My Holiday Wish List
What I want to see under the tree this year
(As we're all fully aware, the holiday season is now in full swing. To celebrate, Exhaust Notes is running the automotive holiday wish lists of four of our writers: Josh Condon, Chuck Tannert, James Tate and Lawrence Ulrich. Each has picked two cars -- one where price is no limit, the other a more realistic ride with a price cap at $35,000 -- which in a perfect world would be delivered to each of their driveways with a big bow on top. First up, James Tate.)
It’s harder than you might think to come up with a single car I’d have over the rest of the automotive universe if someone else was signing the check. There are just so many really good cars out there to choose from. A 2010 Porsche GT3 RSR would do just fine. Or maybe something so oddball rare that nobody would recognize it when you showed up at the track -- something like a Dauer 962. But you know, you don’t want everyone thinking you’ve showed up to play in a kit car. You want the pride of your automotive fantasy to command respect. Which is exactly why I’m sticking with the 1989 Ferrari F40 LM.
This isn’t the same Ferrari that built the California. The F40 LM comes from a long-extinct era of supercar evolution – one without fancy driving aids or exotic cowhides treated in the tears of a thousand virgins. No, the F40 LM is a leaded-gasoline-swilling, twin-turbocharged V8 beast that’s only as fast as you are good behind the wheel. Designed for competition, the car weighs a feather-light 2,400 pounds and is capable of up to 900 horsepower. There is no flappy paddle transmission. Instead, the F40 LM gives you an honest clutch and 5-speed manual gearbox. Ferrari built fewer than 20 of the cars, and today you could buy yourself a small country for the cost of a quality LM.
Needless to say, I haven’t been that good this year. So if the powers that be decide I haven’t quite earned a Prancing Horse, maybe they can spare an Audi. If I have to do some realistic dreaming, my pick for the new car under $35,000 would have to be the 2010 A3 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus. If you’re thinking that car falls wells short of our top end, you’re right. The baby Audi will set you back a mere $29,270, even with all of the luxury goodies found in the Premium Plus package and a 6-speed manual transmission.
So what gives? I’m not done just yet. In order to stay true to my tuner roots, I’m going to have to ask Santa for a few extra pieces -- namely, a crate full of goodies from the Audi gurus at APR. Let’s start with stage II software for the car’s ECU, throw in the company’s 3-inch downpipe, 3-inch catback exhaust, intercooler and Carbonio intake. By the time we’re done, we should have a snappy little hatch with around 276 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque. Oh, and there’s still $2,500 left in the budget. If I promise to be really good next year, can I have a set of BBS CH wheels, too?
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