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The never-ending Bond 24 thread

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:05 pm

Bautista's acting performance? Of course you cannot. His ass-kicking performance? That, on the other hand, looks quite promising. . .

Well, with the Hennessey gone, it really does not matter whether it was worth the money or not. But I take that in stride. On the other hand, our new carpeting & flooring looks great, and our house no longer reeks of incontinent dog.

I half jokingly told Eve that since she is so obsessed with branding and has looked at some higher mileage BMWs and/or Audis, that we can look for some higher mileage creampuff for her -- as long as she accepts the fact that the cost of repairs will be what they will be -- trading in the Buick for that, and then we wait until next year and trade in the Fusion for a Focus RS. She likes the idea. I really do not, as I really do not like dealing with potential repairs for her since she commutes, but hey, if it gets me an RS. . .

I agree with you about Ford right now. One of the other hot hatches that I have had my eye on is a Golf GTI (or an R, but that is pretty costly.) Most every reviewer out there comments on how the Golf has a much better interior than the Fords, and that it is arguably the best daily driver for "grownups." But a GTI Autobahn edition goes for $32,000, and still does not perform as well as a fully loaded Focus ST for $4000 less -- to say nothing of the fact that it cannot match the handling of the Fiesta ST at around $8000 less, despite its economy car interior. As much as I am aging and appreciate the creature comforts, the performance of the Fords is hard to let go.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:00 pm

I have to confess that I'm not a big Bautista fan, when it comes to his acting, but I believe that he genuinely wants to do a good job, and so I hope he does well. He interviews well and comes across humble, but his acting feels a bit stiff to me. However, I can see him doing quite well in this role for Spectre.

The VWs do have a nicer interior, to a point, although even that is subjective. If a fighter-jet-type cockpit floats your boat, one of the Ford's is probably more to your liking. If a utilitarian, uncluttered dash revs you up, then you'll like the VW offerings. Both have soft-touch materials and the VWs do it a bit better, but that sort of thing has to matter to you.

The idea of a better fit for a grown up applies to the ride quality as well. Sharper handling typically comes with a harsher ride, so it really comes down to what you want: Something that's best at the limit or something that's better for all around driving. Incidentally, if you go the GTI route, I'd suggest looking at the GTI with performance pack. It only adds 10 hp, but more importantly adds a limited slip differential and, I think, fits summer rubber. That version may very well handle as well as the Fiesta ST and, I think, is probably a better option over the Golf R, which is pricey for what you get. Of course, the repair bill for a Ford will be easier to swallow. VWs aren't cheap. Mine is still under warranty, but even service is costly. A synthetic oil change for my Speed 6 runs about $80. In my VW, it's $140, and I haven't the foggiest why.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:02 pm

I had never even heard of Bautista prior to Guardians of the Galaxy, but I ended up liking him as much as any other character in the film.  He had one of the best character arcs, and Bautista underplayed the role perfectly.  It is harder to play a humorless character than you would think.  (Except for his savage laughter in the face of death as they crash land on the enemy ship, which according to director James Gunn in the commentary track on the disc, was not scripted and was entirely Bautista's idea!)  Maybe he will be terrible in everything else that he does, but that movie turned me into at least a temporary fan.


For the price of a Golf R, the Focus RS would be definitely preferable, fit & finish be damned.  That is just going to be another stratosphere.  But in the price range of a Focus ST, the Golf GTI is definitely a viable alternative, and most reviews at least seem to prefer the interior of the VW.  Mind you, I have never been much of a VW fan, and I have at least driven a 2012 Focus, so while it may not be a BMW, I know that I was satisfied with the interior -- not gobsmacked, certainly, but completely content.  And yes, I would not just look at the performance pack on the GTI, but likely the Autobahn version as well. As far as the ride goes, again, with the company vehicle, I just do not put that many miles onto my personal vehicle, so it is less of a problem.  The RS will be even stiffer than the ST, though like the Golf R it will have different driving settings.  Not sure how much of a difference that really makes on the suspension without a true magnetic system like the CTS-V (or now, the Chevy SS as well.)

