Top Gear's new 'best road in the world' is the Transfagarasan

In the same vein as the Top Gear Challenge to Find Driving Heaven, and Supercars and a Super-Bridge, the Top Gear grew head over to Romania to drive the Transfagarasan.

Looks like another road I'll need to add to the list :-)

To the road, they bring two cars I'd love to own: the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder LP560-4 and the Ferrari California. The California has those pointless back seats but is better suited to the GT role, as unlike the F430 Spyder or the 458 Italia, it has sat-nav. The Lambo is definitely what I'd put my money on and RedBook suggests you could pickup a '08 model with the LSD on all corners for ~$300k... and it looks the bomb in black!

As usual, you can't watch BBC programs online from Australia and Top Gear haven't published it yet to YouTube, so we're left with whatever car enthusiasts can publish themselves.

The full episode can be found in Parts 1 through 4, but the best scene is this one in higher resolution:

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posted by Lee Gale @ 1:23 AM, ,

Follow me on Digg

Keep track of what I'm reading via Digg.


posted by Lee Gale @ 2:31 AM, ,

Passat CC

If you I were looking for a 4-5 seater car (as it is sometimes a topic of debate in a 2-seater car only household), I came to the conclusion in What a dilemma, that the cabriolets on the market don't really offer a true option for carrying 4 adults.

Given I think big SUVs are a bit of a waste of space (despite having a crush on the X6), that would generally leave you looking back at big coupes such as the GranTurismo, or sedans such as the Rapide, Panamera, A8 or M5.

But then you are back to compromises - ditching the 2-seater roadster for a performance sedan is a backwards step for driving enthusiasts no matter how you look at it.

So I got to thinking, why not keep the hot car and get a sensible sedan that doesn't cost over $50k, but is still 'sexy'?

Which brings me to the Volkswagen Passat CC.

The pick would be the 3.6l V6 which retails for about A$63-77k, depending on what options you tick, but a 1 year old (as they weren't available in Australia before that) goes for about $50k according to RedBook.

It puts out 220kw and has 350Nm's of torque which is similar to the SLK350 I owned and has the Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG).

It is previously only a 4-seater, but according to eMotorAuto will shortly be available with an optional new rear bench that turns it into a 5-seater.

Checkout FifthGear putting it through it's paces against the Coupe/Sedan market-maker: the Mercedes CLS.


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:25 AM, ,

Frightened, clueless or uninformed?

As usual, Seth Godin makes some good points in his blog Understanding business development.

Yes, yes - I know. You are possibly over the fact that I'm an avid reader of Seth Godin, but as usual, he makes some good points in his blog Frightened, clueless or uninformed?

In my job, I deal with a lot of clueless people.

I was talking with one of my colleagues yesterday where he articulated exactly what I'm talking about: He met with a technical decision maker who 'knows what to do and how to solve his organisation's problems'. To do so, he's chosen best of breed applications - the best tool for each specific job. Then in the next breath, he admits the organisation's problems are a result of having stove-pipes of data with no visibility across them all.

Did I miss something there?

Sounds like more coaching is in my future.

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posted by Lee Gale @ 2:18 AM, ,

Audi A8

Reading that the 2010 Audi A8 will be the first car with Google Maps installed was quite interesting as it shows the Google/Microsoft push to become embedded everywhere is certainly happening.

As I said back when looking at the Aston Martin Rapide, I'd want total luxury from the back seat with some get-up-and-go, and the I think the A8L with a big W12 or V10 would be the pick.

According to, a new A8L 4.2 will cost you A$233,900, and the 6.0 W12 will cost an eye watering A$345,900!!!

So how do they stack up on resale value?

Red Book has the 2007 4.2 going for between $94,100 - $102,500 privately and the same year W12 going for between $133,600 - $145,300. That's under 50% of their respective values in just 3 years.

Ouch!!! (for sellers)

Woo Hoo !!!! (for buyers).

To be fair, most new cars will lose the bulk of their value in the first two years (50%), but checking out my SLK55 online it shows that the value then plateaus for years 2-4, with 2005 models only losing a further 10%.

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posted by Lee Gale @ 1:25 AM, ,