The New York International Auto Show hosts more than a million visitors every year, and we are excited to report on the biggest news from day one. From a 120 MPGe Toyota to a 565-hp Nissan GT-R, an all-new pair of Subaru Imprezas, and a $72,000 Maserati SUV, NYIAS did not disappoint.
Everyone’s had that moment, while looking for a new car, when they ask themselves, “What’s the least I can spend on a new Dodge Charger?” Well, you’ll find the answer is in the $30k area for your everyday Charger SE, but then you may notice that next to that SE is the $70k Charger SRT Hellcat. That’s right, you can get two basic Chargers for the price of a single Hellcat. Granted, the Hellcat engine transforms the Charger into a completely different animal, but the Charger isn’t even close to the most egregious example of price disparity within a single model’s lineup.
People who buy the Bugatti Veyron don’t buy it because of its 0-60 time. The Veyron is purchased because it’s an expression of ultimate extravagance. The Veyron is the best of the best, the creme de la creme, the most extreme example of a vehicle money can buy.
With costs over $2.5 million, a 0-60 time of under 3 seconds and a top speed upward of 250 miles per hour, the Veyron remains the ultimate supercar, accessible only to the very few who have bank accounts full enough to support the purchase price and the maintenance costs.
Those people who have plunked millions into their Veyrons expect to own the best and the fastest. They certainly don’t want to be upstaged by a “cheap” Nissan.
Anytime a list like this gets published, lots of opinions are built into the equation.
One person might call the Subaru WRX the year’s best driver’s car, while another would bestow the honor on the BMW M3. How a car drives and reacts to input is an incredibly subjective experience and open to interpretation by many different styles of drivers.
That said, there are some mainstays in the perennial quest to find the best car for drivers. Not just go-to-the-store drivers, but the drivers who understand the value of properly warmed tires, a perfect apex and heel-toe shifting.
Keep reading for Motor Trend‘s surprising list of the year’s best driver’s cars, ranked 9 to 1.
You’re not a real car enthusiast unless you’re in love with, or at least fascinated on some level by, the Nissan Juke-R.
Even if you absolutely loathe what the Juke-R represents, you’re an enthusiast because you are effected on a primal level by a car that, in a sane and ordinary world, wouldn’t exist.
Why should a twenty-thousand-dollar small crossover, which looks a lot like the business end of a frog, be fitted with a 545-hp supercar engine? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t make any sense. Nobody would buy one. And yet, it happened. And the result is the new definition of the word “awesome.”
Things are about to get even better, too, because this baby’s going into production! Sort of.
The Nissan Juke, in its stock form as a small crossover, defines the word “distinctive.”
Nothing else on the road looks like it. It’s small and bulbous but efficient and sure-footed. Its headlights poke out above the hood like a crocodile’s eyes breaking the surface of the water. Some might call it a playful look, others regard it as downright ugly. Its 1.6-liter direct-injected inline-4 turbo puts out 188-hp. Paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, some might even say the Juke is a fun, spirited drive. With the standard CVT transmission, though, it’s like piloting a car propelled by rubber bands.
As I always like to say, 188-hp is OK. But 485 is better.
Introducing the Nissan Juke-R: a vehicle all automakers should imitate at least once.
My son and I like to play a game called Ugliest Car in the World.
It’s quite simple and evolved out of the old Slug Bug game we play. You know the one, where you see any Volkswagen Beetle, call out “Slug bug!” and then punch your friend in the arm. We have all sorts of variants that my son, being the car kid he is, has invented. Ugliest Car in the World is his newest and involves…wait for it…the Nissan Juke.
We first saw the Juke, in person, at an auto show. My son couldn’t believe his wee little eyes, walking around the car and gasping from every angle about its, umm, unconventional looks. Ever since then, every time we see one on the road, he yells, “Ugliest car in the world!” and hits me. It’s fun.
Soon, though, if the rumor is true, a new game called Coolest Car in the World might apply to a new version of the Juke.
Take a few moments to fully take in and appreciate all that is happening in the photo above.
What you’re looking at is the Aston Martin V12 Zagato concept, a collaboration between Aston and Italian design firm Zagato. The car previews a model destined to run the 24 Hours of Nürburgring this June.
In the past we’ve accused Aston of doing the same design over and over, which, quite honestly, we don’t have a problem with. This V12 Zagato changes everything. While still amazingly gorgeous, it manages to infuse some weirdness along with bits of a Ferrari FF and even some Nissan GT-R.