What’s Your Favorite Play Car?

2016-porsche-911-gt3

Most of us have a car we use for daily commuting. It’s a practical, fuel-efficient vehicle used to transport our loved ones from one place to another.

We don’t typically use our daily drivers as toys because we want to keep them in top condition and ensure they run properly for years to come.

But where’s the fun in that? I think any car enthusiast should keep a car for weekend use or to blow off some steam after work.

What cars, though, are worthy of keeping on-hand for the sole purpose of your emotional well-being?

That, of course, depends on your budget. Whatever that is, though, there’s a fun car that will suit your needs.

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10 Model Lineups with Huge Price Ranges

2016 Lamborghini Aventador

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.

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What’s Your Stance on a Car’s Best Stance?

stanced subaru brz

Forgive me if I’m late to the game on this one, but I’ve recently learned a new term that’s popular among certain tuners and modifiers.

The always-reliable and entertaining Urban Dictionary perhaps best defines “Stancing” as:

To destroy a car’s handling abilities by having it lowered an excessive amount. Typically, the tires are tucked way inside the vehicles fenders. But in order to have a hellaflush stance and run the required excessively wide wheels with tires that are stretched just to fit onto the wheels, the car has to have an excessive amount of negative camber.

I’ve seen cars that have been lowered like this. Their tires look like the result of an unfortunate axle-breaking accident involving the car, a curb, and an icy day. I didn’t realize that this trend had a name and that entire groups of people do this to their cars on purpose.

I don’t like it. Why destroy a car’s handling (and looks) like this? I much prefer cars that come from the factory with a killer stance. That is, a car that looks strong, intimidating, and ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.

Here are some of the cars that come stock with a great stance, no lowering (or axle-breaking) required.

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5 Questions to Consider About the Disappearing Scion Brand

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It’s somewhat disconcerting to me to see the Scion brand go away, because I was there early on at a launch event at New York’s Tavern on the Green in 2003.

Fast forward 12 years later, and I was back in lower Manhattan for the launch of the last of the brand’s new models, the Scion iA and the Scion iM.

Over those dozen years, the message was pretty consistent. Scion is the younger, hipper division of Toyota. It may have been statistically. (At 29, the tC sports coupe has the lowest-average-age buyer in the industry.) The simple truth, though, is that a car company can’t subsist on young buyers alone, because it’s older consumers who have the funds to buy cars more frequently.

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Cadillac’s Dealer Plan: Take Away the Cars?

2016-cadillac-ats-sedan

Here’s a little scenario for your Thursday morning:

You have decided you’d like to consider the purchase of a Cadillac ATS. You like it because it’s built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Camaro and you’d like to experience the car first-hand before making your final decision.

You’ve had your heart set on an Audi A4 or potentially a BMW 3 Series, but you’ve read some great reviews of the Caddy and want to give it a shot.

It’s been a long time since you’ve driven a Cadillac and you’re excited to see how far the brand’s cars have progressed since the days of your grandfather’s Seville.

You head to your local dealer after doing hours of online research only of find…

A touchscreen where you can do more online research, but no cars to test drive.

Believe or not, that’s a real plan proposed by Cadillac.

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EPA Asks Volkswagen to Build Electric Cars

2015-VW-e-Golf

Volkswagen is like the kid who got caught lying to his parents.

When a kid lies, his parents may punish him by taking away his allowance, making him apologize, and possibly making him pay back the people to whom he lied.

If those punishments don’t work, or if the lie was particularly heinous, a parent might ask his or her child to contribute to solving the problem that caused the lie in the first place.

We all know that VW got caught lying to the government (and its customers) by using technology to cheat emissions tests on nearly 600,000 cars. We’re about five months into the scandal and there still isn’t a plan in place to compensate customers or fix the affected vehicles. Volkswagen will undoubtedly be fined billions of dollars for the lie and face lawsuits, but now the U.S. government has also asked the carmaker to go a step further and build cars that make lying about emissions impossible.

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Honda Civic: Engine Recall for 2016, Hatchback Coming for 2018

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The Honda Civic hatchback is on just about anyone’s list of cool European cars that Americans can’t have.

The car is built in Europe, for Europeans, and there’s been no sign that Honda would offer it up to a clamoring American public. Why is that? Money, of course.

Adapting the car to fit American tastes and to comply with American crash and emissions standards would simply cost too much, not to mention the costs associated with building in Europe and shipping to the United States.

The math didn’t add up, so the car never came here.

But guess what? Honda has announced that it will ship the next-generation Civic hatchback from its factory in Swindon, England to the United States for the first time ever in an attempt to inject some life into its struggling European division.

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Alfa Romeo’s U.S. Comeback Back On, Probably

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Maybe this time will be different.

Alfa Romeo has promised a full-fledged return to the U.S. market, but so far all we’ve received is the 8C Competizione (in ultra-low numbers), the 4C sports car, and a bunch of broken promises.

We are supposed to receive a host of sedans, an SUV, and other vehicles that amount to a full line of products. It’s a promise we’ve heard for many years, but one that has yet to materialize.

Once again we’re hearing word that Alfa Romeo is on the verge of bringing two important vehicles to the market here, but what are the odds that they’ll actually arrive?

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5 Smart Swaps for Premium Picks

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

“The thing about money is… you can always make more.”

Or so a good friend once told us, while detailing his extensive traveling. And although it’s a lovely, freeing sentiment, most of us are more comfortable living within our finances and the limitations they impose. Of course, with tax day creeping around the corner, many of us are anticipating a nice refund, and feeling a little flush. If there was ever a time of year when we’re inclined to peruse the new car listings on CarGurus, searching for our dream ride, it’s now. Whether you’re enticed by a drop-top sports car, a luxurious full-size sedan, or a tough-as-nails off-roader, you’ll find yourself well taken care of by today’s auto market.

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Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Ram Power Wagon: The Bad Boys of Chicago

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Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about this, but the Toyota Tacoma has become the size of a Ford F-150.

Sort of.

Let’s compare some numbers:

The smallest 2006 Ford F-150 is 211 inches long.

The smallest 2016 Toyota Tacoma is 212 inches long.

There are countless trim levels and sizes for each truck, but we have to acknowledge that the current midsize Tacoma is nearly the size of a full-size truck from a decade ago. And it’s still growing.

At the Chicago Auto Show this week, the Tacoma and another shamelessly large truck, the Ram Power Wagon, showed that downsizing isn’t an option.

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