Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Detroit News III

OK. Last automotive post for at least a day or two. Promise.

The new Buick Enclave SUV was unloved, the Honda Fit seemed to, uh, fit better into my readership's lifestyles. Now I'm curious about another automotive genre.

None of my regular readers have hit middle age yet, but have any of you lusted over a high-horsepower, low-utility sports car? I'm curious to see if any of the latest eye-candy from the world's automakers has caught the eye of any of you.

Screw practicality. To hell with trunk space. Back seat be damned. F**K fuel economy. Do any of these recently announced vehicles get your motor running?

It's the epitomy of retro design. It's the Dodge Challenger. And it brings 425 tire-melting horsepower with it.

In 2002, Chevrolet produced the last Camaro. As a former Camaro driver, I was saddened. But the Camaro is back with a retro feel combining 1969 design cues with 2006 angles and 400 horsepower.

Ford resurrected Mustang heritage (and sales) a few years ago. Now it brings back another Mustang memory with the Shelby GT500. It packs 500 horsepower in both coupe and convertible form.

Sure, it looks like a little like a Miata and has no back seat, but it's said to be tremendous fun on twisty roads and beachside highways. It's the Pontiac (yes, that Pontiac) Solstice GXP and it sells for about $25,000 with 250 horsepower. Or you can have a less powerful version for about $19,000.

BMW is known for luxurious performance. Its latest offering is the Z4 Coupe.

Thanks for any input you guys have.


Jonathan said...

The Solstice and the Z4 coupe don't really do a whole lot for me. Then again I prefer to have a car that will fit me. More traditional muscle cars are more my thing anyway. I wants me a Dodge Charger (though I'll settle for a Magnum since it's more family friendly).

Love the 'Stang, they have done a great job of making people forget the 80's. I personally think they did the best job of taking 60's style and making it better. Plus with 500 horsies I would have a fun, albeit short, life.

The Challenger looks nice, though of the Dodge Cars I prefer the Charger. I don't know why, just doesn't do anything for me. I would gladly drive one, but doesn't grab me like the other two. Seems a little too 60's, not enough modern.

Finally, I'm glad they brought back the Camaro. Did they really think people would buy the SSR being a replacement? Though I still think I prefer the new 'Stang, the Camaro is quite catching (I'm more a 'Stang guy, though). This one doesn't really look like a Chevy. Less curve, more distinct lines gives it almost a Cadillac feel (I'm thinking kind of a better looking XLR). Nothing wrong with looking like a better version of a $78k car. It really looks set to compete with the Mustang once again.

Overall, like I said, still like the Mustang best. However, the more I look at the Camaro the more I like it. I don't see the Challenger really living up to its name against either of the other two. About time we had a good Camaro vs. Mustang bout again.

David said...

I was excited looking at this post, 'cause these are much more to my tastes than the last two posts, and I thought I might actually have something to say about them.

Jonathan, though, has beat me to the punch with more insight than I had, which was along the lines of "Oooooh, pretty cars!"

I've been a huge fan of the neo-retro-design trend in cars lately, and, in general, like these new additions.

I think I had a more positive reaction to the Challenger than Jonathan just because of the way it subdues the neo- to the retro-. Studying it, you can see the modern touches, but at first glance, it's pretty classic looking.

The Camaro, on the other hand, had the opposite effect on me: It strikes me as too far on the other side of the neo- to retro- scale for my tastes. May just be the picture.

The Mustang, though -- I don't remember the last time a car has inspired the sheer lust in me that late-model Mustangs have. Just beautiful, and this new one is no exception. Very nice, indeed.

The Solstice just kinda looks like a modern convertible. Cute, but not outstanding that I can tell.

I like the look of the sporty BMWs, sure, but don't really see where this latest one brings much new to the table.

And this has been another installment of "Utterly Uninformed Car Blathering Theater."

That said, this has been fun -- I've enjoyed you opening it up for Amateur Night at the Car Blog, Chris. You should do this more often.

aviyah said...

in my utterly informed opinion, the Challenger is the prettiest and the BMW looks like it was hit in the side with an SUV.

Christina said...

I like that BMW. Looks better than the Z3. The company's product may be out of all of our price ranges but dang if they are not fun to drive.

To sum up the other cars:

Solstice -- nice looking, won't make up mind until drive it.
Charger -- love the retro styling
Challenger -- try again boys
Mustang -- the Shelby name always demands respect
Camaro -- good start, could have gone more old school for my tastes.

Willer said...

Tell ya what, I'll take all that money I'm saving by NOT buying any of thos rediculous cars, and buy a slightly used VW Golf TDI. Spend all of the money I've saved on a few power enhancements and I have a 200hp 250lb/ft rocket that gets 45mpg on recycled vegetable oil.

David said...

Um... you know... I may have to stay out of B'ham more now that I know the Tutors let Enzo drive.

On the flip side, probably still safer than most Memphis drivers.

Christina said...

Well David, Memphis is where Enzo learned to drive. But Jacksonians may be the worst.

Speed42 said...

Of those cars, I'd have a hard time choosing between the Challenger and the BMW.

Yeah, I know. Two cars at the extremes of sports carness.

The Challenger appeals to my love of retro design and my lifelong yearning for a true 60s muscle car. It's got gobs of power (if built, it should be able to outrun a Ferrari 355 at about a quarter the price) and style.

The BMW, on the other hand, has very modern lines and a quality that can only be replicated by German carmakers for some reason (check out the interiors on Audi, VW, BMW and Mercedes to see what I mean). I fell in love with BMWs in general after driving the coupe version of the Z3 several years ago. A phenomenal car! I know the styling of the Z4 coupe isn't conventional; some might even say ugly. But I think it's gorgeous.

So, I guess in the end, I choose the BMW. I think it's styling will age much better than the other retro cars. Plus, the extra money spent on the new car will come back when the vehicle is sold.

Thanks everyone for participating in my car poll. David suggests I do this sort of thing more often, and, I just might. I really did enjoy reading all the opinions. Thanks very much.