Depending on the type of mood in which I find myself after waking, as well as the type of mood in which I find my car after its waking, I vacillate between being buried in the masterpiece or selling the lemon in short order. Recently my relationship with my Porsche 911 has been somewhat strained. A relatively minor issue prompted my most recent trip to the dealer, yet I was set to depart with another four-figure bill. In a moment of weakness I strolled over to the other side of the dealer and perused their new offerings, in particular the updated 981 Boxster and Cayman twins. Perhaps relatively predictable depreciation losses would be preferable to the Russian roulette of ongoing high-dollar maintenance.A particular brand of Porsche enthusiast, usually those who own either of the junior siblings, will claim that those are the “real” sports cars now, considering ownership of the elder 911 an indefensible signifier of a poseur as the icon ascends to … [Read more...] about There’s Nothing New Under The Sun – Test Drive Reviews of Porsche’s Entry-Level Sports Cars
Expensive sports cars
An affordable sports car almost sounds like an oxymoron, like fast traffic or entry-level luxury. Behind those zero-to-60-mph time and skidpad ratings, there’s an equally body-shaking reversal that takes place over just a few years: the cost to buy that same sports car. In some cases, the market value of a no-holds-barred daily driver can decline almost 80 percent in just four years. I always tell folks that speed can be hazardous to your health and your wealth. But sometimes that’s not quite true. When the smoke clears, and the depreciation curve flattens out to a slow-dipping straightaway, that’s when you can aim straight for what I call the sports-car sweet spot.It’s an amazing period, between the time a car sells new and when its second owner takes over, when the operating cost declines to just nickels and dimes. Depreciation is not unique to sports cars. A new-in-the-wrapper Audi A8L cost about $84,000 in 2011. That didn’t include all the options … [Read more...] about On Depreciation: Where’s Your Sports-Car Sweet Spot?
Reading here on TTAC that a BMW executive declared the sports car dead was a sad day for me. Yes, I am one of those who bemoan the passing of beautiful, personal cars like those, whether or not sprinkled with the fairy dust of power. I’m not talking Ferrari here, I’m talking simpler things, like an Opel Tigra, or a Ford Puma, maybe even an old VW Karmann Ghia or a fiberglass, old Beetle motivated, Brazilian Puma GT. Cars like those allowed their everyday owners, with common pocketbooks, to dream of performance and a more enchanted life, in spite of sometime ordinary engines, as their designs were always something else.Reflecting on the implications of the assertion I remembered that day. That day I had my favorite mainstream-make, exotic–inspired, common-hardware-bundled-up-in-a-an-affordable-package car all to myself. And thinking on that drive made me realize I’m partially responsible for this CUV-dominated, ignonimous state of affairs. You see, … [Read more...] about Dispatches do Brasil: How I Killed the Sports Car
On the heels of confirmation that the long-gestating BMW/Toyota joint sports-car project is still, well, gestating, we now have an idea of where the Toyota version will play in the sports-car segment.According to information we’ve received from an inside source, the mid-size sports car—which Toyota is said to be discussing in terms of the FT-1 concept pictured above—is likely to cost more than a base Chevrolet Corvette, which currently starts at $54,995. If Toyota plans to play in the Corvette’s league, one should expect output in excess of 400 horsepower, likely from a turbocharged and/or possibly hybridized V-6. Rear-wheel drive is a given, but the car’s name—FT-1 or Supra or something else—remains to be seen.And then there’s this interesting question: If the Toyota ends up costing more than a Vette, how much might the BMW version cost? If the Bimmer commands a premium, it may be too pricey to be … [Read more...] about Upcoming Toyota Sports Car May Cost More than Chevrolet Corvette
We broke the news last June that Cadillac was planning a flagship vehicle, but precious few details were known at the time. We’ve since learned more, including the intriguing possibility that the flagship may not be a sedan at all. Indeed, Cadillac currently has two paths its flagship could follow; the end result of either would slot above the forthcoming XTS (shown in concept form above), which will replace both the mediocre STS and geezer-friendly DTS when it goes on sale as a 2012 model.The first is a flagship sedan, code-named “UP” (Über Premium? Ultra Pretentious? Urethane Protected?) and designed to take on the Audi A8, the BMW 7-series, and the Mercedes-Benz S-class. Priced at around $80,000, this car would use a lightened version of the long-wheelbase RWD Zeta platform found under our upcoming Chevy Caprice Police Pursuit cop car. Power would come from either a turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 or a naturally aspirated V-8.The second vehicle under … [Read more...] about More Details on Future Cadillac Flagship, Could Be Mid-Engine Sports Car