But. . .   I just do not know.  In my head, the Fiesta ST is a smarter choice as far as price vs. performance goes.  We can buy it and pay it off quickly.  In my heart, though, I keep hearing this (turn the volume all the way up):

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:46 pm

Well, and that's just it. There is nothing particularly wrong with the Ford interior. I test drove a Focus Titanium last year and I found the interior quite pleasant. I didn't care for the dash and it probably didn't help that the salesperson was quite excited about showing me how to adjust the climate control using the touch screen. All I could think was, why can't I use simple dial? I do think the VW interior is nicer, but it is also more simple. Some people might find it too plain.

I might be mistaken, but the Autobahn version is just a trim thing. It basically gets you a loaded GTI with leather, moon roof and whatnot. It doesn't buy any more performance. The performance package does. So, if you are okay with cloth seats and you don't care about things like satellite radio or navigation, you can save about $4000 or $5000 by getting the basic model with the performance pack.

The Fiesta ST is a bargain. Since you're looking for a fun car, why not? I need my cars to be balanced (fun, but suitable for a road trip too), so overall comfort is a factor. I'm not sure I'd want to road trip in a Fiesta ST unless the roads were in good condition and twisty. But one of these days I might just go for it.

The Focus RS sounds nice. Wish I had the balls to drive like that on a country road. I'm going to assume the driver knew those roads really well . . . (makes me feel better).
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:38 am

That was on a closed track of course, with traction control turned off, and presumably with the Ken Block-inspired "Drift Mode" activated. But speaking of Block and the RS, that video was a "warmup" for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Here is Block himself driving the car at the festival, presumably with all electronics engaged. He does get the back end to break loose in one corner at the beginning -- probably on purpose -- but for the rest of the run, that thing stays pretty much glued to the road, even in cornering. Note how minimal the body roll is:





By the way, when you get used the the infotainment controls on cars like the Focus, you do find yourself using them more than the regular controls. I even use the nav system constantly, though not to get directions. I have discovered that I love using it to help orienting myself in a more traditional fashion, and it helps you learn the roads even better. I just keep the map window up, but with the orientation changed so that instead of showing the direction of travel, it keeps north oriented toward the top. That way, you are seeing where you are relative to the surrounding roads just like you were looking at a map. If you were actually using it to find a destination, that would get confusing, but when you are using it just to see where you are, it actually gives you a better sense of where you are then relying on your own, well, senses. I have been surprised, many times, to discover that I was wrong about the direction of certain stretches of road. For example, a certain stretch may have felt due east-west to me when in reality it was closer to northeast-southwest. It ends up helping you orient yourself better even when you are driving a car without the system.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:20 pm

I suppose, but then I'm the type that longs for analogue gauges and roll-up windows. My cars have onboard compasses and that does the trick for orienting me. Incidentally, did you know that you can easily use an analogue watch as a compass?

The RS looks like an incredible performer. Ironically, it's also a domestic make that will be built in Germany.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:42 am

Analogue gauges, power windows, and navigation systems are not mutually exclusive. They can all work in harmony. I prefer analogue gauges as well, but the ability to control the entire climate system, my iPod, and have a "living" map on display gets quite comfortable. You will have to studiously avoid Teslas, then, as they have a massive screen that controls everything in the car. While I love my big engines, I do have to admit that I would be perfectly happy with a Tesla Model S P85D. Elon Musk just announced that they found a way to increase its horsepower again via an over-the-air update, and it will shave the already ridiculous 3.1 second 0-60mph down to 2.8 seconds. The ability to give a 10% performance increase via nothing more than a software update shows just what a world we live in!


