Today: January 17 2019
The updated Ford Explorer is a vivid demonstration of how the weakening of the ruble is affecting the Russian car market. For the most affordable version of the SUV, which is not too much changed, ask for 350 000 rub. more than before restyling. However, Explorer and I were lucky twice. First, the mountain roads in Chechnya were thoroughly cleaned, so we, unlike the first group, did not miss the plane and did not stay without a cellular connection for five hours. Secondly, with me in the car was the owner of the dorestyling Explorer - with his help to see minor changes in the SUV was easier. Outwardly, it is not difficult to distinguish the updated crossover from the previous version.
From the oncoming lane, a hatchback suddenly flies out and rushes straight to the front of our test Nissan Qashqai. A moment, it goes to the side of the road and a couple of hundred meters from us crashes into a pillar. The pillar falls, probably with a crash, but in the cabin of the crossover - no sound. Compared with its predecessor, Qashqai definitely matured, adding exactly where it was inferior to its competitors. But the main thing is not even that - the urban crossover Nissan has a charisma. A string of new Nissan Qashqai met journalists in the vicinity of Madrid. The abundance of chrome in appearance, LED elements in optics, 17-inch alloy wheels and stylish painting of the body - from afar and can not be said that at fifty meters is an explicit representative of the mass market.
Test drive of the tractor for transportation of intercontinental ballistic missile RS-24. "Buratino", "Good", "Cornflower", "The Garden Girl", "Flute", "Delight-2" - these are not the names of children's performances. This is a very formidable weapon of the Russian army: the same missile system "Molodets" could one shot to reduce the population of the Earth to a million or two people. We tested a car with a less poetic name MZKT-79221, but no less important for domestic missile forces. It transports (and, if necessary, launches) intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-24 "Yars", developed by the corporation "Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering". Perhaps, this is the most powerful car on the "Motor" test for all time. But not because she has a diesel V12, developing 800 horsepower.
No, except for jokes, with the modern car industry, something strange is happening. We had to get lazy surrounded by soap bubbles, as one after another - breakthrough novelties: Evoque lifted the cross-over bars and forced to adjust to the big Range Rover, Mercedes was blinded by the splendor of the S-class, the new "treshka" and "six" Mazda, Golf in the seventh time became the standard, and, it seems, it is time to fasten the wings to it. And Porsche with their breakthrough Cayenne and now here's Macan, on the test drive which we visited in Leipzig, it's time to issue the manual "N rules for capturing the world for teapots." Just do not underestimate the Ewoks - Darth Vader is aware of how this ends. With the latter, it seems, everything is in order: you can argue about tastes.
The bright-yellow Porsche stands in the parking lot near the office. I think nervously minutes before the end of the working day, or rather, until eight o'clock in the evening - at this time with Baumanskaya you can leave more or less calmly. You leave early - you have to push. Later - it means postponing for a while the meeting with Porsche 911 Turbo S, the most powerful and expensive 911 in the line. Thinking not the shortest, but relatively free route, I fall into the sports ladle. Closely. Very crowded. With 197 centimeters of growth, it's a sin to complain, but still ... As I grunted, trying to adopt a position different from the fetal position, people gathered around: few passed by the yellow coupe parked in front of the business center entrance. An unscheduled photo shoot took another 15 minutes.
Peugeot 208 came out in 2012 and proved to be successful in everything, except for gear boxes, especially "automatic machines", which were able to spoil all the positive from the bright exterior, excellent chassis, practicality and reasonable price. To fix the situation, Peugeot released a new modification of 208 - with the "robot". We knew whether the power unit with the 1,2-liter engine and the new robotic box was a worthy alternative to the 1,6-liter engine from the old AKP, on the roads of the Baltic States. The four-stage "automatic" AT8, which was previously offered to Russian customers without a choice, who wants a car with two pedals, always caused a number of censures.
The D-class is updated and expanded with incredible speed: here and new Honda Accord with Mazda6, and bright Hyundai i40 with Kia Optima, and with a dozen other interesting models. On most of them we already traveled and, basically, were satisfied. But the question arose: did the newcomers of the segment or already classical players, but in a new reading, outshine the representative representatives of the D-class. One of them is certainly the fourth-generation Ford Mondeo, which has been on the market for six full years and manages not to slow down the market. How long is the potential of this model? We decided to understand the validity period of Mondeo's success and indirectly compare it with young competitors by taking a turbo-diesel sedan for a test drive.
