004.
Secondly, it's a more attractive, toned down, cheaper Porsche Cayenne.

I do like the direction VW is headed in. I wish them luck...nobody thought Lexus would survive when it first came out anyways.
I just wish Peugeot would follow into the upscale market now. I really like that brand.
Maintain own separation with terrain!
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 7:44 am

It won't sell well in the states, period.
No one wants a $75K VW.


VW knows they wont outsell the established brands. They've carved out a niche for themselves. I know and they know it wont sell in large numbers, but it should help sell other expensive VW's, such as high-end Golfs, Jettas and Passats. Also, some people actually buy a car based on merit, rather than the snob appeal of certain badges. I will admit that the Phaeton doesn't offer anything that the others don't, and that's its biggest drawback, but I do honestly believe it has the absolute classiest interior in its class. Like I said, it's like a Bentley on a budget.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
JAL777
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:41 am

It won't sell well in the states, period.
No one wants a $75K VW.


I do.
 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 6:33 pm

So would I buy it, what other cars come in this prioce rabge in the US? the interior is fantastic Captaingomes

Is SEAT pronounced as "SEE-AT"?
.....up there with the best!
 
Alessandro
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 10:15 pm

Inbound, I even think som Toureg parts fit the Cayenne?
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
L-188
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 10:18 pm

Now if they had imported the VW country into the US I would have been much more excited.



Anybody remember when VW was a low end german cheap car maker in competition with a low end cheap japanese car company called Toyota?

Seems like everybody is forgetting their roots.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
racko
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:09 pm

The Touareg and Cayenne indeed share lots of parts. VW paid Porsche to develop the platform both cars use.
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:30 am

The Touareg and Cayenne share something like 70% of their components.

Airmale, I believe it is pronounced "SEH-AT"

"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:46 am

The Phaeton made it's Houston 'debut' at a fund raiser at Jones Hall sponsored by the largest local dealer (Momentum, I think). Unfortunately, a valet parked the car put it in the garage across the street with the rest of the middle market germans....3-Series, Passats, Audi 6's and their American counterparts. It was AWOL for a while until discovered (do not leave your keys in the ignition with a valet nearby!)

Out front...it was nothing but Mercedes, BMW 5 and 7's, Lexus and some rarified sports cars.

I think this says it all. Who wants a 75K car that looks like a 30K model from the same manufacturer?

I'm not doubting it's a good car. It's the worst product placement since the Ford Thunderbird!
 
jcs17
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:59 am

Greg, it looks nothing like the Passat. That being said, I doubt I would ever spend 75k on Volkswagen, when for the same money I could get a Range Rover, Mercedes S-class, or a 7-series.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:43 am

It's got a VW badge...and in some opinions..mine included...looks very similiar to VW's other offerings. To be, it's a Passat on steroids.

For those who like, fine. I wouldn't have it in my garage is all I'm saying.

 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:39 am

I would love to own it, not just for being different from the rest of the Merc & company crowd, but also for the fact that when someone asks me what do I drive and I say "Volkswagen" they'll be expecting a Bettle/Jetta/Golf, and when they get to see this VW, I'm sure it will make them go like WOW!.

[Edited 2004-01-05 16:59:30]
.....up there with the best!
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:16 am

They won't go "WOW"...they'll go "Oh"...because it looks like any other midmarket VW or Audi.
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:30 am

What's funny is that the Phaeton is considered by most people to be far better looking than the 745i. It's also funny that many publications have concluded that the Phaeton has the best interior in its class. So from a styling, quality, fit and finish standpoint, the Phaeton really has the BMW beat. What it lacks is likely the driving dynamics of the BMW, and of course the snob-appeal.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:40 am

No, that's not true. "Most" people don't have a clue what it is! And for every publication that says it's goodlooking...you'll find many more that find it absolutely pedestrian in appearance.

So no, from a styling standpoint it's about as unique as a wet rag. And to say it has BWM beat.....just look at the sales figures....or even the projected ones...even the most optimistic projections show it will garner less than 10% of it's sales market.

So what, exactly, is the purpose of this Passat-Plus?

There is no doubt VW can build a good car. But their reputation is in reliability and low cost. Not high market luxury cars.

It will not sell well in the States.
 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:17 am

It may not be an "OOH....AHHH" car and yes its conservative in styling by todays rapidly changing tastes in style, which is a plus for me, and I'm sure alot of people will really be surprised that VW have produced such a nice car, maybe the type you hangout with are into the "OOH....AHHH" lot, and are label, tag, margue concious, which I could'nt careless about, its a fact any person who hears of VW will think a Beetle/Jetta/Golf and if they see its not those but this and dont get surprised or admire it even briefly must be strange, or fake.
.....up there with the best!
 
racko
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:18 am

The BMW 7er is a case of its own. One mag started with the "it's so ugly" thing and their author was too dumb to use I-Drive - and subsequently many other reporters jumped on the bandwaggon and wrote the same.

