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Volvo says Twilight’s Edward Cullen is their ideal vehicle owner. Think about that for a second.

We’ve got another Burst of News coming your way early next week, but this is something we just felt we couldn’t keep bottled up all weekend.

According to Volvo, angsty douchebag vampire Edward Cullen, of Stephanie Meyer’s stupefyingly poorly written best-selling Twilight series, is the ideal Volvo owner. As such, in the upcoming future Razzie-nominated blockbuster adaptation of New Moon, Edward (bet he hates it when you call him Eddie) will be driving a Volvo XC60 sport-utility vehicle.

Yes, folks, you read that right. A passive-aggressive, pasty, teenage bloodsucker is the exact sort of person Volvo cars wants to be identified with.

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With hair like that, you'd think he drove a convertible.

A vampire who’s not only so pathetic and filled with self-loathing that he refuses to consume human blood, but jerks around the girl who’s in love with him, breaking her heart and refusing to let either of them be happy. (Dude, if she wants to be a vampire, let her be a vampire! Especially since “being a vampire” is no different than “being Clark Kent on Smallville,” except your skin sparkles.)

A vapid, two-dimensional creation from the masturbatory fantasies of a middle-aged Mormon mother who never so much as wrote a short story before drafting a cliched, anti-feminist, conservative piece of  drivel that, despite demonstrating the same level of writing skill as slightly-better-than-average Supernatural fan fiction, became a series of novels that spent almost two whole years atop the New York Times bestseller list, causing far superior writers who have been questing quixotically for years for a mere modimicum of her success to debate whether the Colt .45 they reach for should be in malt liquor or firearm form.

Volvo claims Eddie identifies well with their vehicles because he is “a nurturer” and cares about keeping the people he loves safe, while still seeking something good-looking. (After all, he is not-banging Kristen Stewart.) I say, emasculated bipolar monster , nurturer – po-tay-to, po-tot-o.

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Man, first they're associated with sushi-eating lefties, then "vegetarian" vampires. When will Volvo find owners who like red meat?

You know who would make a great character for Volvo to hook their wagon to? Thor. Incredibly powerful, well-spoken, flowing hair, an enormous hammer capable of bringing down lightening or splitting through dimensions – and he’s Norwegian to boot. You think Eddie Cullen has as much Swedish heritage in his corrupted veins as The Mighty Thor does?

(And don’t give me that “Edward’s pale enough to be Swedish” shit, cause I ain’t buying it. He’s a vampire. If he was one bit Norwegian, he’d be living up there from October to March. I read 30 Days Of Night. I know how vampires think.)

There’s a Thor movie headed for theaters in 2011. Maybe Saab will be smart enough to snap up the sponsorship rights to that one. I can see it now: “My evil half-brother Loki has stolen Mjolnir, robbing me of my ability to fly! Quick – into that Saab 9-5! We might not catch him – but with a turbocharged engine, we’ve got half a chance!”

thor full size

Here's a much better character to associate your brand with - someone who beats blind men and cross-dressers to death with a hammer!

And on a completely unrelated note, here’s a quick video of a man in Texas driving his Bugatti Veyron into a lake. He claims he was startled by a “low-flying pelican.” Personally, I think he just heard Volvo wants to be identified with Twilight.


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A Burst of News – Mini brings the Coupe, Land Rover goes green, Bentley goes epic, and more Ferrari 458 pix

We’ve got a couple more reviews coming up in the next couple weeks on CCO – not to give it away, but they rhyme with “Audi A5” and “Audi TT-S.” In the meantime, though, here’s a quick shot of sweet, sweet automotive news smack to mainline straight into your veins.

First up comes news out of Germany that Mini will be bringing a coupe to market in the next two to three years, in order to compete with the Audi TT, according to Automotive News. The Mini Coupe will be able to accommodate the same engines as the current Mini lineup, even the 211-hp 1.6 liter turbo engine from the badass John Cooper Works version.

