I am from Europe, but this article is cheap talk, and some bullshit.
"The Beagle was really advanced in comparison to most of the stuff NASA is doing. This will be more advanced. This will be the most advanced thing to land on Mars, ..."
Spirit and Opportunity have been slowly scouting Mars since landing in early 2004.
"They have done maybe 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in total," Healy said. (The actual total, according to NASA, is 14.86 kilometers, or 9.23 miles.) "The rover here (Bridget) will have done that within four to six months at the most. It's got to go to 10 sites that are up to one kilometer (0.6 miles) apart.
"It won't be commanded on the ground. It will get there quicker and spend more time searching using its sophisticated technology... It will bring back more information."
Well, Beagle MAY have been advanced UNTIL EDL. I remember the talk in 2003: NASA will do driving and pictures, we will do real science. And I wondered how they put all these instruments into Beagle. They cut other corners.
Have they ever heard something about MSL? What is special if in 2011 you are better than two rovers launched in 2003? I still don't see them putting all the instruments, including the drill, into a rover the size of MER.
If their budget is 700m euros and 150m euros are for the rover INCLUDING some kind of autonav (quite cheap compared to MER), then 550m euros are for the orbiter, the EDL system and the launcher? A Soyuz is too small for a lander AND an orbiter: Two launches or an Ariane 5?
I believe it if it's on the pad.