I must be crazy, because I just bought a mint 2009 GTI and I’m already dreaming about my next car. I know exactly what car it is already and in fact, I already made a website about it. Yeah that’s right, its a Fiat, its Italian, it has less horsepower than my current car and my 300ZX, and its a little round. But for some reason that little “clown car” (as Karen calls it) just really hits the right spot for me. I know it looks a little like a miniature Beetle, or a suped-up Smart Car, but I can’t help myself. Something about it just makes me grin when I look at it. Now I won’t be settling for the base model Fiat 500 when it comes to the US, because I’m crossing my fingers that the Abarth version makes it to our shores. That hot little hatch packs at least 160HP, lower suspension, bigger rims, better tires, and has the looks to match all that performance. I just think it would be a really fun car to drive. I’m not looking for the fastest car or the best drifter or even the absolute best looking, it just has to be fun and exciting and a little unique. That little Fiat definitely fits the bill. If you think I’m crazy, just watch this Top Gear and try to tell me I’m wrong:
Well I didn’t get a new car, but we did! Karen put her name on the loan and on the title, so its only fair that she gets to call it “ours” and drive it as well. We found a mint 2009 GTI with only 18,000 miles in Black Magic Pearl. Its in great condition and is a blast to own! Obviously it doesn’t have the same power as the Z, but because of smaller size and weight and because of the 2.0T TSI engine, it has much more torque on instant demand. In the Z power would slowly build before coming on like a tidal wave, whereas in the GTI its there as soon as you press the pedal. Instead of feeling like you’re being pushed by a freight train in the rear-wheel drive Z, it feels like you’re being dragged forward in the front-wheel drive GTI. Aside from the performance, the GTI is better in every way. More comfortable, better sound system, safer, feels smaller (not sure if it really is), brighter headlights (Xenon!), backseats, bigger tires, better gas mileage (like 10 more miles per gallon), quieter, and of course the automatic is a million times better to drive in traffic.
Pictures to come soon.
I took Kyle, with his bag of photographic goodies, out and about in Austin with me just a few weeks ago. On his first ever car shoot, he took some great shots of the Z! Click on the first picture to see a whole set that I tweaked a little in Photohop. While the main goal was to get some better shots for the cars.com ad, we managed to get some nice parting shots to remember my first car by. Soon to come: photos of the new car!
I’m finally moving into the new millennium by buying a car built in it. I’m downgrading from two turbos to one, removing six cylinders and saying goodbye to two hundred horses in the process. But I’m also losing some weight and girth, and gaining a lot of “practicality”. Yes, I’m giving up the third pedal. Unfortunately I’m committed to commuting for the foreseeable future, so I want a car that’s comfortable to sit in and easy to drive, especially in the hell of stop and go traffic.
That doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel and moving one-step closer to a minivan! No, not yet. I won’t have more than two doors (and no the hatch doesn’t count) and my wheels will still be at least seventeen inches wide. My new car will even have a sport mode and “flappy pedals”. It has launch control. I can turn traction control off. The muffler still growls on occasion. I will still beat most people off the line. I will own the hottest of the hot hatches!
The real reason I’m selling my car is that I can’t stand it any more. I love the car on Sunday afternoon, with the t-tops down and the wind in my hair. I love it on Monday night when the traffic breaks up early and there’s plenty of room to put the throttle down. But for 90% of the time I’m in the car, I hate it. I hate going sideways over speed bumps and still scratching the bottom, I hate feeling every pothole and dip in the awful roads here in Austin, and I hate clutching and feathering the throttle a hundred times on my way to work. I’m tired of the creaks, the leaks, the bumps and all the worry the comes with having a nineteen year old car.
So for now, its time to party like its 1991 and enjoy the Z while I still have it.