Speaking personally, this has been a pretty good Christmas for me, chock-full of unusual and thoughtful gifts as well as some pleasant times with my son. But I’d been kind of hoping against hope that some automaker out there would give me something special for the day — even though I never asked specifically for any of them. Well, that’s what happens when you’re passive-aggressive about stuff, I suppose.
So here’s my list. All of these cars would be possible, if not easy, to build using existing structures and resources. In a few cases, I suppose a little slack would be required from the United States Government. They’re ranked in approximate order from “why not?” to “nevergonnahappen.com”. Without further ado:
#8: Porsche 991 GT3 7-speed What possible reason could Porsche have to not make this one available, other than institutional stubbornness and their occasional, inexplicable desire to piss on their customers. The transmission’s already there and already rated for the no-longer-Metzger-motor. Sure, the real GT3 racers have semi-auto boxes. They also need an engine rebuild every 25 hours. No reason to be too authentic, is there?
#7: Viper-Based 6.4L V-8 Corvette Fighter This is car whose failure to exist has puzzled me ever since the Chrysler Firepower concept arrived. It would be fast and balanced, and if it cost a little bit more than a Corvette it would be a little more exotic as well. Just throw slightly different bodywork on it and call it — Diamondback?
#6: Ecoboost V-6 2014 Mustang “GT350” Should have been a no-brainer. Turn the wick on the Ecoboost V-6 up to 400 horses, stuff it in the nose of a GT500, add lightness, cut cost, sell it for about what the GT 5.0 sells for. No more difficult than having the five-liter and the Ecoboost side-by-side in F-150s on the lot, right? Optimize it for the street, not the track. Kind of a polar opposite to the Boss 302. Would have been a fun car.
#5: Accord Sport V-6 Manual Sedan This is a selfish request. I like the Accord Sport manual sedan, and I like the V-6 manual Coupe, but as a member of the Clan Of The Car Seat I need the back doors. All the parts are there. I even (ahem) know a guy who might be able to program the FANUCs to do it. The real love letter to the fans would be to throw the 3.7 from the loaded-up TL in there. And in a perfect world, it could be had without leather upholstery.
#4: Mk7 Golf/Scirocco/Audi TT Combo Sportster The current Scirocco is an interesting steer. So’s the Audi TT. And now there’s a great new Mark Seven GTI. So put the three of them together, get some aluminum underneath it, put sporty bodywork on. Now that Porsche has firmly renounced affordable sports cars in favor of pumped-up Tiguan-alikes, that space is officially open for business under the VW umbrella.
#3: Malibu SS This one’s easy: the Regal GS drivetrain in a Malibu, hold the gingerbread, sell it for under thirty grand, pull out all the stops on the suspension tune. Of course, the Vauxhall Insignia VXR overseas has a 325hp turbo V-6 that would also fit, but maybe that’s asking too much of the General.
#2: Lexus IS-F I’m sure this one’s coming, but I had specific requests: Take the outstanding IS 350 F-Sport, put the five-liter V-8 in, add a clutch pedal, build the greatest Toyota in history. No problem, right?
#1: Dacia Duster Make it as cheap as possible and put the Frontier’s four-cylinder in. Vinyl seats, grey bumpers, FWD, five-speed stick, no carpets, steel six-lug wheels. $13,995 out the door. And since we’re just wishing here, go ahead and make it in Syrna, TN. A proper basic American-built car for the reduced expectations of the new economy, offering a quarter-million miles of service at a rock-bottom price. I’d buy one for the winters, for sure.
Will any of my Christmas dreams ever come true? I doubt it, but you never know. Santa might fire up a production line for me yet. Until then, Happy Holidays to all of you in TTAC-land!