And thats why you always delete the old versions your submission’s .car files
Well GL everyone else
And thats why you always delete the old versions your submission’s .car files
Well GL everyone else
Mark Hendrix strode down the stairs toward the passenger lounge at VisionJet’s main hangar, where he was going to meet the six manufacturer’s representatives for the station car contract. Carrying the information packages he received for each car, he checked his phone’s calendar to see who was arriving first. The rep from Hyunseo America is first, with the Ariusia Luxo, Mark thought to himself as the big blue sedan pulled up in front of the entrance.
The Hyunseo representative climbed out of the driver’s seat, a young man with thick-rimmed glasses and wearing a very modern cut, navy blue suit. “Thank you for inviting us to demo the Ariusia Luxo to you, Mr. Hendrix!” the young man said, extending his hand to Mark. “I think you’re in for a real treat this morning!” Mark smiled and shook the rep’s hand, thanking him for coming in so early.
“I’d like to have a look around and through the car before we go for a drive, if you don’t mind.” Mark said, his hands on his hips as he looked around the car slowly, leaning in occasionally to take in a detail. While the Arisuia looked very good in the brochure and from afar, he saw more than a few things he wasn’t so keen on as he got up close to the car, from the oddly shaped little fender vent, to the strange treatment running along the side, and he wasn’t overly enamoured with the flush-mounted door handles. Mark climbed into the front seat, and then the back seat of the Ariusia and found it very much to his liking; the combination of European-style luxury was broken up with the occasional Korean flair in both the shapes, colours and materials inside, making for a very special feeling indeed. “You said that the interior of this car was hand-made, correct?” Mark asked the rep.
“Yessir, this car has the most handwork of any car in our lineup, in a factory staffed by the finest in the trade!” the rep replied cheerily.
“I see,” Mark replied, stretching his legs out and peering underneath the seatback tray in the back seat to see how much legroom there was. “Can we take it for a drive?” He asked.
“Oh, I was beginning to wonder when you’d ask that!” the rep said, smiling. “The Ariusia is guaranteed to put a smile on your face…you’ll not find a car with finer road manners and ride quality out there!” With that, the rep dashed around the car and climbed into the passenger seat as Mark made his way into the driver’s seat, the door making a very solid-sounding clunk as the soft-close mechanism engaged. Mark pressed the start button and immediately the cabin was filled with a strange, almost exotic sound. “You hear that, Mr. Hendrix?” the rep asked, “That’s the sound of our flagship 4.6-litre V8 engine!”
Mark furrowed his brow a little bit; “That doesn’t sound much like a V8 to me!” he replied.
“That’s because this V8 is more like what you’d find in a Ferrari, rather than a Chevy truck!” the rep answered. “C’mon, let me show you how the suspension works before we set off!” The rep flicked through the various screens in the infotainment system, getting to the suspension control page, a very complicated display with tabs for various modes. “You see, the Ariusia has what is known as a hydropneumatic suspension, where instead of springs and shock absorbers, we have interconnected reservoirs filled with air and oil, which help…” The rep went on for several minutes about the suspension and its various controls and settings, with Mark paying only enough attention to nod at the right time. “…and that’s why you’ll find that the Ariusia has the best ride quality in its class; let’s take the car out on the road so you can feel the difference first-hand!” The rep finally finished.
Mark slotted the car into gear and set off, the engine making a muted, but nonetheless unpleasant sort of wail as the revs built, making their way to the airport access road. “This hydropneumatic suspension sounds very complicated, you know,” Mark replied as he maneuvered the big sedan though the parking lot, “we have similar systems in some of our aircraft hydraulic systems and I have to say, they’re not exactly maintenance-friendly at times…”
“I can assure you, Mr. Hendrix, that our suspension will not pose any reliability issues whatsoever!” the rep replied as the car reached the road access point. Mark signaled and entered the road, flooring the accelerator and launching the car down the road, the Ariusia’s engine screaming as it flipped up through the gears, rapidly building speed.