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A concept version (complete with ballsy 211-hp engine) will be brought out at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show, but luckily, they’ve dropped a couple of preview images for us to check out. We kinda like it…what do you think?

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Next up comes very, very early news that Land Rover will reportedly unveil the production version of its compact LRX sport-ute in June 2010. According to Autocar, the small SUV will be unveiled on or around the 40th anniversary of the Range Rover brand (June 17, 2010, as if you didn’t know), and will attempt to be a more Earth-friendly Range Rover. Not sure how, unless they build the thing out of hemp.

Expect the production LRX (possibly renamed RRX? Or Range Rover Xtreme?) to begin rolling off production lines in 2011. It will likely cost at least $35,000, will compete with the Acura RDX and the BMW X1, and even though it will be heavily marketed towards upper-middle-class young adventurers (a.k.a you, dear reader), it will probably be bought mostly by yuppie suburbanites.

The owner is currently at a rock-climbing nightclub.

This car's owner is currently at a rock-climbing nightclub.

But while Land Rover tries to put a more affordable, more eco-friendly spin on its models, Bentley has turned around and whipped out its new flagship, which they’re describing as “the pinnacle of the ultra-luxury segment.” Up yours, masses.

I just love this picture.

I just love this picture.

Introduced at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance (French for “buttload of rich white dudes”), the Bentley Mulsanne replaces the Arnage, a car so old, Larry King drove to the prom in one. Technical specs won’t be released until the car’s “official” unveiling at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but expect a V8 with enough torque to spin the Earth backwards and reverse time, a la Superman: The Movie.

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Pricing will probably start around $300,000, and top out somewhere around the cost of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, depending on how many ridiculous custom options you request (“Do I want the platinum steering wheel, or the ruby-encrusted pedals? Hey, why not both?”). The first chassis was auctioned off for $500,000, though, so if you see one driving around before 2010, you know how much that guy paid for his car.

Also coming to the Frankfurt Auto Show is the new Saab 9-5. Now, the last Saab 9-5 was brought out in 1997, so to say this car is long overdue is like saying Americans love firearms, apple pie and Michael Bay movies.

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Packing all-new styling inspired by the awesome Aero X concept car, and packing up to 300 horsepower, the new 9-5 should finally offer quirky pseudo-hippies a distinct alternative to the BMW 5-series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-class. God knows how many quirky pseudo-hippies have that much money, though, so don’t expect to be seeing too many 9-5s on the roads near you, unless you live in Vermont or Oregon.

Sadly, the ignition remains by the steering wheel. Curse you, GM!

Sadly, the ignition remains by the steering wheel. Curse you, GM!

On a side note, while it might seem these days like every carmaker is unveiling their new models at fancy-dancy auto shows or hoity-toighty concourses, it falls to Toyota to bring new vehicle presentations straight to the masses. That’s why Toyota is unveiling their new 4Runner at, of all places, the Texas State Fair.

Yup.

Toyota respects this man's opinion above all others.

Toyota respects this man's opinion above all others.

No word yet on whether the 4Runner will be deep-fried for its public appearance.

And finally, because you can never have too many orgasms, here are a few pictures of the Ferrari 458 Italia on the road.

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GM College Grad Pricing

This doesn’t come under any of the usual headings of this site, but it seems worth mentioning. General Motors is currently offering a discount program on almost every single one of its cars exclusively for college seniors and recent graduates.  

It looks pretty easy: all you do is log onto http://www.gmcollegegrad.com, fill out a few forms, and bam! You’re eligible for what GM calls “supplier pricing,” which sounds an awful lot like “wholesale” to me. The conditions, surprisingly, are few and far-between. All you need is a college diploma from the last two years, a document from your college saying you’re gonna graduate in the next six months, or proof you’re in grad or nursing school. That’s it. That degree can be for anything from an associate’s degree to a Ph.D. 

The only other condition is that you have to hang onto the car for at least six months, presumably so no smart-minded entrepreneur tries to make a profit snatching these things up and turning them over. However, if you buy a Corvette, you’ve got to hang onto it for two years, which makes me think of that line from the 1998 Disney animated film Oliver and Company: “If this is torture, chain me to the wall!”

