For $25K you have many great options for a high-performance daily driver. If you want a brand new car you can get a Honda Civic Si or a Volkswagen GTI, both great “hot hatches” with amazing handling and turbocharged power. Looking a couple years used, you can find a current-gen Subaru WRX, or variants of the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro. But what if you want something even more serious with more emphasis on luxury and even higher performance? For $25K, the cars will be a few years older, 8-10 years old in this case, but you are getting $60K worth of car for less than half the price.
I’m starting to look around in this general price range for my next step, and I have various options depending on what I decide to do with my current stable of cars. I decided to go have a drive in some of the cars I’ve been looking at to see what they’re really like from behind the wheel.
I went to a local dealer to check out two Audi B8 S4s, and low and behold, they had a Lexus IS F on the lot as well – it hadn’t been listed online yet. IS Fs are pretty rare, and this one was in my range, so I added it to my list to drive.
The S4 and IS F are a somewhat strange comparison, the Audi is AWD with a supercharged V6, and the Lexus is RWD with a 5.0L V8. When it comes to driving in bad weather, they don’t really do the same things. That said, both are midsize sedans that offer high performance with a lot of polish. Overall, they serve the same basic function for the same basic price, so, despite their vast differences in many areas, that means they compete.
A couple of months ago, I had way too much time on my hands, a stomach full of Mexican omelet, and a full tank of fuel. Central NJ, where I happen to live, has a lot of car dealerships within a 20 mile radius, but the selection can be a bit thin for some reason. Luckily, I had a fifty dollar gift card to redeem from Ford for the LA Auto Show, and a local dealer down the street had a new Taurus SHO in stock. Then, my buddy Chris, who was accompanying me around town (and was my taller stand-in for interior room, for once), suggested I find something to compare it to. Not wanting to haul myself to the local Dodge dealers, we then descended on one of the local Chevrolet dealers, where a lightly used SS was sitting out front. I drove them both–and the results turned into a bare-fisted, old fashioned American street fight. May the best flag-flying American machine win. Continue reading Ford Taurus SHO vs Chevrolet SS, Head To Head→
The 7 Series is the flagship model in the BMW lineup. A far cry from a zippy little M3, the 7 Series has always had its focus on being a luxury cruiser. It competes in the top of the line limousine class against the likes of Mercedes’ legendary S Class, a car which has set the standard of automotive luxury for sometime now. In order to take on such formidable opposition, BMW has had to use some clever ingenuity to make the 7 Series appealing, and it doesn’t get more appealing than the top two models we have here.
In one corner we have the Alpina B7, an upgraded vehicle that has been factory sanctioned. Alpina has had a long relationship with BMW as a third party tuner, similar to AMG and Mercedes before they were officially brought together in 1990. Alpina models are usually marketed as alternatives to cars from BMW’s M Division, but in this case, there is no BMW “M7”, so the Alpina B7 is as close as you can get.
Of course, you might instead fancy having the ultimate 7 Series that BMW makes themselves. That would be our other contender, the BMW 760Li. It is a more traditional take on a top-end luxury limousine with a proper V12 under its hood.
I recently had the opportunity to do a quick drive in Jaguar’s new F-Type. Jaguar held a driving event in Philadelphia where they set up an autocross course in the parking lot of the Phillies’ stadium. Though it was only a quick, but intense, experience, I did get to sample both the V6S and V8S models from the F-Type range.
Timing was down to the wire, as there was a massive thunderstorm bearing down on us, and by the time I did my runs, it had already begun to rain. This article will serve as a quick first impression take on the new F-Types, and hopefully I will get a chance to drive them for longer in the coming months.