Ok as some of you may have read my SS review a few weeks back it, which I thought was a great car to drive albeit a few nigglies. Anyway today was my XR8 drive. The dealer lent me a congo green XR8 sedan (i love this color) with 11000km on the clock. I had it for 1 hr. The writeup will be as unbiased as I possibly could write it.
What can I say, the precense this car has and the looks it gets..mmmmm. The car had the optional 18 inch rims on it which certainly set the scene. The congo green color as mentioned above is a very underrated color. Brings out all the lines in the car as black does but just looks great. Anyway I have pics but not on my camera so I will get them in the next couple of days or so.
Interior had the optional leather and had the dealers phone kit in there. Anyway the seats were very comfortable. They sat me down low and hugged me in (compared to both the SS and XT) tight. Interior has minor differences to the XT but very easy to use (unlike SS busy looking dash) and everything is within reach (like the SS). The door trim didn't impress me much, too much black and plastic, looked a little cheap but thats no real issue. The seating position was perfect. I got comfortable straight away and overlooked that intimidating bulge in the bonnet, god that looks good.
First off the clutch. Very short, very good. This was a real issue in the SS, the clutch was too long for my liking. Gear changes in the XR in my opinion were not as smooth as the SS, a lot of mechanical noise as well (maybe due to a constant thrashing by the dealer?). The car had power and a lot of torque. But it didn't seem that quick, but it was, oh yeah it was quick, unlike the SS where you feel what speed you're doing. The sound of the XR got better and better as you put the foot down where as the SS it sounded more and more like a vacuum cleaner (exhauset, firing order??). I am not sure of the brakes on the XR but they were good, on par I would say with the SS. The car turned in beautifully, no understeer detected (again pretty much as the SS did). One weired noticeable issue was whether traction control was on or off it still spun and slid out. eh no drama for me but others may not like it. I was stuck in peak hour traffic so i didn't get to do what i wanted but it wasn't all bad. Had many a people give me a few positive looks in the car. A good feeling. Even at the servo the posty filling up his bike was staring more at the car that at the fuel bowser.
A great car. Seems to get a lot of unnecessary criticisim. If I had the money I would get one in a second. It is a worthy competitor to the SS. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, too close to call for me but being a Ford man I would be tried and true. The XR8 for me. The SS is by no means a loser it was a suprisingly great car as well. I haven't driven a VX so I wouldn't know the difference between it and the VY2. I think I have blabbed too much here so all I have to say is the Australian consumer is a spoilt brat, we have a great selection of cars to choose from.
Truly the deepest kiss one can feel, and the one most sought after, is the one you will not survive....
If the XR8 is as much of a rush as the XR6t, then I would say it Ford all the way. Saying that, I havent driven the new XR8 or a VY for that matter, but from the experience of driving an XR6t, I was greatly impressed with the overall package.
I would be happy with either the 6t or the 8. But damned if I could make the right choice between the 2!
I know this may sound silly, but I have driven a few early XR8's and a few later versions (November 03 and mine Feb 04). There appeared to a reasonable amount of difference between the two in terms of throttle response and general liveliness. I am not aware of any changes that have been made (if any) so this could just be coincidence.
Being the discontinued congo green colour I am assuming this was an early build or was it? Has anyone else notices a difference between early and later models? Mine has only done around 600km, but already feels livelier than the 2 versions I drove last year. (albeit going on memory here)
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