You know how awesome that movie is? Billy Joel was the voice of the canine Artful Dodger. Damn.

But yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he’s bringing us the gift of discounted Corvettes. That’s right – Corvettes, Escalades, CTS-Vs, Solstices, every GM car you might have harbored a fantasy about cruising up and down the Sunset Strip in is available for college students to snatch up. The only exception is the new Corvette ZR1, which isn’t really surprising, given its astronomical price tag, Ferrari-fighting performance, and $60,000-a-gallon paint. (Seriously.)

Even more wonderfully, GM is kind enough to let scholars combine these deals with the incentives available on almost every one of their models, usually in the form of cash on the hood. Even better, you can check these incentives on the GM College Grad site, so you can know exactly how much you’re gonna be paying when you walk in. According to their site, only “new and unused” cars are available under the agreement; next thing you know, they’ll be insisting you pay with “real and non-counterfeit” money.

So, in honor of this, I’m ticking off the GM cars I consider worth owning. I’m including both the original MSRP and the price with all discounts taken in; adding options will change it around, so feel free to play around on their site and spec one out yourself.

Buick

Enclave: GM’s new line of large, car-like SUVs offer better handling and marginal fuel savings than their truck-based siblings (i.e. the Suburban), and the Enclave is the best-looking of the otherwise similar bunch. Should you feel the need to buy a SUV for daily driving, the Enclave will do you well. Go for the CX trim level with all-wheel drive. $750 incentive cash, too.

MSRP/Discounted: $37,805/$35,226

Cadillac

CTS/CTS-V: The new CTS is by far Cadillac’s best car, capable of standing up with the best of the segment – BMW 3-series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, etc. If you’re just going for the base car, make sure you spring for the direct-injection engine that adds around 40 horsepower; whether you go with optional all-wheel-drive or standard rear-wheel-drive depends on how much snow you get and how much you want to spend on snow tires. But if you can go whole hog and get the 556-horsepower CTS-V, DO IT. $2000 incentive on all models.

CTS Direct Injection RWD: $39,180/$35,258

CTS-V: $59,995/$53,884

Escalade Hybrid: Feeling oxymoronic? Want to show the world how environmentally sensitive you are by buying a SUV that gets the same gas mileage as a taxicab? Well, as the ads say, this Bud’s for you. I’m assuming if you buy a truck-based SUV you’re gonna be driving through crappy weather, so get all-wheel-drive. $1000 rebate on all Escalade models.

Escalade Hybrid AWD: $74,465/$70,177

Chevrolet

Cobalt SS: While the regular Cobalt is a pretty pedestrian compact, strapping a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine (among other performance mods) makes one hell of a badass econobox. (Car and Driver managed to blast one form 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds, on the way to a 156-mph top speed.) Both coupe and sedan cost the same, so even those who need four doors can play. $1500 cash on the hood, by the way.

$24,095/$21,749

Corvette: Do I really need to say more? The base car will make you happier than almost any car in the world, and it only gets better from there.

Coupe 1LT: $49,415/$44,937

Convertible 1LT: $54,070/$49,145

ZO6 1LZ: $74,775/$67,861

HHR: Chevy counts this little PT Cruiser ripoff as a truck, but it’s as much a truck as Michael Jackson is white. (Or sane.) Still, for what it’s worth, this little guy is pretty stylish, roomy, and cheap. It even comes in panel-van versions (for the aspiring band) or in SS trim (for the really cool bands). $1000 incentive on all models.

LS: $19,380/$17,739

LS Panel: $19,690/$18,036

SS: $25,475/$23,567

GMC

Yukon Denali: While this SUV might just seem like a cut-rate version of the Escalade, it’s in fact a steal right off the bat. The Denali packs just about all the Escalade’s features (including the fun 403-hp motor) into a classier-looking package that won’t leave you feeling like Diddy. Plus, that simple badge switch saves you about six grand. $1000 incentive cash.