Jesus, this thing is fast, Mark thought to himself, we will be paying speeding tickets until the end of time with this car! Settling down to complete the access road loop, Mark found the car to have excellent road manners overall, but the much-ballyhooed ride quality wasn’t up to his expectations, nor to the rep’s promises. Pulling back into the lot, the rep spoke up as Mark shut the car off.
“We take great pride at Hyunseo in building world-class cars, and we are especially proud of the Ariusia…our flagship, which can be yours from $118,000.”
Mark frowned for a moment at the price; the car was the most expensive of the six on his longlist, but it did not deliver in a satisfactory manner. “Thank you for your time, we will be in touch!” Mark said as he shook the rep’s hand.
No sooner did the Hyunseo pull out of the lot, than the rep from the local Evgenis dealership arrived, a striking young woman in dark pants and a white blouse, her hair pulled into a ponytail. The Cerberus Coupe was equally striking, not for its good looks, but more for its aggressive, squat appearance, like a wrestler in a tailored suit. The young woman smiled and extended her hand to Mark, which he shook. “Mr. Hendrix, thank you for extending the invitation to show you our all-new Cerberus Coupe! We brought along the top-of-the-line Mayfair 3.7T trim for your approval.”
“May I have a look inside the car?” Mark asked the young woman, not entirely sure what to make of the Cerberus’ styling, appearing to have copied their homework straight out of the “Sports Activity Coupe” book from their German rivals. Still, the car looked tidy and well-built from the outside, with the big blue crossover showing its smart details well in the late morning sun. Opening the rear hatch, Mark found a sumptuously carpeted luggage area, sitting behind the passenger compartment. Climbing in the back seat, however, Mark found the aggressive roofline cut into the headroom, though the ample shoulder room of the Cerberus Coupe almost made up for the deficit in headroom.
“We use only the finest in English-sourced leather in any of the Evgenis Mayfair vehicles,” the sales rep stated proudly, “the hides are generally in better condition than from anywhere else in the world, and combined with our very careful, patented tanning methods, it ensures that the leatherwork in our vehicles has the proper sensory experience – touch, feel and smell alike – that one would associate with the very finest of luxury goods.” Mark nodded and sat back in the seat, noting just how much more comfortable the Cerberus Coupe was compared to the Hyunseo he just looked at. “And on that, I should mention that all of our Cerberus Coupe Mayfair production is exclusively by hand, only by our most skilled craftsmen and women to achieve the highest possible standard of build quality and luxury.”
“Can we take it for a drive?” Mark asked as he climbed out of the rear seats, a little inelegantly.
“Absolutely!” the rep chirped as she handed Mark the key fob. Mark climbed into the driver seat of the Cerberus and set about adjusting the seat, finding the controls falling to hand easily and straightforward to operate, a real plus for someone getting in who might not be familiar with the car. A press of the start button and the inline-6 settled into a quiet, smooth idle, barely noticeable at all once Mark closed his door, a real plus in favour of the Cerberus. Selecting a gear, Mark eased forward out of the parking lot, finding the Cerberus to be a little more ponderous to drive than the Hyunseo was, largely on account of its wide stance and obstructed views. Immediately, the ride quality was noticeably better than the Hyunseo, with the Cerberus’ air suspension and active elements controlling the mass far more confidently than the Korean sedan did, while remaining stiff enough to prevent the big crossover from wallowing over bumps too badly. Pressing the pedal to the floor while joining the access road, the Cerberus moved off smartly, the engine more than adequate to accelerate its bulk, while remaining quiet enough as to not be overly intrusive in the cabin.
“Not bad at all, I’d have to say!” Mark exclaimed to himself as the Cerberus settled into a quiet, sedate cruise at highway speed. “How much did you say this trim level cost?” he asked the rep in the passenger seat.
