The political ads are over, so now we can be bombarded with ads for luxury cars during the holiday season.
Car shoppers will see so-called “loyalty” and “conquest” discounts in this year’s holiday sales campaigns. These deals essentially reward consumers for shopping the competition, even if they intend to stay with the brand they already drive. For example, a customer who owns a Mercedes could get an additional $750 discount for agreeing to buy or lease another. If the same owner went to a BMW showroom, he or she would likely be offered a similar amount to switch teams.
About 20% of shoppers on Edmunds.com who looked at a Mercedes C-Class during the last week of October also looked at a BMW 3 Series, according to data from the site. Among those considering the 3-series, 10% looked at a C-Class, and 10% looked at the Audi A4.
Dealers say discounts specifically tied to retaining existing customers have an impact. “It gives us something else to discuss, to look at a customer and let them know they are special to us,” says Robert Camastro, owner of Mercedes of Danbury, Ct.
The loyalty and conquest discounts vary by model and brand. Some Audi dealers are advertising discounts of up to $2,500 if you are trading in a rival luxury brand.
Lincoln, a brand of Ford Motor Co., is offering no-money-down lease deals on its MKX sport utility. Cadillac’s deals vary, but the brand is offering no-money-down, $399-a-month leases on its just-launched ATS model, which is designed to compete with the 3 series and Mercedes C Class.
It’s interesting to see Lincoln get in on the action, as their ad looks very similar to ads for the other luxury brands, but they need to do something.
INGOLSTADT, Germany — The revised Audi S4 and new A4 Allroad Quattro will arrive in the U.S. next June, Audi of America confirmed to Inside Line, most likely as 2013 models.
The updated S4 sedan and wagon and A4 Allroad wagon were unveiled, along with the face-lifted A4 sedan and A4 Avant wagon, today in Germany.
In response to a query Wednesday from Inside Line, an Audi spokesperson said the A4 Allroad would be added to the U.S. lineup next June, joining the revised S4 and A4.
The German models get few visual changes — mostly modest revisions to bumpers, grilles and lamps — with some mild updates in trim and equipment inside the cabins. Exterior dimensions have barely changed. Audi says it is offering new wheels, new steering wheels, upgraded upholstery and a revised MMI nav system with four buttons instead of eight. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 19 inches. The newest piece of hardware is an electromechanical power steering unit.
In typical German fashion, the big news is under the hood, where Audi offers European A4 owners the choice of six TDI diesel and four FSI gasoline engines, all of them featuring supercharged direct injection with standard stop-start systems, and many with increased power and torque.
The most efficient power plant is the A4 2.0 TDI, which makes 136 horsepower and returns an average 56 mpg.
Today, Dashboard brings you a video from Evo magazine. For three minutes, you can imagine yourself free from traffic, inattentive drivers, and worries on one of the world’s best driving roads in some of the world’s best cars.
Buick’s sportiest Regal, the GS, is set to arrive this fall. Now we have word of just how much it will cost. The new GS will set you back $35,310. For that you get a turbocharged, 270hp four cylinder motor hooked up to a traditional 6 speed manual transmission. An automatic will also be available. The GS also sports a more aggressive front fascia, wheels, suspension, and interior appointments. The GS may be the most powerful Regal but it does not seem to be set up for full out track assaults, but to be a competent daily driver.
Buick sees the GS competing with Acura TSX V6′s and Audi A4′s. The only glaring fault is that the GS it is only front wheel drive. So is the TSX, but the Audi is available with all-wheel drive. The GS has more power than the A4, but it will be interesting to see if GM is able to handle the torque steer enough to deliver a luxurious ride. Holding the wheel while it wiggles around in your hands does not give the illusion of class and sophistication. Odder still, the car on which it is based, the Vauxhall Insignia VXR, does come with all-wheel drive, and a 321hp, turbocharged V-6.
The GS is a great value when compared to the Acura TSX, but may not sway people out of their Audi’s without all-wheel drive. A final verdict will have to wait for a test drive, but the GS looks to definitely change the way people view Buick.
Reports from British car magazine Autocar state that Porsche is inspired by the 550 Spyder for their newest sports car. This will be the new entry level Porsche, and slot in under the Boxster. The 500 Spyder is one of Porsche’s most iconic models, and was incredibly important in putting Porsche on the map with gentleman racers and celebrities, including James Dean, who died in one. Its successor was non other than the 911. It is a strong claim then to affix such a lofty target for the entry level Porsche.
Porsche boss Matthias Mueller goes on further to explain the type of engine we will see when this car debuts:
The Porsche is expected to be based on a new mid-engined aluminium and steel platform being developed by Audi which will also be used for the proposed Audi R4 roadster.
The Porsche will probably from £35,000 slotting in underneath the next-generation Boxster, which will grow notably in size and cost. The car will get a new four-cylinder boxer engine that will also power the Boxster, the Cayman and potentially even the 911. Sources say the flat four motor is sized at 2.5-litres and has been producing around 360bhp in turbocharged form.
Let’s hope this project is a larger sales success than the last Audi engineered Porsche, the 944. However, if they are shooting for the 500 Spyder as a spiritual target, my bets are on Porsche getting this car right, even with a turbo-4.