The all-new Volkswagen Eos ties as Most Ideal Sporty Car for 2007. The retractable hardtop Eos is a competitive all-rounder with its usefulness enhanced by its retractable hardtop – convertible, sporty coupe all in one package without the compromises required by a pure soft-top convertible.
No wonder Ford sells so many Mustangs! Most Ideal Sporty Car, and segment leader in 14 out of 15 categories the Mustang blows today’s competition into the weeds. New competition is coming in the next couple of years, but it looks like Ford’s designers and engineers know best what Sporty Car buyers require and deliver it in spades.
You could tell from the smiles on the faces of the suits from Cadillac that they had just come from something special. The Cadillac Escalade had just won the Playboy 2007 Car of the Year Award. Jim Taylor, Cadillac General Manager was lugging around a golden trophy with a totally blinged-out Playboy bunny glued to it and a discreet plaque proclaiming Escalade’s win.
Playboy Magazine has just named their 2007 Cars of the Year
. Included in this year’s list were:
Playboy 2007 Car of the Year –
BMW Z4 M
Best SUV –
Best Sports Coupe –
Porsche 911 Carrera
Best Bang for the Buck –
Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500
The Al Gore Special –
Best Two-Way Player –
Best Pickup –
Best Cross Dresser –
Best Roadster –
Saturn Sky Red Line
Oh yeah, about the presentations. Apparently, a hostess Playmate gave the executives a tour around the Playboy Mansion. A former Playmate, the young lady was extremely well spoken, knew her stuff and presented Playboy in a very favorable light. What I’m saying is that she wasn’t the airhead blonde bimbette that may have been expected at Playboy.
What a sweetheart!
Finally an affordable sporty car with a retractable hardtop!
Volkswagen has just introduced its new Eos sporty car. They call it a CSC or “Convertible Sunroof Coupe”. VehicleVoice got the first opportunity to drive the Jetta-based Eos at a Volkswagen-sponsored event in Portland, Oregon. This was a really risky proposition for the VW PR folks… having a convertible launch in one of the dampest areas of the country. But the weather cooperated and we missed the rain.
Eos – Affordable Aspiration
The Eos is a very pleasant small car. Volkswagen PR folks describe it as affordable aspiration
and it fills the bill. Priced at $27,990 for the base car, it can be equipped to just shy of $40,000 when all the boxes are checked on a 3.2L V6 version.
While Volkswagen contends the Eos is not a chick’s car, it certainly is. The old VW Cabriolet had about 80% female ownership. Southern California was crawling with young blonde girls driving Cabrios… see my car, see me. Remember the movie Clueless
?… yep, VW Cabriolet. Now, VW says that there will be a 50/50 split between genders. We don’t see it. Chick car all the way.
This Fall, $28,000 Gets You 200HP, Retractable Hardtop, and VW Badge
Though you can’t buy one until this fall, Volkswagen has announced pricing on its new touring convertible, and VehicleVoice and AutoPacific are here to report our first reactions. While the $27,990 base price sounds reasonable, including as it does the 200HP turbocharged four-cylinder engine that helps make the Audi A3 such a pleasure to drive and the expensive roof, jumping to the 250HP V6 model means you must spend at least $36,850. Between those extremes is a 2.0L I4 model with some extra amenities for $31,065.
Standard equipment includes the retractable hardtop roof with its panoramic sunroof, power windows, cruise control, air conditioning, and ESP. The mid-range price point moves automatic headlights, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a twelve-way power driver’s seat, windblocker, center armrest, trip computer and headlamp washer nozzles. When you step up to the V6, you get the mid-point equipment plus wood trim, a multi-function steering wheel, HomeLink, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and satellite radio.
Options available on either model include a premium sound system, DVD navigation, bi-Xenon headlights with dynamic cornering lights, parking assist, and eighteen-inch wheels. It will not be too difficult to get the Eos to a price above the $40,000 mark.
Where Does Eos Fit in the Competitive Landscape? Is It Overpriced?
If you’re thinking of the Eos as a replacement for the long-gone Golf cabrio, you’re not in the right frame of mind. VW has the New Beetle convertible priced more near the old Cabrio’s lot in life, with a base price just under $23,000. A quick look at pricing for 2006MY four-seat convertibles puts some perspective on the issue of a VW convertible running the range from a base $28,000 to likely $40,000 with liberal option-box checking.
(Note: Following this discussion is a list of base prices for various models, according to Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com) as of May 19, 2006.)
VW offers a base Eos to go up against the Pontiac G6
, Toyota Camry Solara
, and Chrysler Sebring
, while also offering a top-end Eos that more accurately competes with the Saab 9-3
and Volvo C70
. Eos is more expensive than base Ford Mustang
or Mitsubishi Eclipse
, but those two have more sporting than touring personalities and offer base models within reach of younger buyers.
If the Eos delivers on uplevel materials and fit and finish, providing a model Everyman can afford has the potential to convince buyers that VW offers premium vehicles worthy of a luxury price point. Though the Phaeton was a wonderful automobile, the brand’s image in the States didn’t support a $90,000 price level that was also inaccessible VW’s traditional buyers. The Eos price ladder can put it on the radar for buyers shopping Volvo and buyers shopping Pontiac. The trick is to convincing buyers at both ends of the range that they are getting a higher-quality vehicle than the price reflects.
Let’s Talk Cars: Auto Show Special Report – Part III
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Our third and final video-cast from the Los Angeles Auto Show uncovers some of BMW’s future strategies for diesels and other alternative fuels. Volkswagen’s EOS convertible has a groundbreaking hardtop that retracts with the touch of a button. Pontiac’s Solstice might be worth all the hype, but there are some things you should be aware of before you fall in love with this beautiful American Roadster and we’ll give you a first look at the Solistice’s “pumped up” twin, the GXP.
00:42 BMW’s Alternative Fuel Future: Jack Pitney, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America
07:45 Volkswagen EOS Retractable Hardtop Convertible: Curt Fishbach, Car Top Systems, Inc.’s Consultant for Special Programs and Advanced Research
11:57 Pontiac Solstice: George Peterson, VehicleVoice
15:17 Pontiac Solstice GXP: Jim Hopson, Pontiac Communications Manager