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Thread: Need help picking a new car

  1. #1

    Need help picking a new car

    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.

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  3. #2
    Georgeair's Avatar
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    IS350 F - definitely too tame, no idea if the suspension will be up to the drivetrain, I can tell you all sorts of stories about first-year releases of hot cars. Summary; DON'T.

    M3 - easily a good choice. Read up on the bearing issues in the current iteration. I almost bought one a couple years ago and got scared away by that.

    Cayman - great choice, great car. Drive one (or a Boxster) and you'll be hooked. Well, on everything except the gearbox and shift linkage.


    Carrerra iterations - everything I've read and everyone I've discussed this with who doesn't already own the "4" version of these says you're way better off without. i.e. the Carrerra S gets you better yield. If you're hooked of AWD, used GT3s are pretty abundant too, and typically have very, very low miles for the price.

    I've got a G35 sedan, am considering a coupe with some mods, but your point is good. I agree with all the other rejects except the Z06. You sound like Deniseair, and it's a leftover from our youth. You do not need a mullet, gold chains, bleached hair or three divorces for this car. It. Is. The. Bomb. Nothing else touches it performance-wise for the money. Nobody is looking at them like you (and she) do anymore except old geezers like you, and you've said you don't care what people think about your motivations. Either you lied, or you must consider this as an option.

    Others I would add to the list:

    BMW M5 used - Holy cow, even the old ones are off the charts and like the GT3 usually have low miles for the price on used ones. Maintained like the glorious children they are. New V-10 model probably freed up some used ones.

    BMW 635/645/M6 used - M may be pricey, but I've wanted one of these since I say the first one live in 1986. It was an import euro-spec model, black, tan leather. OMFG!

    Cobra GT-500 - similar to the Viper a little unrefined, and prices are still at MSRP+10K, but this is another fun rocket that is a blast to drive. That 500HP claim is apparently low this time. They learned a lot from their mistakes in ratings in the late 90's. A pulley change and you are even more dominating. Driving a car with a solid rear axle is just too much fun to miss out on one more time.

    Infiniti GT-R - coming out this summer. Good value, s/b great performance.

    New Challenger - makes you wait, but that should blow your hair and your age back when it comes out.

    I'll think of more, but it will take me a while, and I have to work occassionally.
    The most of my pay goes for likker and women. The rest I spend foolishly. - U.S. Navy sailor in China, circ. 1925

  4. #3
    BernardDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Need help picking a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by nsidestrate
    I've rejected a lot of cars:
    <snip>
    Corvette Z06 -- I don't look good in a mullet
    Another reason you may want to keep that option open:



    You actually don't look all that bad in a mullett.
    http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p...dDogs/Bull.jpg "I hope you had that one neutered. It should NOT reproduce." - Bullajami

  5. #4
    therivierakid's Avatar
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    If the Lotus Elise, which I love with a passion by the way, is a cartoon car then this is its inspiration:



    I realise a few people are put off by its looks (my GF hates it) but it is a pure sports car with some of the best handling money can buy.

    Of the four you've listed I think I'd go for No. 4. Although the Beemer appeals I think I'd just end up hating myself when I drove it.

    What about a Holden Monaro (sp?) If you've never heard of it it's an Australian muscle car - had rave reviews.

    I take it an Aston is out of the question?

    WARNING: Gratuitous car pr0n coming up....








    Cake or Death?

  6. #5
    Georgeair's Avatar
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    I hadn't paid a ton of attention to any of the photos of the IS-F, but a quick check of their own website confirms that you will be much more at home with an order of Kung Pao Chicken with that car styling. Trust me - if you're worried about the mullet, more people who know less about cars but still get the inference will come to the same conclusion immediately.

    Also, in addition to the new engine (and that is really, really pushing the limits for a production n/a 3.5l engine), I do not want to be the testbed for a new 8 speed slushbox. Is there actually no manual option? Bleh.

    Nice photo - maybe we should be discussing convertibles.

    edit - my wife would leave me for that (or pretty much any) Aston Martin after about 2 minutes consideration.
    The most of my pay goes for likker and women. The rest I spend foolishly. - U.S. Navy sailor in China, circ. 1925

  7. #6
    woodyman4916's Avatar
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    How about the Audio RS4???
    "I am THE MASTER at pushing into hands slightly better than mine." -DTheater

  8. #7
    Georgeair's Avatar
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    Or a used RS6? DOH! I can't believe I forgot that sweet piece! Reliability may be suspect, but oh when it's running.......