But, since you love analogue, watches, and Bond, I assume that you will pick up one of these? (And of course it is a Seamaster as well!)

http://www.007.com/omega-release-new-bond-inspired-timepiece/
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:30 am

Oh, I am fan of climate control. I just like to interface with it using traditional knobs and dials, as I can do with my current cars. The nav display does tell me what's going on, but I like the ability to turn a dial to adjust parameters, rather than have to navigate through several submenus, that's all. I don't use an iPod, so that's never been a concern for me.

Teslas are interesting, but I probably wouldn't buy one. For the money, there are other cars that interest me more (like an Alfa Romeo 4C). Incidentally, if fast acceleration times excite you, the 911 Turbo S is insane: 0-30 mph in one second; 0-60 in 2.5 seconds; 0-100 in 6.2 seconds; 0-150 in just under 15 seconds. That car runs a twin-turbo 3-8 L flat six.

I actually don't go for any of the Bond-inspired watches. They feel too gimmicky to me. I prefer to stick to the regular production models, which are the actual watches Bond would wear, and more affordable too. Plus, I'm not a fan of Omega's limited production runs. A run of 15,007 pieces isn't exactly limited in the world of watches -- pretty much anyone who wants one can get one. I like Omegas, but they sure don't hold back when it comes to marketing.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:26 am

The full Spectre trailer is out:

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:17 pm

I did see that.  There are a few things in the trailer that concern me a bit, such as more and more of old-school Bond elements creeping back in, but I suppose that it is inevitable.  While I prefer the tone and style of movies like Casino Royale, it would be wrong to expect the producers to keep doing that in perpetuity, just as it would be wrong to think that the tone of the Brosnan films could go on forever.  Bond needs to keep evolving to stay alive.  But we shall see.  I do love the subtle nods to the previous films that Mendes keeps inserting without hitting us over the head with them; Waltz wears a Nehru jacket at one point, but it is a different colour than Dr. No's was.  (Same as having Craig wear a jumpsuit with a shoulder holster in the posters, but grey instead of black like Live and Let Die.)  Plus, the score quotes from OHMSS, at least in the trailer, so I am automatically "in."  

While in many ways I prefer old-fashioned gasoline powered muscle, there is one thing about the Teslas that is pretty seductive: no torque curve.  A 2.8 second 0-60mph in a Tesla is quite different than a 2.8 second 0-60mph in any other non-electric car, at least in terms of how it feels in the vehicle.  The instant full torque puts a fist on you like nothing else.  Plus, they are damned fine cars.  Mind you, at the price point of a P58D, you can also pick up a Vantage GT or a BMW I8, which are stellar vehicles in their own ways.  And, if you have bothered to mosey on over to Cadillac's website, the configurator is active for the  2016 CTS-V.  It will start at $83,995 and work its way up to $102,010 depending on options.  And while the jury is still out on that car, I might just take one over all others at that price point.  It looks like it is going to be killer.

We are officially selling our rental house, so there may be a new car in my future after all.  According to the RS forums (yes, there are some already,) the dealer order system has started going active for Ford dealers.  It may be only a few weeks until they can start taking orders.  So again we shall see.  Still a bit spendy for a car for me, but I do not know how everything will shake out.  Plus, I decided that if I do decide to spend less and go for a Fiesta ST, I am not going to compromise what I want.  As long as I am spending the money on a new car, I will get what I want, even if it means having to order one from the factory.  So Molten Orange, black/orange Recaros and nav system it is.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:46 pm

Yes, there are certainly a few scenes that push the boundaries of what's believable. At least the tone still has an element of coolness about it -- the franchise has not gone off the deep end of silly. And, yes, the OHMSS score is nice. I hope they keep it.

I love the CTS-V, but $100,000 for a GM is getting a bit steep.

I don't see us letting go of the rental home anytime soon. I have read rumours that the Focus RS will start at $37,000. I don't know how many options there will be, and I assume that price doesn't include freight or tax. So, call it a $40,000 car, which is what I expected (it'll be closer to $50,000 up here). I can get a Fiesta ST spec'd as I like for nearly half that amount. Granted, the Fiesta ST doesn't have anywhere near the same performance, but that doesn't mean it's not fun.