“The Coupe Mayfair 3.7T starts at just over $94,000.” The rep replied cheerily. Mark nodded, glancing down at the instantaneous fuel economy readout on the large instrument cluster, shrugging and nodding at a number far lower than he expected to see from such a large vehicle. Pulling back into the parking lot, Mark parked the Cerberus and shut it down, a gentle chime sounding as the screens went dark.
“So, what did you think about our Cerberus Coupe, Mr. Hendrix?” the rep asked.
“I quite liked it; it’s definitely a strong contender at this point,” Mark replied, shaking the rep’s hand once again. “I will be in touch with you soon, I hope.” With that, Mark went back into the lounge and waited as the Cerberus drove off.
A short wait later, the Kadett rolled up, looking very handsome in its dark, bluish-grey paint. The rep, an older gentleman, stepped out of the car in a charcoal suit and shook Mark’s hand. “Thank you for inviting us down here, Mr. Hendrix. I think you’ll find that the Vision has a lot to offer VisionJet…you know, beyond the common name of course!”
“Mind if I look around before we go for a drive?” Mark asked, opening the rear doors and trunk.
“Yeah, by all means!” the rep replied, tagging along close to Mark.
Mark furrowed his brow a little bit as he looked through the Vision; while it was about the right size for what he was looking for, it felt a bit too down-market for what he was looking for, with the interior being more suited to a premium sedan, rather than a full-on luxury car. Also, Mark was a little bit less than impressed with the appearance of the car from head-on; the headlights being so widely-spaced and narrow gave the car a look as though it was squinting with disapproval at something. “Remind me what the starting price of the Vision is, please?” Mark asked the rep as he climbed into the spacious back seat, noting the seat cushion was a little harder than the other two cars he’d looked at earlier.
“The Vision starts for just a little under $52,000,” the rep replied, pausing for a moment. “May I be frank with you for a moment, Mr. Hendrix?” he asked.
“Absolutely, go ahead!” Mark replied.
“Mr. Hendrix, we were a little bit surprised that you called us, considering your company’s reputation for opulence and luxury – we were a little bit concerned that we would be up against cars that we had no hope to be able to compete against in those categories!”
Mark raised an eyebrow at that statement; “well, if that’s how you feel, then why did you respond to our request?”
“Well Mr. Hendrix, we felt that we could offer you a product that is going to be much cheaper to purchase and operate in the long run, which – let’s face it – is everything in business. Our cars have a sterling reputation for reliability and build quality, and we feel that it would serve you well at VisionJet. Plus, some of your clients might like the idea of flying under the radar in a less conspicuous car, so to speak.”
Mark shrugged and nodded; the rep having made a very good point that not all VisionJet clients would want to draw a lot of attention to themselves. Climbing into the driver’s seat, he started the engine, listening to the V6 settle into a contented idle. The car was a little louder at idle than Mark would have liked, but that was to be expected in comparison with the two others he tested so far. Setting off, Mark noticed that the Kadett was upset a little bit just going over the speed bumps in the parking lot, as though the car’s suspension wasn’t quite on the same page front to rear. This only got worse as he picked the speed up a little bit, the rear not quite following along with the front’s actions. Stepping on the accelerator and merging on to the access road, Mark waited and waited for the Kadett to pick up its feet and accelerate; while it wasn’t slow, the Kadett did feel noticeably slower than either the Hyunseo or the Evgenis.
“This is a turbocharged engine, is it not?” Mark asked the rep in the passenger seat. “It certainly doesn’t feel like it!”
“Our 3.5-litre V6 is indeed turbocharged, but in this configuration, it is a low-pressure turbo setup oriented more toward responsiveness and economy than outright horsepower.” The rep replied.
Mark scowled a little at the response, both from the rep and from the engine. While the Kadett did respond quickly, it just felt like it was being held back by some invisible force pulling the car backward. Looping back around the access road to VisionJet once again, Mark shook the rep’s hand and climbed out of the Kadett’s driver seat, shaking his head and grimacing a little as he headed back to the lounge to await the next car.
