No. 946
May 16, 2018

About The UjianNasional@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Surface


MARCH 14, 2018

arrowdown.gifarrowdown.gifarrowdown.gif  Tesla. Editor-in-Chief's Note: The Tesla implosion continues. As I predicted in this space two years ago, the Model 3 will be the end of Elon Musk's infatuation with the car business. With senior executives walking out the door at an alarming rate, and the continued inability to build the Model 3 with consistency and even a modicum of quality, this dance cannot continue. It doesn't matter what the fanboys say about the Model 3. If it can't be built, it will spell the end of the company. -PMD

arrowdown.gif  Buick. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Buick decided it was noteworthy to talk about the fact that it won't actually have the name "Buick" on its cars beginning in 2019. It's not. Buick is the Chinese-centric division of General Motors churning out SUVs and crossovers like popcorn, and the fact that they insist that research tells them that three out of four people recognize the Buick logo means nothing either. It was a non-story in a slow week. And. We. Don't. Care. -PMD

Audi Tradition celebrates three big anniversaries at the Techno Classica in Essen from March 21 to 25. The 50-year-old history of the Audi 100 will be the leading brand presentation theme at the world's largest exhibition of classic vehicles. Audi will also display its famous 1938 Auto Union Type D racing car (above), a machine it debuted 80 years ago. In 1938, the great Tazio Nuvolari won the Grand Prix races in Italy and England with the 420HP machine, and in the following year Auto Union won the French and Yugoslav Grands Prix. 
Audi will also bring the 1988 Audi 200 quattro TransAm to the event. Hurley Haywood won the championship for Audi that year.
Silky Smooth.

If the TT RS is Audi's edgy hot rod, the S5 Coupe is its sophisticated, grown-up sibling. Resplendent in its Daytona Gray Pearl Effect paint and its contrasting - and beautiful - Magma Red leather, the S5 Coupe has an air of sophistication about it that's undeniable. Now, evaluating any machine on the dismal roads around here is extremely difficult, as you're worried whether or not the super trick wheels will survive the intermittent pounding from the potholes and various types of broken surfaces you're bound to encounter everywhere you go, but the Audi S5 Coupe handled the chaos with aplomb for the most part. With crisp steering and an overall competence that shines through, the S5 grows on you as the miles accumulate. And as impressive as the little rocket 5-cylinder in the TT RS was last week, I much preferred the silky smooth power delivery of the S5 combined with its 8-speed tiptronic gearbox. It's pleasingly quick and goes about its business with little effort, and it sounds good doing it too. The Magma Red interior in the S5 was executed to perfection, with the usual Audi penchant for detail apparent everywhere you looked. This is a sophisticated GT car in every respect, and the fact that it's a cool $15,000 less than the TT RS we had last week put things in perspective. The one word that keeps coming back to me when discussing this car is "sophisticated," but other words apply, too, like "pleasing" and "satisfying." If you're in the market for a performance coupe, the Audi S5 is a good place to start. -PMD
2018 S5 Coupe 3.0T quattro tiptronic: 
$64,750 ($54,600 Base Price; Daytona Gray Pearl Effect, $575; Magma Red interior; 3.0-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged V6 with 354HP and 369-lb-ft of torque; 8-speed tiptronic transmission with quattro all-wheel-drive; 18" 5-double-spoke-star design wheels with 245/40 summer tires; Energy recuperation system with start/stop; Full LED headlights; Leather/Alcantara interior, LED interior lighting; Three-spoke, flat-bottom, multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles; Heated, 8-way, power front seats with driver memory and 4-way lumbar adjustmentSiriusXM All Access service with three-month trial subscription; Power sunroof with tilt and slide; Navigation Package - Audi MMI Navigation with MMI touch, Audi connect PRIME + PLUS with six-month trial, Audi Virtual cockpit - $2600; Sport Package - Red brake calipers, Sport adaptive damping suspension, Sport rear differential - $2500; Fine Nappa leather interior, $1250; Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound - $950; 19" Wheel Package - 19" 5-spoke-cavo design wheels, 255/35 summer tires - $800; Carbon Atlas inlays, $500; Front filler panel (included); Destination charge, $975). 

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