Although I commented earlier that I'd want something larger than the Fiesta ST for road trips, I'm changing my mind. My Speed 6 is growing a bit long in the tooth. I know I'll be giving up a lot of power, but I'm considering swapping it for a Fiesta ST, also in orange, greyed wheels, recaros (that's the only way it comes here), moonroof, but I don't care if it has nav or not. The Focus RS is tempting, but I can think of several other cars that I could spend $50,000 (CDN) on. There are no other cars that I'd want at the Fiesta ST's price point.

Edit: I played with the configurator for the CTS-V and it looks like the car only comes with an automatic gearbox. Stuff that. I'd go for the cheaper ATS-V just so that I can row my own gears (although even that car, after I had configured it, came in at $72,000 USD).
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:07 am

Good point about the OHMSS musical quote in the trailer -- I do not know if that is just temp score that will only be in the trailer, or if it is finished music that will be used in the film.  Same with that glockenspiel (or whatever) version of the Bond theme that was in the previous teaser.  But given just how many references to previous films that there are in everything from the poster to that Nehru jacket, I would not be surprised if Mendes is going to have his composer (Thomas Newman again, presumably) actually quote music from previous films as well.  (True trivia: I wore a Nehru jacket at my wedding.)  I did get to see the trailer on the big screen before Mission Impossible, and while I really enjoyed the film, it would have been worth seeing it for that trailer, even if the movie was disappointing.

Torchinsky over at Jalopnika got behind the wheel of the new CTS-V, and basically declared it glorious but completely pointless (in the sense that most people who buy the car will not ever even take it to a track, and outside of a track, it is extraordinary overkill.)  Now I want one more than ever!  

http://jalopnik.com/2016-cadillac-cts-v-a-glorious-640-hp-exercise-in-over-1721258796

And yes, the CTS-V is auto only.  Thing is, as much fun as a manual transmission can be, we have officially crossed the point where an automatic (or automated manual, as the case may be) can noticeably outperform a stick.  Most of the newer supercars and hypercars are automatic only, and on the cars where they have an option, the automatic versions always post faster 0-60 times and lap times as well.  That darned world just keeps changing on us.  But, if massive horsepower and a stick are on your plate, there is always that lovely Chevy SS with its 415 HP/415 lb-ft V8, a good manual transmission, and the same magnetic ride suspension from the Cadillacs, all for $45,000.  Plus, while it is not unattractive, it does not look that sporty, so it will not attract the attention of every police officer and trooper on the road.  

I also just found out that my nephews new job at U.S. Bank gives him a discount on Fords and GMs, and that discount applies to friends & family as well.  He just bought a new truck for his wife and got a really good deal on it.  It helps that he buys and sells all the time and is quite good at it -- he is more than willing to stay on a lot for eight hours until he is certain that the dealer is not making one penny of profit off of him.  (He had made a deal for a Chevy instead, and when he got there to sign the paperwork the car had a charge on it that made it $75 more than they had agreed.  He walked away over the $75 and went across the street to the Ford dealer instead.)  He recommended a high volume Ford dealer in the Twin Cities that can afford to make deals just to gain market share, rather than always making a profit.  I love the Ford dealer that we have used, and they have been very good to us, but they are definitely a smaller dealer.  So, the plan is that when we get to that point, I will use his discount, and bring him along to wheel and deal for me.  He is much, much better at it than I am.  Plus, I checked out the dealer, and they have multiple Fiesta STs and Focus STs, so before we get to that point, I plan on going down there with just Eve and test driving both.  The Focus RS is just tricked out version of the ST, so if I am comfortable in the Focus ST with the Recaros, nothing is going to change with the RS and I could order one with confidence.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:36 pm

I also enjoyed seeing the trailer on the big screen. I'm looking forward to this next Bond.