After a quick bit of lunch, Mark returned to find the Farox rep, a well-dressed, middle-aged woman, waiting for him in the passenger lounge. “Thank you for giving Farox Motors the opportunity to compete for this contract, Mr. Hendrix!” the rep said cheerily as they shook hands, “I think you will find the Excapade to be very much to your liking!”
Mark and the rep made their way outside, where the large white SUV was parked. Mark was taken aback at just how big the Excapade was in the metal, with an utterly commanding presence over every other vehicle in the parking lot. “Wow, it sure is big, isn’t it?” he exclaimed.
“It’s the largest and most luxurious SUV in our lineup, with seating for six in this configuration.” The rep replied as she and Mark made their way around the vehicle. Mark was generally impressed with the styling of the Farox, with handsome details all around the vehicle, and looking rather handsome in its pearlescent Lithium paint job. Mark climbed into one of the middle-row captain’s chair and was immediately let down a little bit by the interior; while the Excapade was very nice inside, no doubt, it didn’t have the nice touches and materials that he was expecting, nor did it feel as special inside as the Hyunseo and especially the Evgenis did. Still, there was an incredible amount of room, and both driver and passengers alike enjoyed a commanding seating position. “Here’s the key fob, if you’d like to take it for a drive, Mr. Hendrix!” the rep said as she handed the black rectangle to Mark.
Stepping out of the middle row seats and climbing back up into the driver’s seat, Mark pressed the starter button, the Excapade’s inline-6 engine starting smoothly and settling into a sedate idle. Selecting drive on the column shifter - who even uses column shifters anymore?! Mark thought to himself – he carefully maneuvered the big SUV out of VisionJet’s parking lot and down the driveway to the access road. Perhaps unsurprisingly for such a large, heavy vehicle, Mark found the Farox to wallow over bumps and dips, whereas the other cars he tested were a bit more composed. In spite of this, the Excapade had excellent road manners at all speeds, and pleasantly surprised Mark when he merged on to the airport access road, finding the Excapade to be reasonably quick and responsive, at least for a vehicle that weighs nearly two and a half tonnes.
Mark parked the Farox and shook the rep’s hand, heading back into the lounge to wait for the next vehicle to arrive. In the bit of spare time, Mark decided to search for some more information about the Farox online, and was dismayed to see that while owners of the Excapade praised the SUV for its comfort and road manners, they were less than impressed with its reliability, with lots of issues being reported with the vehicles air suspension, electronic all-wheel drive system and its complicated differentials, as well as with the usual niggles about infotainment systems that seem to be plaguing modern cars. Shaking his head, Mark looked up the other three vehicles he’d tested so far and found very little in terms of complaints for any of them.
A few minutes later, the Mont Royal representative showed up in the dark purple RV-3. Eyeing it from inside, Mark noted the striking appearance of the rakish crossover; it was not a handsome vehicle by any measure, but it did have an air of aggressiveness about it, and its presence on the road was undeniable. A young man in a light grey suit climbed out of the driver’s seat and met Mark with enthusiasm. “Glad you invited us to demonstrate the RV-3 for you, M. Hendrix!” the young man said, with a distinctly French-Canadian accent. “Do you have any questions for me before we have a look around the car?” he asked.
“I sure do, as a matter of fact…first of all, I was wondering about the engine; it’s a bit odd in this day and age to have a high-revving, naturally-aspirated engine, don’t you think?” Mark asked, thumbing through the RV-3’s brochure to the specifications page.
“It is, yes,” the rep replied, “but we feel that with today’s modern automatic transmissions that it does not pose a significant detriment to the performance of the RV-3. Plus, it helps keep the cost and complexity down too.”
Mark peered around the rear of the vehicle, squinting a little bit as he took in the design. “And how much did you say this vehicle cost?” he asked.
“Under $66,000.” The rep replied, casually leaning against the rear quarter panel as they spoke. Mark nodded in acknowledgement as he had a quick look under the rear bumper, not overly happy with the way that the RV-3 looks from the rear.
“Would you like to take it for a drive, M. Hendrix?” the rep asked.
