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I didn´t know the Vel Satis came with such a beefy engine. If it was fast in a straight line, how did it manage corners? My suspicion is that while the car could belt along, that was not its intended role in life. The interior was really well done, that´s true. Renault pulled out all the stops to give that car a distinctive and first rate design. Fat was the lot of good that it did them though.
Sam the Eagle says:
it was the same V6 block found in the Nissan 350Z I believe, albeit tamed.
My point was actually that the Safrane Biturbo was a bit of an oddball sitting alongside the top of the range 3.0l V6(PRV)-powered Baccara, which would have been the direct competitor of the Peugeot and the Citroen in your post.
Hell is other people.
Did Renault offer the Baccara and Biturbo at the same time? The Citroen XM CT was sold alongside the V6, towards what end I do not know. Conceivably, a Safrane Baccara is a considerably rare vehicle now. I´ve never seen one in reality and I´ve only seen three Safranes in the last six months. One was dying in a scrap yard.
Aaaaaargh, the wooooooooooood!
I feel a bit like John Cassavettes in Brian De Palma's righfully forgotten flick The Fury.
The wood creates a rather jolly sort of atmosphere, does it not? There is no wood inside my car and I think it´s missing something as a result.
A friend of mine was recently looking for an E34 BMW Five and one of the cars he was looking at was a late "Executive" model with, yes wood. It really looked awful, even though it didn't appear quite as inappropriate as it does in the French cars.
There are some examples of really badly deployed wood and wood-effect plastics. The 80s Nissans and many 80s American cars come to mind. That said, it is not self-evident to me that wood effects are automatically wrong. This strikes me as more of a personal preference along the lines of whether or not one likes certain colour or not. The dislike of wood effects in cars has become something of a design dogma. It was wrong when wood-effects were unavoidable and similarly, it strikes me as a bit extreme to view it as a faux-pas in every instance. There are people now who don´t like colours other than grey/black inside cars who only hold this view because they have internalised it from others. Two decades ago this wasn´t the case. I don´t see a way out of this colour impasse either. Cars are going to be grey and cool indefinitely. I find this a boring prospect.
[This Reply has been modified by the Author]
I certainly don't mind wood per se, it's just that there are cars which - to my eyes at least - were obviously not designed with wood panels in mind, but at some point got them regardless, because some marketing boffin thought this would elevate the car's acceptance in executives' circles.
The Vel Satis is proof that the French can do wood, but my XM or Safrane would always have to make do without brown highlights on the dash, I'm afraid.
The wood in Audis and BMWs is often diabolical, like in this E39. Or Seant's A6...
I suppose the best compromise is that there ought to be chance to opt for or opt against a wood detail in the car´s interior. That way you can drive your XM as I do, entirely in black. Or not, as is found in the V6 versions.
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