My preference for a proper manual has nothing to do with performance. I know an automatic can put down better performance numbers, but I get so much more driving enjoyment from a stick shift. And I will take fun over a little extra speed any day. That and I still hold that it takes more skill to drive a manual. There is a certain satisfaction that comes from rev-matching and nailing a proper downshift. With DSG-type transmissions, they work well, although there are times where the paddles are annoyingly out of reach (e.g., going around a tight bend) or taking a corner from a stop and wanting to shift from first to second.

I'm not sure I could go for a Chevy SS. The styling is ho-hum, and I'm really not a fan of GM cars (Cadillac and some special models here and there excepted).

Your nephew sounds like a negotiating fiend. I haven't read that the seats are uncomfortable in the Focus ST. I have heard that they are uncomfortable in the Fiesta ST. Regardless, do keep in mind that the RS will drive quite different from the ST. All-wheel drive will eliminate the torque steer and the extra power will make a difference.

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:07 pm

Oh, I understand about the driver engagement of a manual compared to an auto.  I was just pointing out that it is now the only reason to want one; the old days of sluggish automatics are a thing of the past.  Nevertheless, with price as no object, I would still take the supercharged V8 of the CTS-V over the turbo six in the ATS-V, without the slightest bit of hesitation!  That car is a beast.  The same thing is true of Aston in this day and age.  Since they now only offer a manual transmission with the V8 Vantage, with again price being no object, I would take one of the V12s in a heartbeat.  But even the satisfaction of proper rev matching is reduced in many modern vehicles, and that includes the ATS-V: it does the rev matching for you:

http://hooniverse.kinja.com/first-track-drive-2016-cadillac-ats-v-1722453867

That is why the Chevy SS is such an interesting option.  That is some serious power with a manual transmission, and the magnetic suspension from the Caddys is no slouch. Oh, and it is not just any stick, either: it is the same one as the Viper.  Keep in mind that it is not really a GM, but is largely a Holden.  (Alright, fine, so that still makes it a GM because they own Holden, but it is quite a different company.)  And with that car, I consider the blase styling a virtue, not a vice.  It is certainly not ugly.  But the fun thing is that very few people have any idea what it is.  Not only will the police ignore it, but you could pull up to any young hotshot at a stoplight and annoy the hell out of him by not letting him get ahead of you.  (It is always more fun to just stay ahead of someone with something to prove, rather than completely blowing him out of the water.)  I believe the 0-60mph time on that is in the vicinity of 4.5 seconds.  AutoGuide just posted a hilarious review extolling its virtues:



Regarding the test drives, there is more to seating that just the actual seat itself.  I need to know for sure if I can get the seats set to a comfortable height and distance, especially in the smaller Fiesta.  I tend to like the seats pretty far back so that my legs are stretched out, though I would probably want them a touch closer with a manual.  I just want to make sure that the whole car fits my body, not just the seats themselves.  That is why the Focus ST with the full leather Recaros will tell me everything that I need to know about the RS; the seats and the cockpit will be nearly identical.  I have driven a newer Focus, of course, as we owned one.  But I do know that I could not get the seats back quite far enough to be comfortable until I finally figured out that raising and lowering the seats was not perpendicular; it moved forward a bit when you raised it, and back a bit when you lowered it.  But I am not sure how that will work with the Recaros, though again I will probably want them a touch closer anyway with the manual transmission.  Plus, I have not driven a stick in many years, so it would not be a bad idea to test drive one to get back in the groove!  So if the Focus ST fits me like a glove, I could order an RS sight-unseen with full confidence.

If I do ultimately go with the Fiesta, I can run down to one other dealer in the Twin Cities who does have one with the Recaros.

And yes, my nephew is a maniac.  He is in his mid-twenties and has already bought and sold more cars than I will in my entire life.  Always comes out ahead, too.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:28 am

In addition to driver engagement and the enjoyment that comes with driving a manual, Car and Driver made another interesting comment related to manual set ups: ". . . when a driver is more closely engaged with driving, he or she is far less likely to be texting, eating, or anything else. That in itself makes the case for three-pedal driving." That conclusion might be a bit of a reach, but I understand the essence of what they're trying to say.