“Yeah, absolutely.” Mark replied as the rep handed him the key fob. “Just want to hop in the rear seats before we get going.”
“Oh absolutely, take your time!” the rep replied as Mark climbed into the rear seat. Much like the Farox, Mark found the RV-3’s rear seats to be nice, but again, it was missing a lot of the more luxurious touches of some of the other cars that he’d looked at already. And like the Evgenis, he found the rear headroom to be somewhat wanting on account of the swooping rear roofline. Also, Mark felt that the RV-3 felt a little bit dated on the inside.
“How long has this generation of RV-3 been in production for?” Mark asked.
“Since 2014. The RV-3 is a mature product, which means for you, the customer, that we’ve had the opportunity to make sure we can deliver the most reliable product to you,” the rep replied.
“Fair enough,” Mark replied, climbing out of the rear seats. “Let’s take it for a drive then!” Climbing into the driver’s seat, Mark adjusted the seat to suit him as the rep climbed into the passenger side. Pressing the start button, the RV-3’s V6 awoke with a snarl, settling into a smooth, if loud idle. Gazing into the instrument cluster, Mark noted the redline of the engine at nearly 8000 RPM, something that he wasn’t entirely comfortable with in a car that’s going to be loaned out to the general public. Slotting the shifter into gear, the RV-3 set off gently out of the parking lot, the air suspension adeptly riding over the speedbumps and the various dips and bumps on the driveway. “It rides pretty smoothly, I have to say…” Mark mentioned off-handedly.
“Oh yes, our adaptive air suspension uses three-chamber springs to deliver the finest ride quality in the segment, while retaining a sporty character in line with the body style.” The rep replied proudly. Mark turned onto the airport access road and floored the accelerator, the RV-3 revving wildly as it struggled to make its way up to highway speed, the engine noticeably louder than any of the other cars Mark had tested. Despite this, the RV-3 was otherwise very well-behaved on the loop around the access road, driving much smaller than the vehicle was, and riding admirably well. To Mark’s dismay, the fuel economy readout was not all that favourable, with the numbers stubbornly staying above ten litres per hundred kilometres no matter what he did. Returning to VisionJet, Mark parked the RV-3 and shut it down. “So, what did you think of the RV-3, M. Hendrix?” the rep asked.
“It’s a nice enough vehicle alright; surprisingly sporty for what it is, sure, but I’m going to have to think on this for a while.” Mark replied.
“Absolutely,” the rep responded, “I understand this is a big purchase, take as much time as you need, and we will be ready to talk when you are!” With that, Mark shook the rep’s hand and went inside for a cup of coffee as he awaited the last vehicle he requested.
Mark finished his latte when a large, white sedan pulled up in front of the passenger lounge, a young and impeccably dressed Asian woman stepping out of the driver’s seat. Smiling, she extended her hand to Mark; “Ahh you must be Mr. Hendrix, thank you for inviting me to VisionJet to show you the Jinhe GC!” she said, excitedly. Mark shook her hand and smiled back, quite shocked to see just how good-looking the Jinhe was in the metal. “Would you like to look around the car before taking it out, or do you prefer to drive the car first instead?” the rep asked.
“I think I’d like to have a look around the car first.” Mark replied as he squatted down to look at the car from straight ahead. Mark knew the Chinese manufacturers had been making some impressive strides of late, but looking at the striking shapes of the GC’s front end, Mark was surprised at just how tasteful and elegant this car was. The headlights are a bit odd, Mark thought to himself as he moved around to the side of the car, admiring the GC’s long, swooping roofline. From the rear, the GC was just as elegant as from the front, the entire car being a feast for the eyes at any angle.
“May I demonstrate something to you, Mr. Hendrix?” the rep asked.
“Sure, by all means.”
The rep pressed a button on the key fob and the rear liftback opened automatically, revealing a large luggage area swathed in leather and thick-pile carpet. “The GC of course is a five-door liftback sedan, which allows for a much greater luggage volume, making this one of the most practical sedans in its class!” The rep stated proudly. “Would you care to sit in the back seat?”
