Saturday, April 21, 2012

2014 Audi R5

Price: Probably more than you can afford
Power: Who the heck knows? oh ya Audi does. Go as them.
Sex Appeal:I don't care how gutless or expensive this car will be. I just want to be seen in it by people I know that way they could totally get the wrong idea about me :D

I was on the freeway the other day sitting in traffic when I saw a really cool vintage Cadillac.  You know, one of the ones that came in gold and had shark fins that would put any shark in existence to shame.  Behind that car was driving a chevrolet volt and I suddenly became very sad.  There next to me was the perfect juxtaposition of car past and car future.  I saw what was once(and still is) really cool and what I have to look forward to as a car enthusiast. Needless to say I shed a tear because the chevy volt is one ugly piece of s***.

But this post is not about the chevy volt.  It is about an Audi, one of the shining lights of hope for car future.  This is germany's version of shark fins: a razor blade-looking piece of sexiness.  Every time a japanese or american company pumps out yet ANOTHER super boring compact car that gets 35mpg and costs exactly 22 thousand dollars, I see future concepts for cars like this and a part of me gets all warm and fuzzy and comforted.  If I had a million bucks my car of choice would be the Audi R8.  It is fast, reliable, understated, and sexy all at the same time.  This bad bad boy looks just like it, if not cooler.  It is like the Audi R8 and S5 got drunk one night and forgot to use a condom.  It is like what the kid of Olivia Wilde and Ryan Reynolds would look like only in car form.  I, for one, just sort of stare with a bit of drool hanging out of my mouth.

So there it is folks. HOPE! CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN! Despite the horrible trend of all cars starting to look ugly, uniform, and super boring, there is still Audi out there, making cars that tease us with images of pure lust.

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Nissan GTR

Price: A lot.  More than you can afford
Power: A lot.  More than you can handle
Sex Appeal: Are you into asian, prepubescent boys?

 The Nissan GTR is a super car killer.  They designed it to go faster than the Porsche 911 Turbo. Does it accomplish all this? yes.  Would I buy it? The answer is: no.

Let me explain myself.  I love fast, sexy looking cars as much as the next person but I am also someone who has an ounce of self respect.  I don't care how much money you have, if you buy this car you look like a douche.  Yes it can go faster than most cars in existence but who really gives a crap?  All you are doing when you buy this car is telling the world, and most importantly, the ladies, that you are a gigantic nerd who cars more about the numbers on a piece of paper than reality.

I've been to my fair share of track days and the amount of times I have seen a car that cost more than a Subaru WRX Sti is like, two.  This car is designed to be driven super fast around that big ass track in Gernmany and that is about it.  Base price for this baby is around 90k, and that is before the MASSIVE dealer mark up for being a "rare" and "in-demand" car.  What a load of bull.  Ford tried to pull that a few years ago with the Ford GT(charging 300k for a 150k car) and they basically killed one of the best cars of it's time.  This puppy is not so rare.  In fact, I asked a dude at a Nissan dealer not too long ago and they can get you one in 6-8 weeks to your specification.

So why would anyone buy this sucker?  I really don't know to be honest.  It is PS3 on wheels that has a Nissan badge.  Its 20k more than a corvette Z06 which is HOT and will give you more driving pleasure than the GTR could ever hope to bring.  Even though it is faster than a Porsche, I would still have a basic 911 over this thing.  It is just is  Nice job on the technical achievement there Nissan, but you should have sent this bad boy to Porsche or Ferrari or Audi to have it rebranded for it to be worth anything to the actual buyer.  Unfortunately, this masterpiece of faster-than-s*** machinery is, and forever will be, reserved for that rich ass kid who gets way too much of his daddy's money.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Ford Mustang GT

Price: 30 ish.  Not that much considering what you get...
Sex Appeal: I mean come on...It's a mustang! What else can be sexier than a big, bad ass V8???

I love Mustangs.  I really do.  My favorite car of all time is the 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang as seen in Gone in 60 Seconds.  If you read any car magazine they will bombard you with criticisms revolving around the suspension in a Mustang but I really could not give a S***.  Despite the styling mishaps over the years, the Mustang has always been a great car.  You get the performance of a 50+ thousand dollar car for 28 thousand bucks.

A few years ago I got the world's best christmas present and was shipped off to Arizona for a day to partake in the Bob Bondourant racing school.  It was there that I drove my first mustang.  I remember it like it was yesterday... a bright orange, race modified, 5 speed manual Mustang.  The thing that really stood out to me was the fact that the whole freakin car shook when you revved the motor.  Yes it had that much torque.  That particular car had about 300 bhp.  The new model, however, has over 400.  I can't even imagine how much fun that would be to drive. I've heard the new 5 liter blast by me on the freeway before and I got the worst case of goosebumps imaginable.

