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Splendid Auto Monthly - A Motoring Man's Meanderings (Gavin Anderson's Blog)


But did you use the JDM spec SL version or the regular one? Casuse IIRC 334 hp is the toned down version.


Aw shit I had no idea this was happening! I would have jumped in on it for sure!


That was an enthralling contest! I wish I’d sent in either of my competitors to those four, though.


The Baltazar being the sane, serious and most comfortable offer, not a huge surprise :stuck_out_tongue:


@squidhead The SL trim, it was the most roadworthy of the lot imo :wink:

@strop and @abg7, if you want stuff reviewed, send it in to me and I’ll put it on Gavin’s schedule!

@Leonardo9613 I dunno about entirely “sane” tbh. Saner than the rest of them here


A Motoring Man’s Meanderings

Review: Merciel Corsaire GTE

“French race car on an English road - that surely should mean something, but all I know is that it’s scaring me to hell”

Thanks to @Dorifto_Dorito for lending me the car!

2017 LA Auto Show

A Motoring Man’s Meanderings

Review: Albury CMS-20T and Harris RMA-4

“One’s a work horse, the other’s a hit-and-miss”

Thanks to @abg7 for lending me the cars!


It is worth noting that since this review was posted, both cars have been revised somewhat, and ought to be available with both the 1.6T and 2. 0T engines. But your reviews have once again hit the spot, and I will use your feedback to improve the pair further.

In particular I’ll most likely give the Harris more grunt and, more importantly, much more distinctive (but not repulsive) styling, which it needs more than any mechanical upgrades.


Review: 2017 Armada Fore (Birdie and Eagle GTi)

“The automotive version of the neighbour who always organises the community bake sales and never asks for anything in return”

Cheers to @strop for lending me the car!


I must also admit that either Fore is great value for money and a fine drive, especially in Eagle trim, which is a real giant-killer! It was developed before the Birdie, though, and it shows.


Perfectly pitched. The Birdie is indeed the “afterthought” where the Eagle GTi is the mainstay. Its strengths and weaknesses that Gavin so accurately captured are somewhat modelled after the 9th Gen UK Civic Hatch: same strangely disappointing power to eco ratio, lazy auto with long gears, strangely deficient rear legroom and teeny rear doors, but also really nice and pleasant to sit in and drive. The main point of difference is that it has alu panels so it’s lighter. But also a bit more expensive than the entry-level it aimed to compete at, which is why it’s the afterthought: it can’t really make up its mind because it is in essence a heavily detuned, toothless Eagle. You’d get it if you were struggling to eke out a little enjoyment in your commute in a life dictated by practical concerns and people wanting you to get a car with all the amenities so they didn’t have to suffer, a situation I know very well. As a result I would expect the Birdie to sell about as well as the 9th Gen Civic Hatch, which is to say, not particularly, especially since the hatches of 2017 are so damn competitive I wouldn’t be surprised if rear leg room was actually a major determinant in market share.

As for the Eagle, well, it’s pretty much been said. You might ask “why not just make it FR, MR or AWD, anything but FF” but, again, like the FK2 and FK8 Type R, that’s precisely the point and Armada simply won’t do otherwise, because they have cars in other formats already, duh. This is out to prove that FF can do real sporty, and for that to happen it had to be light.

With markups accounted for, you can get the Fore Birdie for under 17k AMU, and the Eagle GTi for 27.7k AMU. The latter is expected to compete with sport cars in the 30-35k AMU bracket.


The question now is, where next for Armada?


This is a very good question. One of the reasons they aren’t well known is that they’re not very large (if GG is a micro company, then Matteo Miglia is a tiny company, and Armada would be small), but the Fore was supposed to be the one thing that they had that was mainstream appeal. The other reason is that I never got around to creating a thread for them. Which I’ll eventually have to rectify, but I have a lot to do before that.

Armada is supposed to be making, in 2017 (not all released at the same time):

  • The Fore range, which is their all-in-one FF platform from zippy eco-box to stripped rev-box to GTi to trophy hatch racer with engine borrowed from a larger car. The Fore will continue development as the backbone of Armada’s revenue, so long as the hot hatch remains relevant
  • said larger car: Ceres, a midsize FR sedan that would compete with the M4
  • probably: a small i6 coupe which is a remake of the Talon, from the late 70s, an early turbo car
  • also hopefully: an MR coupe which would probably be their flagship, though I don’t have any concrete plans yet because I haven’t backfilled the lore. All I know is that I need this to be there otherwise where the heck is the Lotus clone part of the company :joy:


So a fairly small and focused company then basically? With a definite performance edge to it? Gavin will remember that for next time :wink:


Gavin meets his childhood hero - the Assoluto Crinale.


Ok. So now, where is Porsche 959 Himmel ??? to compare, Mr. Hamm… umm, Anderson? :wink:


Quite a fitting verdict for such an unhinged machine! Once again your writing has clearly hit the bullseye, without a single word out of place.


A rear-engined city car that’s awfully fast; the Conte Pulga RR Sportpackage gets roadtested.



A new review of an old car - it’s the Dolphine Mk. 1 Sprint!


Gavin drives the final edition of the Hodan Okayama.