In case you missed it, automakers launched their Super Bowl ad blitz on Sunday.
Super Bowl 46, and as ever, the athletic contest that saw the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots took something of a backseat to the crass commercialism we all know and love.
VW, ever with the clever clips, had a big fat dog going on a diet and exercise routine to slim down and get more athletic: just like the new New Beetle. Then Darth Vader shows up and chokes a guy for some reason.
Honda had several entries, one with Matthew Broderick reprising a sort of Ferris Bueller's Day Off routine with him traipsing around the city in a CR-V instead of putting in time at the office. It's quite lame actually.
Their Acura ad was much better, with Porsche-o-phile Jerry Seinfeld doing everything in his power to convince someone to hand over the keys to the first Acura NSX. Hilarious, particularly the twist at the end. Also, I can't wait for the new NSX.
Hyundai had several spots, most notably one involving a Cheetah and the Veloster Turbo-very excited to see that car in action. Audi had a bunch of vampires getting blasted by the headlights of an A7. There was even a fun ad for the decent-butpoorly-selling Suzuki Kizashi with an Inuit gentleman trading in his dogsled for the bright red AWD sedan. However, the stand-out ad campaign had to be for the Chevy Sonic. Not only did Chevy have indie band OK Go doing one of their crazy RubeGoldberg-contraption music videos in a Sonic, but they also showed the Sonic kick-flipping over a giant skateboard.
Dodge at Work on SRT Version of Dart
Back when Chrysler used to be in deep financial doo-doo, it was hard to get worried about the possible disappearance of things like the Dodge Caravan. On the other hand, the thought of a wasteland of frugal econoboxes without anything with a Hemi in it was enough to have Mopar enthusiasts gnashing their teeth.
Luckily, Dodge is still around and healthier than ever. Luckily-ier, their high-performance SRT wing is still in action, cranking out exciting and uncompromising tributes to the musclecars of yore. Right now, they're even working on a new Viper.
They're also working, so 'tis rumoured, on an SRT version of the new Dodge Dart. The designation would be SRT-4, indicating that fourcylinder turbo power is likely. If you'll recall, the original SRT-4 was a turbocharged Neon, and despite that car's lowly ancestral roots, it was a barnburning terror and annoyingly fast if you'd just plunked down big money for a Nissan Z or a Subaru STi.
The current SRT-4 is nowhere near as good as the original, as it's based on the Dodge Caliber, which is a bit too much of a pig's ear to sew into a high-speed purse. However, the new Alfa-Romeo-based Dart is going to be a very sporty platform even with less powerful engines, and it should be an absolute riot in the rumoured 300hp SRT-4 form.
. Details of M-Sport Diesels Revealed
Before everyone gets too excited: we won't get these models on this side of the pond-yet. The five new cars that BMW's M-Division just launched are European only. Shame.
What are they? The M550d xDrive (sedan and touring), the X5 M50d and the X6 M50d. That's quite a jumble of alphanumeric designation, so on to the details.
The 5-series sedan and the two BMW SUVs will be built with all the usual M-Sport accoutrements: sporty suspension, larger rims and tires and more aggressively-programmed driver aids. They will also feature, for the first time, diesel power. And what a power it is!
With 376 hp and 545lb/ft of torque coming through an eight-speed automatic transmission, these triple-turbocharged M-monsters are capable of coming within tenths-of-a-second of their much thirstier M-badged stablemates. Try a combined hwy/city fuel-consumption of 6.3L/100kms and a 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds.
Why won't Bimmer bring their stonking fast oil-burners over here? Just wait: diesel power is growing ever more popular in North America, so it's only a matter of time.
. Rolls-Royce Launches Year of the Dragon Model, Sells Out
Welcome to the year of the Dragon. Rolls-Royce saw fit to celebrate the Chinese lunar new year by rolling out a specialty model, a uniquely appointed version of their half-million-dollar Phantom, dragons embossed in the leather and inlaid in the special wood trim. Then they decided to charge 1.2 Million bucks for it. Global financial crisis? Looks like that's something that only happens to other people: the big-ticket roller sold out in two months flat.
email@example.com Twitter: @brendan_mcaleer