If I had more money this would DEFINITELY be my second car.  It has the looks, it has the power, and oh my goodness does it have the sound.  Sitting in a Mustang is like sitting un a bucket full of testosterone.  There is no car that can really compare to the raw feeling of power the Mustang can deliver, fuel economy be damned.

Can this car be over priced at times? Yes.  It can.  Last time I was at the car show they had a convertible GT for 45K.  What on EARTH can you get from Ford that is worth 45K, apart from a GT500???  Certainly not a Mustang.  But then again, that is American car politics for you.  They assume that you love their car SO MUCH that you will buy it for a massiver premium over, I don't know, a BMW 135? Infiniti G37? Audi A5? If you didn't pick up on the sarcasm you just failed there.

If you get a Mustang GT for 30K it is the most fun car you can buy.  Anything more than that you are wasting your money.  If you are in the market, at least drive it once, as there is nothing more intoxicating in the world than a big V8 screaming and vibrating your spine until it shatters.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Mini Coupe S

Price: Far to much.  But then again, it IS a Mini
Power: Plenty for its size
Sex Appeal: If you have the hots for teenagers with backward hats, then you are in luck!!!

If you want a Mini, you want a Mini.  I learned this when my sister bought her Mini Cooper S.  You throw out all reason, any sense of frugality, and plenty of better options for the sake of driving, and owning, a Mini.  Don't get me wrong, Mini makes a great car.  It is fast, economical, and pretty sexy looking (usually).  However, I only see there are two justifications for buying a Mini: 1) You REALLY FREAKIN want one, or 2) You have more money than you know what to do with.

On paper, buying a Mini is ok, until you look at the options list.  What should be a 25K car ends up costing well over 30K at any dealer because of the very few options they tack on.  This is a product of being owned by BMW, who LOVES to lure you in with a base price then hits you with several "packages" that add close to 10K for the base price.

I've driven several Minis before and I've always enjoyed the experience, so I have no doubt that this car will go like stink and handle well to boot.  I just don't see the reason for spending a bunch of money on a teenager witha  backwards hat.  I wish I could say I came up with that analogy but unfortunately Mini already has that honor.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Mini itself thinks it looks like a cool kid with a backwards hat.  Lord help the future of all cars.

My only exposure to this car was sitting in this car at the San Diego Car show.  It looks and feels just like a Mini.  It has more blind spots than normal and absolutely NO trunk space so I really don't see the point.  Get a regular Mini Cooper S.  Same price but is slightly, and I mean slightly, more usable.  Otherwise, I would wait for the convertible version of the Coupe which I know will show up sometime.  But even then, it will still be a 30+ thousand dollar mini competitor.  But then again, if you like Mini......

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Subaru WRX

Price: USED to be be reasonable
Power: Lots and lots of it.
Sex Appeal: Ill leave that for you to decide.  If you have testosterone It will appeal to you.  Otherwise I have a feeling the best you can come up with is "nice rims."

I've wanted a Subaru WRX for years and years now.  I tried back in 2006 when I got my first car and they were conveniently out of them. I tried a couple years later and, again, they were out.  In the end I have come to determine that this car doesn't actually exist.  Ok that is a slight exaggeration.  What that really means is that this car is extremely popular with today's youth, and for good reason.  There are very few cars that offer as much "car" for the money as this one.

Since it started its life as a rally car, the WRX comes with all wheel drive (standard), and a big, bad ass motor.  Up until 2009, this mean about 220 hp.  In 2009, "Bad ass" became around 265 hp.  A reasonable number but what was really impressive was its performance.  A special little combination between the power, the all wheel drive, and the transmission made this car faster than pretty much anything on the road.  It went 0-60 faster than a BMW M3, Mustang GT, Nissan 370Z, and the list goes on.  The best part?  All this fun could be yours for 25 thousand bucks.

Last weekend I went to the San Diego car show.  What did I find there? A WRX that was cooler than ever.  They took the body kit from the STI (Its MUCH more expensive and powerful counterpart) and put it on the WRX.  So now it looks even cooler.  What wasn't so cool? Subaru decided to be lame and start overcharging for the WRX.  It is 30 thousand bucks now, for no particular reason.  You could argue that the performance is worth the money, but drivers spend most of their time inside the car.  What is inside this car? Crap.  Lots and lots of crap. You open the door and slide into a realm of cheap plastic, no technology to speak of, 3 different shades of grey, and boredom.