I know that the SS is a rebadged Holden. I believe Holden had an agreement to export so many units, which is how the SS hit the US market (I haven't even looked to see it is available in Canada). Even more compelling is that Holden will be shutting up shop in a couple of years, which will make this current SS rather unique and rare. It will no doubt hold it's value. And I can fully appreciate the idea of a true sleeper. My problem with any Chevy (and I suppose this could be true for all American makes) is that they just don't compare to the cars from the 60s and early 70s. With Ford, I feel they've found and embraced a new direction. With some subbrands, like Cadillac and Buick, I feel they, too, have tried to embrace a new image. Perhaps I'm not being fair with the SS. Still, $50,000-plus isn't throwaway change, particularly in today's market (my city and province are in a rather major recession with the price of oil in the toilet). I will give the video a proper watch a little later.

I see what you mean regarding seating. I thought you were just referring to comfort (the Fiesta ST seats are known to bite). You must have incredibly long legs if you need the seat all the way back. Squats and deadlifts must also suck for you.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:43 pm

Funny that you should mention what C&D said about a manual. While we were at the Ford dealer on Saturday to test drive things, they had a 2010 Audi S5 with a V8 and a manual, and Eve wanted the car. She was even rustier on a stick than I was, and really struggled to just drive around a parking lot, but when I told her that she was still probably better off with an automatic because of the time that she spends commuting, she said that she thought she would be better off with a stick because it would force her to pay attention more than she does without one. So what they said was not that much of a reach.

I never would have bought the car, since it was $20,000 at 134,000 miles, and they were selling it as-is. If Eve wants an Audi, there is a used car dealer closer to us that warranties their used vehicles, and if I bring my nephew along we can probably get something like a fully loaded 2011-2012 A6 in the $15,000 range. But that S5 was fun to drive. The salesman actually killed it a couple of times, so Eve was not the only one. I never killed it, but it was lurching in first gear, and the only way to get a gentle start was to let out the clutch without even touching the gas. I finally figured out that it was perfectly happy starting from a dead stop in second gear.

I did sit in the Recaro-less Fiesta ST, but never ended up driving one. I drove a 2015 Focus ST -- and yes, I really liked it -- and then he showed us a couple of fully loaded 2014 Focus STs that they needed to move off the lot. Long story short -- and we spent far longer there than I planned to -- we got a good price on one of those. We were meeting friends for dinner and ran out of time to sign the deal, but I put a little money down to hold it and we will finish it tomorrow. It has the Tangerine Scream paint, with the ST3 package, so full leather Recaros, nav system/upgraded stereo, moonroof, cornering headlamps, overhead console, pretty much the works. The list was $31,500, but as it was a last year's model, and with some additional discounts and wheedling, we got it to $26,000. No RS, but that is around $14,000 cheaper than the equivalent package for the RS. Plus, the salesman told me what I had already read rumbles about, namely, that they would not be discounting the car due to demand on its initial release, and may even be charging over MSRP. So, by getting this car now, I get the discounts, and if I am still obsessed with the RS after they have been out for a year or so, I can always trade in the ST.

The only disappointment was the trade in on the Fusion was pretty low -- $14,000. Ouch. It is only a year old, but it does have 34,000 miles on it, no leather, and Eve did crumple the panels on one side when she hit a post in a parking lot, so it has had body work done. I looked it up on Kelly Bluebook, and that indeed was the trade in value, even without the accident. So they gave us as good as they could. There is a glut of Fusions out there right now, so they do not hold their resale value.

The seats in the Focus ST really fit me like a glove, so I had to face the fact that the smaller Recaros in the Fiesta ST would probably not be as comfortable. Plus, they are manual seats.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:52 pm

If you go for an Audi for Eve, I have to put a pitch in for the S5 (or any S-line). They are more fun than the basic versions. I happen to think the S5 looks fantastic (the RS5 even more so). Also, you won't find a stick shift in an A6.