$53,580/$48,816

Hummer

There is no reason to buy a Hummer. Especially now that the badass original is gone.

Pontiac

G8: Pontiac’s new sedan makes the Bonnevilles and the Grand Prixes of the past two decades seem like a bad dream. Based on an Australian product, the G8 is sweet enough you might start saying “It’s a Pontiac” with pride, not shame. The performance-minded should spring for the V8-powered GT, which blows away a BMW 550i for half the price – well, even less, now. $1500 cash on the hood.

G8 base: $28,875/$26,320

G8 GT: $32,240/$29,538

Solstice: Personally, I prefer the styling of its Saturn Sky sibling, but the Solstice is cheaper out the gate, so I’m giving it the slot on the list. Sadly, it looks like GM has marked up the prices recently: when it came out a few years ago, Pontiac was advertising that the Solstice started at $5 less than twenty grand; as you can see, it’s gone up a good bit since then. If you’ve got cash burning a hole in your pocket, the turbocharged 260-hp GXP gives you a little more straight-line fin, but both cars will make you smile.

Solstice base: $24,895/$23,509

Solstice GXP: $30,105/$28,491

Saab

9-3: Yes, remarkably, Saab is owned by General Motors, and as such should be a full participant in this program. I say might, because the GM website mentions something about seeing your Saab dealer for more details, but hey, you have to see any dealer for more details. Saab’s quirky lineup hasn’t been changed much in the last decade or so, so the only model really worth anyone’s time is the smaller 9-3. Basics are best here; four-door, not convertible or station wagon is the way to go. Leave the all-wheel-drive to the other Swedes – front-wheel-drive is fine for you. And for God’s sake, don’t go throwing thousands of dollars of options on it. Ikea-esque minimalism is the way to go here. $2000 incentive on all Saabs, not just the 9-3.

9-3 Touring Sedan FWD: $31,135/$28,243

Saturn

Astra: This little baby is another import – however, unlike the Aussie G8, this baby’s from across the other ocean. Replacing the tepid Ion (a car so forgettable, Saturn loaned one to Car and Driver and never remembered to pick it up), this Vauxhall-in-celestial-garb comes in 2- and 4-door hatchback forms. Unfortunately, GM’s “supplier pricing” website doesn’t offer pricing info on it, but given the $16,495 base price on Saturn’s own website, you’ll probably save only a couple hundred more.

Finally, I noticed on GM’s list of incentives (which covers “new and unused” 2008 models as well as 2009) there were a few figures which seemed, well, incredible enough to list.  I don’t necessarily like these models, but I figured I’d give you the discounts anyway; for 2008 models, I used the 2009 MSRPs and wholesale prices, so the ’08s might actually be a little cheaper than I’ve listed.

2009 Hummer H3T: $5,500 incentive. ($32,045/$24,665)

2008 Cadillac Escalade, all models: $6750 incentive. (Escalade AWD: $64,485/$53,815)

2008 Cadillac STS, all models: $6000 incentive. (STS V6 RWD: $46,725/$38,416)

2008 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended/Crew Cab: $5,500 incentive. (Work Truck Ext. Cab Medium Bed 4WD: $29,330/$29,812)

2008 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD: $6000 incentive. (Work Truck Regular Cab Long Bed 4WD: $29,570/$21,614)

2008 Saab 9-7X: $7,250 incentive. (9-7X 4.2i: $43,390/$33,789)

2008 Saab 9-3, all models: $4750 incentive. (2.0T Touring: $31,135/$25,493)

2008 Saab 9-5, all models: $5250 incentive. (2.3T Sedan: $41,180/$34,344)

So get out there and buy some GM iron! After all, these deals won’t last long. I mean, the company might well be bankrupt within six months, and then you’ll never see these deals again! (That is, if you ever see a new GM vehicle again.) Do your part! Save the economy! Buy GM! Baseball! Hot Dogs! Apple Pie! Etc! America – fuck yeah! Wooooooo!

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