Drowning in the routine, we often complain that we do not have enough time for games: computer, card, desktop, in the fresh air - it does not matter. The main thing - we miss the rest, excitement, physical or intellectual load, which give us such entertainment. But sometimes I get lucky. Sitting at the NAVAK training ground near Belgrade in a new Mazda3 and seeing the projector reading the instruments on the glass, executed exactly in the style of the sight of a combat aircraft in one of my favorite flight simulators of my childhood, I realized that getting to know the car turned into a journey into the world of childhood games, though , more still computer. It seems that the car caused such associations not only from me: the marketing director of Mazda Motor RUS Andrei Glazkov, presenting the novelty, also recalled children's entertainment.
At the ski resort of Austria, it turns out, it is much more interesting to ride on cars with non-studded rubber on bare ice, and not on snowboarding. No, Opel did not plan to write off several cars. It was just that the company felt that it was the best way to demonstrate the work of the new intelligent all-wheel drive system, which so far appeared only on the Opel Insignia Country Tourer, Opel Insignia OPC and Opel Mokka models. The ice tracks near the town of Obertauern are a real Mecca for skiers and snowboarders, with an abundance of turns of varying degrees of steepness. Plus in the sun instantly turns into a minus in the shade. So, it will be very slippery. Because of the morning mist and shadows from the mountains, it seems that ...
The race track, the autobahn on the limit, the primers, the mountain slippery road with snow porridge and fogs - not all experiments on the new Cordiant Sport 3 tires were planned, but all for the better: we managed to test a new model of Russian rubber in a wide variety of conditions. What tests has gone through skepticism towards the Russian manufacturer. Initially, the sunny Barcelona did not foreshadow troubles. The place of the first test was the local track "Formula-1" - Barcelona Circout. The track is quite compact, and diesel Audi A4, shod in the Cordiant Sport 3, is not too suitable for driving on it. However, this was enough to immediately accept: Cordiant Sport 3 is strikingly different from the "oak" plastic tire, which seems to everyone at the words "Russian tires".
Leon ST- is a universal of extremely fast outlines. It is unlikely that anyone will turn his tongue to call a car heavyweight or disharmonious. The new look of the brand is the undoubted merit of the head of the design department of the Spanish company Alejandro Mezonero-Romanos. The current design concept of the company Seat is very good and reflects the true Spanish values. Yes, an elegant body and hides under itself well-known German units, but why not? These units are effective and modern, and the tuning of the suspension from the Volkswagen concern is considered to be exemplary. But it is the new "Seat" design - the key to the success of the brand. In Spain, a huge number of cars Seat. Naturally, not all of them are the most recent years of release, so there is something to compare with.
Once in Chertanovo two people were attracted to me - they asked me to sell a test Honda Civic. I did not know what to answer, they were not very similar to scammers. "I'm ready to give half right now, for the second I'll go to the ATM. Sell, eh? "- did not restrain casual acquaintances. Probably, this could happen only with Honda Civic. In Russia, the popularity of the model in recent years is just off scale. Civic was in the police reports, and in the sales ranking in the first places. The explanation for this was always very simple: a lot of cars for moderate money. This can also be attributed to the prestige of the Honda brand, modern design and slower than the competition, the annual loss of value. But in the ninth generation the model unexpectedly turned out to be less popular than in the previous ones - the Japanese were too dashing the price tag.
We are used to electronic gas pedals, but the brake pedal and the steering wheel have always been mechanically linked to the wheels. Now it's in the past. The first serial proof before you is Infiniti Q50. Man is less and less involved in the process of controlling the machine. Modern electronics has taught the car to brake, accelerate, keep distance. Infiniti Q50, in addition to this, is able to independently maintain its own series. And all thanks to DAS - direct adaptive steering, the same control over the wires. Under normal conditions, two electric motors, mounted on the steering rack, correspond to the angle of rotation of the wheels. They receive commands from three electronic control units that analyze information from a variety of sensors - speed, acceleration, steering angle, roll, and others.
For the company Mazda crossover CX-5 - special. It was this car that first tried on the entire spectrum of Skyactiv technologies. He also became the locomotive of sales of Mazda in Russia, which for a long time had been waiting for the Japanese car in the class of compact crossovers. The first car with a 2,0-liter gasoline engine Skyactiv-D with the power of 150 hp debuted, later it was joined by a top-end petrol version with an 192-strong engine. And now, when diesel "Mazda" for more than a year plowing the European expanse, CX-5 on "heavy" fuel reached Russia. Unlike Europe, where customers can choose between two versions of the 2,2-liter turbodiesel (150 or 175 hp), we only have a more powerful option and only with the 6-speed "automatic".
