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 Cars That Make You Look Rich for $10k

2005 Chrysler 300

So, you want to make the impression that you’re very successful, but don’t have the funds to prove it. Don’t you worry! We have the perfect list of used cars that can help you can feign success. Whether it’s to look successful at a school reunion, make a good impression on a date, or just to make your neighbors jealous of your upscale lifestyle, these cars will do more talking than your wallet ever could. And they all fall under the $10,000 price point.

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10 Cars to Escape Snowmageddon

2014 Jeep Wrangler

Do you know what Boston-area people are really sick of right now? Snow. There has been lots and lots of snow the past month. Too much snow—and this isn’t your everyday winter fatigue talking. We have a very good reason to be done with snow here in Boston. New England suburbs and cities are cramped enough without 7+ feet of snow. Snow currently occupies every parking space in city, traffic couldn’t be worse, and the MBTA (public transportation for the Greater Boston area) will not be able to operate at full capacity for close to a month. Bostonians are taking it on the chin, and there’s only so much more this we can take.

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Audi TT: From Artistic to Aggressive

2015 Audi TT

You know a car is sleek when even the snow blows off it in an artistic pattern.

A friend of mine said that in an email that came with a picture of his Audi TT, fresh from coming home after a light powdery snow. He had a good point—the TT looked great, like it had a custom powder-white paint job (see the image at the end of this post).

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the TT, because to me, it looks a lot like its cousin, the Volkswagen Beetle. I do, however, appreciate the spirited performance and all-wheel drive along with the plush Audi interior that has helped make the automaker famous.

My other big drawback to the TT is that it simply hasn’t changed much during its existence and has always resembled a slightly used bar of soap.

With news of a new TT coming, I’m wondering if it’ll follow the same path or blaze an all-new one.

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Audi A1 Quattro: I Want One for Next Christmas (2012)

2013 Audi A1 quattro, front

With much media fanfare, the Audi A1 Quattro has been announced for production next year (only 333 cars) for Europe only. We add to the noise today so those cretins in charge at Audi will be pressured to release this thing in quantity in the U.S.

I could probably get one in Mexico, with the right connections and sufficient cash. There are plenty of A1s around—which the U.S. also doesn’t get. Sorry.

The fuss is all about a beautifully designed small hot hatch with 256 hp (258 lb-ft of torque), with Quattro drive (details here on “Vorsprung durch Technik”) to all four wheels. Sixty mph comes in 5.7 seconds, and top speed is 152 mph. Fuel economy is claimed to be about 28 mpg. Six-speed manual only.

Except for the too-large rear spoiler, Audi has finally gotten its styling cues to work in a small package. (Their big cars, like the Q7, are barge-ugly.) The A1-Q’s front end is dominated by big air intakes, reducing the effect of the yawning grille. The rear is, to my mind, perfectly proportioned. The car is lower than the A1.

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2012 Audi TT RS: Nice Car, Too Much Money

2012 Audi TT RS, front

USA Today called the new TT RS “the poor man’s R8.” The latter car costs “$115,450 to $154,350 to start,” whereas the TT RS will come in at $57,725, including shipping.

Both are overpriced. For that kind of money, you can buy a Porsche Boxster or Cayman with real handling and sports-car performance. Audis like this have always struck me as just a little too frou-frou, a little too Teutonic slick. These are cars for the sports-car poseur, not the real enthusiast.

That said, the new TT RS, going on sale this summer, will please those who like 5-cylinder power, Quattro all-wheel-drive, a 6-speed manual, “magnetic ride control” and of course all the goodies—electro- and otherwise—like 10-way power seats.

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