10 August 2007

A road test

Jeff Sabatini evidently had a lot of fun in researching a story that appears on p. W1 of today's Wall Street Journal.

Headlined, "Five Days, 4,000 Miles," the story chronicles Sabatini's road testing of the Audi R8.

The car can achieve a speed of 187 MPH with its 4.2 liter, direct-injection V8, and can go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds.

Even just standing still in looking sci-fi sleek, it impressed the heck out of a gang of 14 year old boys that Sabatini encountered in rural North Dakota.

There's an important point about marketing here, though. Audi, a division of Volkswagen, hasn't branded itself at the high end of high-performance. It hasn't been trying to compete with Aston Martin, Ferrari, or Lamborghini. Rather, its a mass-market luxury brand. The R8, a "limited production exotic car," is a departure for them, and their effort to break into the elite company of those three names is presumably why they let him put 4,000 miles on it.

Even were my income considerably greater thanit is, I think it highly unlikely I'd ever fork over the $112,000 Audi wants for this. Unless inflation proves to be worse in coming years than anyone imagines. In some scenarios, I might ten years from now pay that much for some more modest car and then mutter about how "I can remember back when $112,000 would have been real money!"

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.