    Jaguar XKR is nice, but you may have to be a blonde woman for that too.
    The most of my pay goes for likker and women. The rest I spend foolishly. - U.S. Navy sailor in China, circ. 1925

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    Carrerra iterations - everything I've read and everyone I've discussed this with who doesn't already own the "4" version of these says you're way better off without. i.e. the Carrerra S gets you better yield. If you're hooked of AWD, used GT3s are pretty abundant too, and typically have very, very low miles for the price.
    I agree on the S. I'd want the C4S. I desperately wish I could afford a twin turbo with reasonable milage, but I don't think I'm willing to spend that much. Unless I win the main or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    I agree with all the other rejects except the Z06. You sound like Deniseair, and it's a leftover from our youth. You do not need a mullet, gold chains, bleached hair or three divorces for this car. It. Is. The. Bomb. Nothing else touches it performance-wise for the money. Nobody is looking at them like you (and she) do anymore except old geezers like you, and you've said you don't care what people think about your motivations. Either you lied, or you must consider this as an option.
    It is pretty much of a bang for the buck beast. I felt like the C5 build quality was poor and I always expected stuff to fall off when I rode in one. I am assured that the C6s are much better put together, but I still am a skeptic. The mullet comment was a bit smartass, but you knew what I meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    BMW M5 used - Holy cow, even the old ones are off the charts and like the GT3 usually have low miles for the price on used ones. Maintained like the glorious children they are. New V-10 model probably freed up some used ones.
    Good point. They should be on my list. The problem is that I am leary of a new M3 on a reliability basis, a used M5 just seems more risky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    BMW 635/645/M6 used - M may be pricey, but I've wanted one of these since I say the first one live in 1986. It was an import euro-spec model, black, tan leather. OMFG!
    They are all extremely hard to find in my area. M6 is probably too expensive and the others may be too Eurotrashy for me. The bold bit is my throwaway reject line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    Cobra GT-500 - similar to the Viper a little unrefined, and prices are still at MSRP+10K, but this is another fun rocket that is a blast to drive. That 500HP claim is apparently low this time. They learned a lot from their mistakes in ratings in the late 90's. A pulley change and you are even more dominating. Driving a car with a solid rear axle is just too much fun to miss out on one more time.
    Brilliant! This has jumped near the top of my list. I completely forgot about this car. The one time I saw one on the road, I followed it way out of my way just to watch it go. A beautiful car.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgeair
    Infiniti GT-R - coming out this summer. Good value, s/b great performance.
    I'm a Toyota guy, so more tuned into the IS-F. I'm going to the NYC car show next month and I'll dig deep into this option there, if I haven't pulled the trigger on something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgeair
    New Challenger - makes you wait, but that should blow your hair and your age back when it comes out.
    I don't have a favorite NASCAR driver, so this one won't work for me. One of my programmers has one and I don't hate it, but it doesn't appeal to me.

  10. #9

    Re: Need help picking a new car

    Quote Originally Posted by BernardDogs
    You actually don't look all that bad in a mullett.
    That is an unfortunate photo. I swear my hair wasn't that long.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by therivierakid
    I realise a few people are put off by its looks (my GF hates it) but it is a pure sports car with some of the best handling money can buy.
    I'm not even sure I can fit in the damn thing. If it was just a touch more refined, I'd be more likely to go there. Probably an Exige S in a nice solid grey or something. But I get too much attention from the wrong people already. I'd get a ticket everywhere I went in that, I think.

    What about a Holden Monaro (sp?) If you've never heard of it it's an Australian muscle car - had rave reviews.
    I've read about them, but as far as I know they aren't available here.

    I take it an Aston is out of the question?
    Pretty much.

  12. #11
    kw's Avatar
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    I have a 2004 Dodge Stratus for sale. I will give you a deal. (I even replaced the broken hub cap today)

    "Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. - Anton Chekhov

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    Also, in addition to the new engine (and that is really, really pushing the limits for a production n/a 3.5l engine), I do not want to be the testbed for a new 8 speed slushbox. Is there actually no manual option?
    Yeah, the lack of a real transmission sucks. I'm not worried about the new parts, because I trust Toyota in a way that I don't trust anyone else, but the image stuff is right on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgeair
    Nice photo - maybe we should be discussing convertibles.
    I'm going to hurt both of you.

    edit - my wife would leave me for that (or pretty much any) Aston Martin after about 2 minutes consideration.
    They are pretty cars. Suited doesn't care about cars at all, so that isn't a factor for me. My #2 at our company went to law school with Suited and when he asked her what car she drove, she said "A blue one." He loves that story.

  14. #13
    Georgeair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsidestrate
    Brilliant! This has jumped near the top of my list. I completely forgot about this car. The one time I saw one on the road, I followed it way out of my way just to watch it go. A beautiful car.
    Feel free to PM me when you want to discuss this offline, or by phone. I've got a '96 Cobra and have been fairly well plugged in to this group since 1994 when I started researching that purchase. I'm happy to point you toward as many venues as possible for this and cull the teen-groups. I love the new car, and Deniseair has actually been after me to consider looking for one, even at slightly over MSRP. If I wasn't looking down the barrel of two kids on my insurance and two college degrees it would be in my garage now.
    The most of my pay goes for likker and women. The rest I spend foolishly. - U.S. Navy sailor in China, circ. 1925

  15. #14
    Audi RS4 -- Isn't that a euro-only vehicle? I thought we got a neutered version over here. I have an anti-Audi bias that I can't explain.

    Mazda RS6 -- When engine rebuilds are on the regular service interval, you aren't selling it to me.

    Jag XKR -- I'd have to get a sex change. I rented one and was underwhelmed.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by kw
    I have a 2004 Dodge Stratus for sale. I will give you a deal. (I even replaced the broken hub cap today)
    I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I won't even let Hertz rent one to me.

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