"This is one of the 120 machines. Most of them settled in Moscow, the rest went to the regions, "- says the manager of the press park, passing the keys from Land Rover Freelander in the version of Dynamic Black. I swear, I was not worried so even behind the wheel of the Jaguar XFR on summer tires in the most powerful snowfall. Imagine that the chances of meeting the same car on the road are approaching zero, expensive. But is Freelander Dynamic Black so unique, how do we paint it? The second generation of Land Rover Freelander, which appeared on the Russian market in 2006, experienced not one facelift. However, the special package should be placed separately from restyling. This, first of all, the desire of the British to play with the content.
Too great was the disappointment of BMW fans in the "five" in the body of E60. After the hyperpopular, which became one of the symbols of its time E39, it became a real failure. In milder terms, this was confirmed by the employees of the Russian representative office of the Bavarian company at the presentation of the updated BMW 5 series in the body of the F10. Yes, tells us the director for corporate communications "BMW Group Russia" Vasily Melnikov, there was a decline in interest in the model, in its segment inferior to "competitor A" and "competitor B" (the names of companies, following corporate ethics, are not called, but it is not difficult to guess ), but with the release of F10 Bavarians came out on top - people are satisfied with the car.
Hardly Victoria Beckham, participating in the design of a version of the Range Rover Evoque, assumed that someone would come up with the idea of driving such a handsome man into the mud. And even more so go on it on the Land Rover Experience in the village of Ilinskoye Dmitrovsky district of the Moscow region. It is famous first of all for the fact that it is possible to travel there to the Defender on the real forest. However, the head of the Experience school says that Evoque owners are frequent guests here - they want to make sure that their car is capable of much. And make sure. On the Evoque, we traveled on all the same routes, which are tested Range Rover Sport, Vogue, Freelander and Defender. We avoided only one site, intended exclusively for Defender.
According to the legend of the run, organized by Volvo, we arrived in Karelia to find the fragments of Sampo - a mythical source of happiness and prosperity. And in fact - to gather together the impression of the updated line of Volvo. More than 3 500 new parts received the 2014 model year machines. This is the largest update in the history of the company. Still, the entire model range stylistically and technically led to a single denominator, removing the brackets of XC90 - it will soon be a generation change. The miserly lines of 2014 models of the model year are in harmony with the Karelian landscapes. It may seem that from the point of view of design a new restyling is more a step backwards.
The update, but not the new generation of the model, is usually either the work on bugs, or the desire somewhere in the middle of the road to refresh an already successful car to attract the attention of the media and spur sales. The paradox, but representatives of automotive brands, while commenting on the reasons for the upgrade, prefer not to point to either, or to another factor, staying somewhere in the middle and parrying questions with typical phrases about the desire to do all the best for the buyer. Nevertheless, it is worth looking at the list of innovations in this or that updated car, as it becomes clear what exactly was being sought in the company. In the case of the updated Insignia, which we had a chance to test, it's obvious - Opel is trying to be more modern and to be closer to the premium.
It is large, yellow and spreads manure over the fields. The best purchase after Lamborghini. So, we're moving to Fence in Lincolnshire to meet a man named David. He has the keys to the Terragator 8203 in his hands. It costs £ 205 000, weighs just under nine tons, and widths - more than three meters. And David is going to let Top Gear ride it on public roads! He is surprisingly serene. Not at all nervous. Simply frighteningly calm. It turns out because Terragator actually belongs to Richard, who is whiter than paper. The largest three-wheeled vehicle in the world, Terragator is used for splashing any kind of slurry. By fields. Lime, liquid manure and other farm liquids. But he can ride on the roads. And for him, no special rights are needed.
They both belong to the premium class, both are extremely popular: Audi Q5 per year were sold 2012 5 800, by July 2013 - 4 329, Volvo XC60 for 2012 - 6 472, by July 2013 - 2 571 instance. And yet, by and large - they are opposites: Scandinavian Volvo, all the forces trying to prove his right to be called a premium, and Audi, literally 15 years ago on the site of the former Swedes, and now doing everything (and has, incidentally, a good chance) to get ahead of BMW and Mercedes-Benz to become the leader in sales in this segment in the world. And, yes, we can throw tomatoes: for comparison, we chose a hybrid and diesel Q5 XC60.