It’s that time of year again. Well, not really, but we can certainly start looking forward to it. As the days get longer, the air gets warmer, and the smells get a little sweeter, it’s hard not to dream about one thing: convertibles. The snow hasn’t completely melted here in Boston, but what’s on the ground now is a far cry from the over 8 feet we’ve gotten this winter, and that completely justifies our looking months into the future.
An average car will run a quarter-mile drag race in 15–16 seconds. That’s not a blistering pace, but it’s just enough to give a slight rush while accelerating up an on-ramp before settling into a steady stream of 65-mile-an-hour commuters.
The Mazda Miata, while relatively sporty and fun to drive, typically falls somewhere within that average time in stock, off-the-showroom-floor form. It’s nothing spectacular, and it won’t win many drag races, but the time is good enough to warrant the designation of “sports car.”
A quick quarter-mile time in the Miata might fall somewhere in the 11–13-second range. When that stock speed just isn’t fast enough, upgrades can be applied, and the Miata, like any car, can become a drag racer.
An extreme case would be taking a Miata, stripping it completely of its powertrain, and replacing it with a source of power sure to embarrass even the most seasoned of racers.
The car you drive tells all your fellow motorists what kind of personality you have. Whether you’re the guy who cuts people off in a new Porsche Boxster, the dude headed into the woods with the NRA-branded 1972 Ford F-100 or the girl in the ’05 Jetta on the way to a college class, your car is usually a dead giveaway of who you are.
Real car enthusiasts aren’t satisfied with a typical bone-stock car and want to customize their rides to more accurately convey the personality of the mysterious human residing behind the tinted windows and buzzing bass.
Which are the best cars to customize to suit your personality? Read on, friends.
I think it’s safe to say that Toyota and Subaru have started a trend.
By teaming up and bringing back the inexpensive, RWD sports car, the companies may have double-handedly revived a market for fun performance. Now, it’s confirmed that Mazda and Fiat have inked a “Memorandum of Understanding” to develop a roadster based on the MX-5 platform that is expected to see production in Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, with an Alfa Romeo version coming in 2015.
Disneyland for the price of a state fair.
Las Vegas for the cost of an Indian casino.
5th Avenue for the price of Target.
When the right value proposition is dangled in front of us, we’d be crazy not to buy. Sports-car fanatics, at least the ones on a budget, look for the most amount of fun stuffed into the least expensive package. They want a Porsche for the price of a Scion.
Which could be exactly what the new Scion FR-S delivers.
There are cars that are “nice to drive,” and there are cars that are “fun to drive.”
Plenty of options exist for the people who prefer a smooth ride, luxurious cabin, numb steering and no real connection between driver and pavement. I won’t name names here, but feel free to make assumptions.
On the other hand, some cars simply beg to be driven hard, because doing so provides an overload of sensory excitement and pure joy. Yes, many of those cost upward of $100,000, but for mere plebeians like me, driving joy can be had for $30K and under.
Keep reading for seven examples of inexpensive greatness.