“Yes, please!” Mark exclaimed as the rep popped the soft-close door on the driver’s side open for him. Mark sat down and was immediately blown away by the soft, luxurious leather seating, with nickel-plated striping surrounding some sort of exotic looking wood trim; not your grandfather’s burl walnut, but something totally chic and modern. Reclining the rear seats, Mark was impressed with the legroom and shoulder room afforded to him in the GC. “Shall we go for a drive, then?” he asked, after a couple more minutes in the back seat.
“I would be happy to show you the car on the road, Mr. Hendrix!” the rep replied cheerfully as she made her way into the passenger seat. Mark climbed into the driver’s seat and pressed the starter button on the centre console, the turbocharged V8 wuffling to life and settling into an almost inaudible idle. Shutting the doors and adjusting his seat, Mark then slotted the transmission into gear and set off gently, the Jinhe gracefully negotiating the driveway out to the access road, smoother and more quietly than any of the other cars thus far. Merging on to the access road, Mark floored the accelerator and was blown away by how quiet the GC was, the sound of the engine being little more than a casual reminder that it is in fact still there.
“Jinhe is particularly proud of our active suspension system in the GC; we spent tens of thousands of man-hours perfecting the suspension tune to give the finest ride quality of any car in the world, regardless of class.” The rep stated, as though it came straight from her sales material.
“It definitely rides smoothly and comfortably, I will give you that!” Mark replied. The Jinhe settled down into a very smooth, well-mannered machine, with no real apparent faults in how it handled, apart from the occasional wallow or wobble when the active suspension didn’t quite know what to make of the situation. The loop nearly up, Mark turned the Jinhe into the VisionJet driveway, making its way over the dips and speedbumps with grace and poise. Mark pulled the car into a parking spot and shut down the engine, a gentle chime sounding as the interior lights came on and the instrument cluster went dark.
“So, what do you think of our Jinhe GC, Mr. Hendrix?” the rep asked.
“I don’t even need to look at the rest of my notes here, this is the car for us, without a doubt. Would you like to come up to the conference room so we can discuss terms?” Mark replied, with a smile.
Ayyyyy, it’s great to finally see a Jinhe hit the podium, and no other one besides the flagship GC!
Thank you for a great round. The prelims were as concise as they should be, and the finals, just as detailed. Unfortunately I will have to pass this round down again to the 2nd place legend cheeseman.
As in the previous round, quite rightly too. And this makes it the first time in a long time that the same user recorded two consecutive wins.
Anyway, this was quite a fun round to follow and participate in, but unlike the previous one, the host managed to get the reviews and results out much more quickly. Yes, we had to wait a few days for the final verdicts, but considering how well those turned out, it was definitely worth the wait. Let’s hope the next round is just as exciting as this one, regardless of what it’ll be about and where and when it’s set.
If I don’t come second it is because I simply am not participating in a round it seems. Can’t complain about my consistency really. Never selling but always the second choice!
Thank you ever so much for this great round, nice to the point prelims and excellent written drives, you nailed what I think an Evgenis dealer would be like.
Congrats Yang, another wonderful win for you. Just be careful of my evil glare when we stand on the podium.
I mentioned it to the host so I will mention it here, I am up for hosting (again, I know, crazy right?) I’m not going to be able to get anything up now but certainly have something in mind so will get it up later today.
Third! Hey not bad!
This was a great round, and a good learning experience. I had the room to go with hand made interiors and just didn’t in the interest of pricing. Oh well, can’t win them all.
Thank you to Chips for hosting (and going easy on the work I did with the school bus body LOL) and congrats, Yang! I knew you had it in the bag. ;))
Quite disappointed with 5th place, but I’m grateful to be able to join this challenge and to pass through the preliminaries. Thanks Chips for hosting!
Is it always gonna be a tradition that Yang gets a podium but Cheeseman always finishes 2nd