I am a sports car enthusiast. I've owned one for all the years I could afford one, so I'm not really afraid of people telling me I'm having a mid-life crisis. I value performance first, especially on twisty roads, but I also prize build quality and enduring value. I tend to buy cars that are a year or two old and then drive them until they are old and worn out or I'm tired of them. If I get tired of them before they seem worn out, that gets marked in my book as a loss.
I currently drive the last great Japanese sportscar, the Toyota Supra Twin Turbo. I love, love, love this car and it perfectly met all of my criteria. It is still an absolute rock of reliability and still faster than most everything else. Its fun to drive and the only downside is that teenage boys pester me with car talk wherever I go. This isn't a bad downside, really.
I held out for several years for Toyota to make a new Supra, but I have finally given up on them. My current thinking is down to the following options:
1) New Lexus I350 F -- You may not know this one. Its coming out in the December/January timeframe and will be a wicked fast 425bhp, 5.0 liter V8 powered machine on the very civilized IS platform. Pros: luxury features, fast, reliable, rare, good resale value Cons: 4 door couple sedan only, perhaps a bit too "tame"
2) New BMW M3 -- Might want to wait for next year's model which will get more ponies and an upgraded suspension. This is the prototype that Lexus is trying to beat. Pros: awesome performance, luxury features, available in convertable Cons: fairly commonplace, more dubious reliability, rep as a car for jerks.
3) New Porsche Cayman S -- This is basically a tarted up Boxster couple with a slightly beefier powerplant. It does have a mid-engine design, which I really like and it is more of a pure sports car than the first two options. Pros: pure sportscar, mid-engine, Porsche name/image Cons: outrageous maintenance costs, fast depreciation, Porsche name/image
4) Used Porsche Carrera 4 -- Best performance of the lot of these cars, but must get used to afford (probably about 3 years old with 20k miles). I've always intended to own a 911 at some point and this seems like a good blend of performance and drivability. Pros: Its a 911, its really fast, it is glued into corners, Porsche name/image Cons: These cars are somewhat finicky and they charge you a fortune every time they see you in the service department because they can, Porsche name/image.
I've rejected a lot of cars:
Infiniti G35 -- too many of them, too boring
Corvette Z06 -- I don't look good in a mullet
Dodge Viper -- Too much of a brute to drive everyday
Lotus Elise -- Looks like a cartoon car
Lexus SC430 -- I'm not a woman
If you can think of other cars that should be on my list, I'll add it or dismiss it in a similar one-liner fashion. If you have insight into what I ought to do, let me know.
The Lexus IS-F is the leader, but I have to pre-order it and wait until December. I'm not really a patient guy.