Rumors—and innuendo—that Ferrari is looking to build an SUV have swirled these past few years, and now we have confirmation from the brand’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne. Speaking to journalists (as covered by Bloomberg) at the New York Stock Exchange this week, the Serge stepped beyond his noncommittal utterance that the SUV market is “too big and too inviting” earlier this year to say Ferrari is looking at production. As in, this is a sure thing, everyone.Marchionne even had a name for the new Ferrari: “FUV.” We take that to mean “Ferrari Utility Vehicle,” and not, well, the vehicular equivalent of a middle finger. It might still seem that way to die-hard fans of the brand, but in time, we expect this will all feel like Porsche’s introduction of the Cayenne—a slap, but a profitable one that ultimately keeps the lights on in the sports-car division.Marchionne Just Confirmed Ferrari’s Interest in Building an SUVReport: … [Read more...] about Ferrari Officially Confirms Its FUV, Placing Profit over Decades of Sports-Car Tradition
Lexus has lofty goals for the new LC performance coupe, a two-car range encompassing V8 and V6 hybrid cars. The Lexus LC, Toyota’s premium division hopes, will attract 400 buyers in America per month.That’s a big number.Granted, Toyota sells more than 1,000 Camrys in the United States every day. In fact, Lexus sells 300 copies of the RX, America’s all-conquering premium utility vehicle, every day.But the 2018 Lexus LC is not America’s best-selling midsize car 15 years running, nor is the LC the dominant luxury crossover in a market gone gaga for luxury crossovers. The Lexus LC, on the other hand, is a $92,995–106,295 Japanese coupe. 400 monthly sales for a two-door priced in that stratosphere is truly a big number.And Lexus believes it will outsell the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche Cayman, Mercedes-Benz SLC, and Audi TT. Lexus believes the LC will sell roughly three times more often than the Nissan GT-R ever has. Lexus intends to attract more … [Read more...] about Can A Truly Expensive Upstart Sports Car Sell Well In 2017? Lexus Has Very High Hopes For The New LC
2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0t Premium AWD 2.0-liter inline 4 (208 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm, 258 lb-ft torque @1,500 rpm)Seven-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-driveFuel Economy (Rated, MPG): 22 city / 28 highway / 24combinedFuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 24.1Base Price: $40,555As Tested Price: $42,705All prices include a $905 destination charge In 1988, Nissan released the third-generation Maxima with a bold tagline — “Four-Door Sports Car.” A year later, American TV viewers were introduced to Nissan’s Infiniti brand with commercials that showed a pond.You win some, you lose some.That Maxima was indeed a brilliant car. And Nissan finally decided that showing luxury cars was a good way to sell luxury cars. That said, part of me wishes the Infiniti brand had failed, as the Q50 might now be a Maxima. Certainly, I don’t wish anyone at Infiniti to lose their jobs, but I have a love for the Maxima that is unfulfilled by the current model. I never expected … [Read more...] about 2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0t AWD Review – Four-Door Sports Car
During the last week, much has been written about the “Driven By Disruption” auction Dec. 10 by RM Auction/Sotheby’s.Most of that reporting was about Janis Joplin’s Porsche, which sold for a mildly outrageous sum of $1.6 million (plus fees), which beat the estimate about 2.5 times. Other top-dollar cars were mentioned as well, especially the first Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold in almost a decade, or the Ferrari 290 MM that was driven by the famous Juan Manuel Fangio in the Mille Miglia. Both cars brought even more eye-watering amounts of money – $13 million for the Aston, $25.5 million for the Ferrari. The Aston even set a historical record for the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.The message is clear: The collector car market is not only alive and well, it’s thriving. Cars sell for ever-higher sums and they are a marvelous investment value. After all, they aren’t making any more classic Ferraris and … [Read more...] about Is the Classic Sports Car Bubble About to Burst?
Baby Boomers are getting too old for traditional sports cars. Their purchasing power may have ushered in the initial success of the muscle car (as well as its resurrection), but no 70-plus-year-old wants to obliterate their pelvis crawling into a low-slung coupe or have its rock-hard suspension rattle the dentures out of their mouth.That leaves the younger generations to champion the sports car going forward, and — I am very sad to say — they will not be up to the task. While there are still younger consumers who enjoy the pursuit of speed, males born between 1946 and 1964 buy most of the sports cars currently on the market, and their peak spending years are rapidly fading in the rear-view. They also are becoming less interested in uncompromising sports cars when there are performance oriented SUVs and crossovers at the ready. These are options that offer expanded practicality and comfort at the moderate expense of … [Read more...] about The Sports Car Market Will Be Atrocious After the Baby Boomers Die