Congratulations on getting a Focus ST. Sounds like you negotiated a good deal. And nice colour choice. Of course, 500 words and photos . . .

It's too bad you didn't get to drive the Fiesta ST. I would have been curious to have heard your thoughts on how the cars compare. Did you get a winter tire package for the Focus? I can't recall if that car comes standard with summer rubber.

Depreciation on cars suck. At least you got the best you could.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:20 am

The S5 was fun to drive, but it had 134,000 miles and was as-is, so I just had no confidence in it.  Plus, $20,000 was more than we wanted to spend on her car.  The V8 was fun, but the mpg would have been terrible -- she commutes about 90 miles a day, sometimes more.  While she made the pitch about a manual helping her focus more on driving, I still think that it would have been fatiguing for her in the long run.  

On the other hand, we did grab a 2009 CTS for her off the same "closeout" section.  Traded in my Buick for that.  It had 120,000 miles, which was roughly the same as the Buick did, but it felt significantly more solid.  Tires were good, brakes felt good, and the suspension felt pretty solid as well.  (The Buick was driveable, but the shocks were definitely pretty worn.)  Engine was clean.  It was also sold as-is, but we talked to someone who made it clear that they had done the same full inspection on the car that they do for anything that they warranty, and fixed anything that would not pass.  The big one their was that he said that they replaced the timing chain -- my nephew had a 2011 CTS and the same repair cost him $4500.  So, the "big one" was out of the way.  Blue Book was $15,000, they were selling it at their own cost of $12,000, and we still battled them down another $1000.  Got $3000 out of the Buick, which was unexceptional but pretty fair.  

It is still really a short-term solution for Eve.  No nav system is a big drawback.  She will drive it while we keep our eyes open for something else to trade it in for.  


I honestly have no regrets about not driving the Fiesta ST.  It really looks cheap inside with those cloth seats, and after having felt how the Recaros alter the driving experience in the Focus ST, the cloth seats alone would have made the comparison invalid.  If they had one with the Recaros I would have tried it, but the Focus is clearly a more comfortable car overall.  Mine has the ST2&ST3 packages, so full leather Recaros all the way.  LOVE them.  

No time for a review or a lot of pics right now, so you will have to settle for this shot that Eve took at the dealer.  I posted it on Facebook with the message "Midlife crisis averted.  Narrowly."  (The Caddy behind it is Eve's.)



Last edited by Iago on Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:57 pm

What I meant was stick with the S line of Audis, not the particular car you test droe. But not that that matters since you clearly found Eve a Caddy.

I was more curious to see how you found the driving dynamics of the two STs compared. But proper seats are a must. I would never buy an ST without the Recaros. As I said, you can't even get the car in Canada without Recaros. The Focus is clearly the more upmarket car. Have you noticed that the car exhibits torque steer?

At any rate, congrats. Will await further info . . .
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:40 am

Not sure if the above picture was working when you posted, but when I read your post something had gone wrong and it was a dead link. I fixed it and it seems to be working now.

I certainly would have enjoyed trying out the Fiesta, but just sitting inside it without the Recaros was enough to make it seem pointless. The standard cloth seats are completely forgettable, and having felt how important the bolstering is in my Focus during cornering, I cannot imagine how much you would get tossed around inside the Fiesta without it. And I would go one step further and say that not only would I not buy an ST without the Recaros, I would never buy a Focus ST without the ST3 package and the full leather Recaros. The partial leather ones are still nice, and the bright cloth accents are certainly eye-catching, but the full leather versions are simply awesome.

I now have 220 miles on it and have really not wrung it out yet, but the few times that I have floored it have definitely shown the torque steer. I believe that has been improved slightly in the 2015 refresh, which has minor suspension modifications and tuning to improve both understeer and torque steer, but I cannot imagine that the differences are that great. Let us just say that you want to have a death grip on the wheel whenever you put your foot down from a dead stop.