If you ask me, it's neither ugly nor is I-Drive difficult to use. Certainly far easier than if they had buttons for all the functions.
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:26 am

Everybody is fairly surprised that VW is making the car. It's not that they couldn't--they have a spectacular array of parts available from Porsche and Audi.

My comments are for the US market..which I believe would be VW's largest export market. I wouldn't have a clue how well this car would sell in Pakistan.
 
JAL777
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Wed Jan 07, 2004 1:36 pm

which I believe would be VW's largest export market

We are no where near they're largest market... anyway... check out what I saw parked in Manhattan on Monday...



 Big thumbs up
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:25 pm

It's even uglier than the brochure.
Looks like a Passat or an Acura...not a 75K cruiser.
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Wed Jan 07, 2004 11:43 pm

JAL777...you are right. We are small compared to South America and only equal to their exports to Eastern Europe (I checked the VW stats at VW AG).

We are, however, the largest importer of gasoline passengers vehicles from VW in excess of E25,000. A market which the Phaeton would be included.

So, I guess, we are the biggest importer of their most expensive vehicles--but far from their largest export market.

I stand corrected. Thank you for your information.

Brgds.
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:22 am

Greg, you really have to see the Phaeton in person. Only then can you appreciate its presence. It is truly a classy vehicle up close. But, it doesn't scream out at you either, and I like that.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Thu Jan 08, 2004 12:52 am

I saw it up close...I sat in the damn thing. It has a beautiful interior..and the fit and finish is great (expected in a factory show car)
My issue is that the US market for this car is almost nil--an that it is not that visually distinctive.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:24 am

the same was the case when the audi a8 entered the market in germany.

audi still had a down to earth image, and everybody thought they would never make a luxury brand. only a few people bought the first A8 (V8 by then).

but now that the 3rd generation A8 are on the road, they are very appreciated as a true alternative to the bragger's choice (BMW and MERCEDES).

also, the whole brand has profited from this upward movement. it takes time. and probably VW will make it too.

another thing is understatement of course.

cheers, r.
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Fri Jan 09, 2004 12:32 am

VW's are not going to be replacing MB's and BMW's anytime soon here in the States (unless you want your friends to think you're on food stamps!). The are viewed stritctly as mid-market material (Audi is, of course, a different story).

While it may work elsewhere...VW has spent the last four decades telling Americans how cheap and no-frills their vehicles are.... In fact, they are still placing ads on the orginal bugs' discontinuation in Time, Newsweek, etc.....

Hardly condusive to harvesting upscale sales of a $75+ car.
 
airmale
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:54 am

Greg, It seems like you have some kind of vendetta against VW, or do you work for one of the other marques? I mean one post was enough from you to say its a bad car, why the multiple replies? we get your point, but me and some others here still like it. Or is something against me because I recall you putting me down for liking the Acura TSX and not the BMW 3 series, ever heard the line "To Each His Own"?
.....up there with the best!
 
captaingomes
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:16 am

Airmale, in Greg's defence, I think his point is valid. His argument shadows the thought of many, if not most people in that category. In every single road test of the Phaeton, it always ends with something to the tune of "why would you pay this much for a VW" despite any merits they give the car. In that category, unfortunately snob-appeal is the most important factor. I would buy one. You would buy one. But the people with that kind of money are too self-conscious most of the time to consider anything other than what is established. Given that, the Phaeton will only succeed if VW gets passed that image aspect, and that could take a long, long time.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
airmale
Topic Author
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:46 am

One post was enough to establish that point.
.....up there with the best!
 
Greg
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RE: VW Go Upmarket

Fri Jan 09, 2004 4:07 am

It's a discussion, not an argument. Thats the purpose of any forum, right? I'm certainly not making it personal.

Captaingomes understands most of my points. I am not saying it's a bad car, just that it will NOT be replacing Merc's and BWM's in any appreciable quantity here in the States.

VW has built most of its US reputation on reliability and affordability. Only recently have they even included the word 'performance' to their print, audio, or TV ads.

To jump in a very competitive market with a $75K luxury car---under the same moniker....is likely not very smart.

I think many Americans think like this:

Nissan-------> upscale is Infiniti
Toyota------> upscale is Lexus
Volkswagen--> upscale is Audi

Mazda has failed attempt seven years ago when they were going to start the Millenia line. That vehicle, the first of the new company, was later just introduced in the regular Mazda line up (trivia for the day).

I'm saying the product placement IS wrong....not the vehicle itself. The Acura is whole different matter (no FWD car can compete with the handling of a RWD)

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