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Would you buy a car for just one feature?

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Is there one feature on your car that was the main reason you bought your car? Is it ridiculous to think that people buy cars because of one thing?

I got thinking about this after I read about a recent Jeep Wrangler related problem customers were having with FCA’s much-maligned UConnect infotainment system.

Some Jeep models feature ‘Off-Road Pages’, a tool in their UConnect system that helps drivers ascertain certain off-road related information. This includes things like “pitch, roll, altitude, GPS coordinates, drivetrain power distribution”, important for those who like being off the grid with their vehicles.

Cue issues Jeep Wrangler owners are having with their UConnect system and Off-Road Pages.

Turns out those who purchased a 2018 Jeep Wrangler, after being promised on Jeep’s own ‘Build & Price’ tool on their website, that Off-Road Pages are actually coming to 2019 models and not 2018 ones.

Owners are outraged, with some pointing out that it was a key feature in their decision to purchase the vehicle.

Did you really buy that car because of that one feature?

It got me thinking, do people really buy their car primarily for one feature? Is it possible that you would spend all that money based on a singular aspect of a car? Sounds ridiculous when you think about it but Jeep Wrangler owners may beg to differ.

Looking back at the cars I’ve owned I try to think back to any one feature that helped sway my

decision to purchase that car. A previous car I owned had a fantastic Heads Up Display (HUD) and could park itself (which in the two years I owned it, didn’t use once), but they were merely bonuses to the rest of the car. Sure, it helped, but I would have bought the car if it didn’t park itself too.

It’s a feature filled kind of world

Modern cars come equipped to the nose with features and technology. Unless you’re opting for the base model, you’re bound to get some of the basic necessities of modern driving. Reverse camera and Sat Nav are probably the two functions most crucial, although some people will say in this day and age, upgraded sensors and cameras are key. To some, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) has become a standard must-have feature of their new cars too.

The number of features and options available are almost endless: 360-degree cameras, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring, gesture control, Adaptive Cruise Control, everything from massaging seats to autopilot.

Why did you buy your car?

My hope is that you didn’t buy your car for any one of these aforementioned features alone. I would hazard a guess that most people do buy their cars for multiple reasons and features, and that makes sense. My current car doesn’t have a heads up display, can’t park itself, doesn’t have blind spot monitors, no massaging or heated seats, but I did buy it because of a few things. I bought it because of its ultra sports suspension, Brembo brakes and 360 hp (okay so I also bought it because it had low mileage and was a manual).

I can see why Jeep Wrangler owners would be annoyed by what has happened. It is a big component of an off-road minded vehicle, but hopefully, they can see that in the end, the Wrangler is still great at what it does even though it won’t be able to tell you exactly what it is doing via a computer screen.

FCA promising customers a vehicle can do something when it can’t however, is something else entirely.

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Rare Ferrari GTO sells for record $70 million

How much money would you pay for the car of your dreams?

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How much money would you pay for the car of your dreams? What about a one-of-a-kind beauty that you see driving past your prestige dealer? How about a rare 1963 Ferrari GTO?

If you are Dave MacNeil, the answer to the latter, is USD $70 million. MacNeil, who is the CEO of automotive weather guard company WeatherTech, shelled out the record amount for a rare Ferrari.

It is no ordinary rare Ferrari of course. While already limited to 39 builds, this particular one, chassis number 4153 GT, is special. The car won the 1964 Tour de France motor race and finished fourth at Le Mans in 1963.

Records Broken

The $70 million paid by MacNeil eclipses the previous record for the Ferrari GTO. In 2013, a GTO was sold for a then record $53 million.

The Ferrari GTO is powered by a 3.0-litre V12 engine and is one of only 39 built between 1962-1964.

MacNeil joins an exclusive group of GTO owners that include Ralph Lauren and Walmart heir Rob Walton.

How much is too much?

When you are in the same tax bracket as the Ralph Laurens and Walmarts of the world, perhaps there really isn’t a price that is too much for a prized automobile. It is truly rarefied air when the cars in your collection exceed seven digits a piece. For the rest of us, it seems utterly ridiculous of course. Collectors however, do see the worth of these incredibly rare vehicles.

How would you rather spend $70 million? I would definitely buy an expensive sports car, but one for considerably less.

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Automotive

Camaro coming to Australia as an automatic only

The Chevrolet Camaro is officially coming to Australia this year as an import from Holden Special Vehicles. Excitement may have been tempered slightly with its expected high price, and its auto-only option.

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With the demise of local manufacturing, Australian buyers looking for grunt outside of expensive European options have flocked to the Ford Mustang. Almost 10,000 ‘Stangs were sold last year, which is enough proof that, while Australians don’t make affordable muscle cars anymore, they still want to buy them.

Holden, without a flagship V8 for the first time in decades, is turning to its parent company GM for a much needed boost. Holden’s performance arm, Holden Special Vehicles, announced earlier that the Chevy Camaro, in its 2SS trim, will be made available this year.

Good News and Bad News

That’s definitely the good news portion of it. While the thrill of locally made, hotted-up Commodores have been put to bed, the Camaro is more than a worthy successor. HSV have announced the specs for the 2SS for Australia, proving that it’ll pack quite the punch to satisfy the cravings of auto enthusiasts and muscle car fans.

The Australian 2SS Camaros will come with a 6.2-litre Gen 5 LT1 V8, packing 454hp (339kW) and 455 ft-lb of torque (617Nm). It will have Brembo brakes, a bi-modal exhaust, tons of technology and a variety of colour options.

So what is bad news here? Well, the Camaros have started arriving in Australia in your factory standard left-hand drive version. They are being converted to right-hand drive by HSV, which will add a hefty bump to the price tag. While no official numbers have been released just yet, speculation is that the price will come in around USD$60,400 (AUD$80,000). That’s almost $20k more than made-for-Australia Mustangs. HSV says they will be looking to keep numbers at 1,000 units a year, well below that of Ford’s current Mustang sales.

Another sticking point for performance enthusiasts is that the Australian Camaros will be available with an automatic transmission only. I know that probably stings, so I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Equipped with paddle shifters, it’ll be mated to an 8-speed auto transmission, which means the Camaro will be based on the outgoing 2018 model, and not the new 2019.

Still a Winner

Time will tell how the factory-backed Camaro will do. European performance cars have done pretty well with automatic transmissions, so it shouldn’t really hurt that much. While on the pricey side, the Camaro will still be far more affordable than an Audi RS or BMW M-series. It is a just a shame that this particular car, one that is aimed at filling in some lofty Commodore shoes, comes a little shackled from the get-go.

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