I would still get this given the opportunity, but the price bump and the lack of anything even reasonably nice on the inside really keeps me depressed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2012 Nissan Leaf - Cool idea. But it still looks like a turd.

Price: A bit steep, even with the government rebate. But then again you aren't paying for gas...
Power: Hard to describe.  It can go freeway speed?
Sex Appeal: If you find a tortoise sexually appealing, then you will be all over this car.

I like electric things.  I spent most of my youth playing with high end remote control electric cars and airplanes so I know first hand the power of the electric motor.  I have also dabbled in go kart racing, both gas and electric, so I know full well what having instant torque means (you go fast, instantly).  All things considered then, I should like this car...but I don't.

Nissan had a huge opportunity here.  They were coming out with the first affordable electric car the world had ever seen.  Being electric, there wer no limitations for this car.  It does not require the same aerodynamics as its gas powered equivalent and there is not a lot stored under the hood of this car, so they could have made it look however they wanted.  Electric cars are affected by wind just like gas cars, so its range is highly dependent on aerodynamics.  Nissan could have gone all out and made this thing incredibly space-aged looking and extended its mediocre 50-mile range to 100 and beyond without having to mess with any of the technology under the hood.

But they didn't.  They made a turd.  It rivals the most ugly car every made (the prius...but more on that some other time), and it only goes 50 miles.  It is a cool idea to have an electric car.  I admit that 99% of my driving per day is less than 50 miles, so 360 days of the year this is all the car I need.  But I really can't get over how dumpy it looks.  Why could they have not made a plastic ferrari and put a dinky electric motor in it? There are a reason fast cars look fast.  They use up so much gas every little bit counts.  I feel that Nissan should have had the same mentality here.  Electric cars can't go very far to begin with without adding thousands of pounds of batteries, so why not focus on that last little bit?

What we are left with is a half assed attempt at taking on the Prius.  They made it look like the Prius, gave it a million miles per gallon, and charge 10k more for that extra amount of smugness you can carry around when you say: "well I drive an ELECTRIC car, what about YOU?"  Is it really so much to ask for a mainstream car thats good for the environment, saves you a butt load of money, and doesn't look like a pile of S***?

I guess so.  I have hopes for the future, but as it stands, the car industry is terrified of doing anything different than the competition.  This car is just a drop in the bucket of what is possible.  Audi just needs to come out with that electric thing they had in I-Robot that Will Smith drove.  Now THAT is what the "future" should look like.  Not a stink bug.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2012 Fiat 500- Back again

Price: Super attractive
Power: What power?
Sex Appeal: It is like driving Zooey Deschanel: cute and quirky and you want it.

Two summers ago I went with my family to the great country of Italy.  It was there that I was blasted with an overwhelming sight: Fiat 500's.  EVERYWHERE.  I would like to explain further this concept of, "everywhere."  One day we were going to lunch and there in the middle of the sidewalk was a small car.  We asked the waitress what that was all about and she simply said: "oh, there is no parking.  People just park on the sidewalk because the parking ticket is less than paying for a parking lot."

That pretty much sums up the mentality of every Italian.

Needless to say my obsession with this cute little thing quickly grew and by the end of our 10 day trip I badly wanted the souped up Abarth Fiat 500(the tuner version soon to be released in the US).  Until that review, I will focus on the base model.  It is cheap (15-18k), gets good gas milage, comes in a manual, and is blessed with plenty of quirky color combinations.  If you are looking for a car with any pep and zip at all, please move on and buy a mini.  As cool as this car is, it has less than 100hp and despite its apparent small size, has the same generous proportions of its rival: Mini.

In the united states, this car is distributed by Chrysler and that bothers me.  I hate chrysler.  They make cheap S*** cars and should be gone (cough THANKS FOR NOTHING OBAMA cough).  Whether Chrysler has any say in how this car is produced and made is unknown to me, but it is definitely something to consider if you want this car.  All I know is that sitting in one felt awful similar to sitting in a PT cruiser(the quintessential cheap S***).

Its affiliation with Chrysler aside, I overall like this car.  I would never get the base model because it is just too plain and underpowered for me.  My suggestion is to wait for the Abarth which is not totally underpowered and adds just enough toughness to this car to make it appeal to the male and female sex equally.

Also, I like the convertible version of this car.  It is not a traditional convertible, but is cool all the same because the top portion just slides back like a set of blinds.  Pretty cool I must say.

If you are in the market for something fuel efficient and cute, this is a great option if you never have to drive on the freeway(it just doesn't have enough power to be safe at speed).  Otherwise, there are plenty of other cars out there that are better (look at a base mini, ford fiesta, etc).