And if I decide to be content and not trade it in for an RS, I am tempted by this:

http://blog.caranddriver.com/ford-performance-upgrade-for-focus-st-brings-output-to-275-horsepower/
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:11 pm

The car probably needs a true limited slip or a tune to limit power in first and second gear (but what fun is that) to get rid of the torque steer. That's a typical problem of front-wheel drive cars with lots of power. Incidentally, the upgrade probably won't help that cause unless you also drop in a limited slip.

I did see your proper review thread. I'll pop over there next.
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:58 pm

Ford can also install a Quaife limited slip. Looks like about $900 for the parts, though I am not sure about the labor on that. The gearing is not so much the problem with torque steer as is the RPMs. Get the needle much over 5000, and it starts to pull pretty hard. Still manageable if you are ready for it, though.


Vaguely on-topic, but did you see the latest production diary? Seems hard to believe that it took them this long to finally cast Monica Bellucci. She had to be in a Bond movie sooner or later. Frankly, she could be any age and I would accept her!

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:57 pm

I think they were really smart casting Monica. It's nice to see a character around the same age as Bond. I always found it silly when they cast 20-somethings opposite a 50-something Moore.

In other Bond news: http://gu.com/p/4ae6q/sbl

As for the ST, I meant limiting power (actual torque and horsepower in first and second gear). Gearing is more related to engine speed (RPMs) and travelling speed (mph). Some manufacturers have tried that in other cars, where the full power isn't untapped until later gears. It's supposed to help get the car going from a standstill and limit torque steer where it is typically worst (lower gears).
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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Iago on Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:49 am

The comic looks more interesting than the latest continuation novel. I assume that you heard about writer Anthony Horowitz's really stupid comments about Idris Elba being too "street" to play Bond. There are so many things wrong with that statement that it is hard to unpack. To be (marginally) fair to him, the word "street" has slightly different shades of meaning in the U.K. than it does in the States, but man, over here, that is racial "dog whistling" in the worst possible way. Plus, it is absurd on its face: Elba can play suave better than anyone. Horowitz appears to have only seen him where he is playing a gangster, and forgot that Elba is actually an actor, and just "pretending" to be a gangster. I would take Elba as Bond in a heartbeat. The biggest issue with him is his age; he is older than Craig. That would not bode well for a lengthy run. (Speaking of which, now Craig is back to saying that SPECTRE may be his last Bond film.)

On the other hand, Fleming was certainly racist, so maybe Horowitz can just fit in!


In better news, I assume that you saw this? I love it. Yet another retro poster making subtle references to earlier Bond films. (For some reason, both posters seem to be filled with Live and Let Die nods. Mendes's favorite? Doubtful, but that cannot be a coincidence.)

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Re: The never-ending Bond 24 thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:40 am

I have to confess, that my street lingo isn't up to date. While I heard the comment, I don't fully appreciate just how racist the comment is. From your reaction, I imagine it's much worse than I took it. I honestly took it to mean the difference between a hardened street cop and a suave, undercover spy. There is obviously a racial element to it as well (perhaps street gangs and the like)?

I have heard good things about Elba, but I haven't seen enough of his work to be a big fan. Regardless, I agree that his age is the problem, although, for better or worse, Moore had success playing an older Bond. Incidentally, I remember Craig getting criticized for having blond hair. Critics said that wouldn't work because Bond was supposed to be dark haired. The other likely contender -- Damian Lewis -- is being criticized for having red hair. What do you think of some of the other names that are being tossed around as possibles (e.g., Oyelowo, Fassbender, Cavil)?

Of past to present Bonds, I think I've changed my order of favourite Bonds. Connery and Craig and still on top, followed by Dalton and Lasenby. But, I think I might now put Moore ahead of Bronson, which puts Bronson in dead last. Those pursed lips and lack of physical presence just don't do it for me now, after many repeated viewings. At one point, Bronson was mid-list for me! (I don't really consider Niven or Nelson, as I don't consider them canon.)
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