WHATCAR? am I
Updated: Jun 6, 2021
If you’re aggressive
The only car that would match this personality is an American muscle car. I believe the most aggressive though is the Dodge Challenger Demon. Even the name is aggressive. It belts out 828 BHP, that’s almost twice as much as a couple of years old Ferrari California which is why acceleration is out of this world. The official figure is 2.3 seconds and if you are really on it, expect 2 seconds and don’t forget this car costs less than £100,000; a £3m Bugatti Chiron is slower! The engine is so enormous it has replaced its front headlamp with an air intake too. The whining supercharger is only 0.3l smaller than the entire engine you’ll find in a BMW M4. It handles the complete opposite to a Porsche because it is built for drag racing. It is solid car with heavy body panels unlike a McLaren approach. This car puts me in mind of an Australian road train, huge, a big hefty engine and wants you to get out of the way.
If you’re boring
You’re right, it’s VW Golf. Specifically the 1.6 TDI. One of the reasons for its dullness is its popularity. Worldwide, over 35 million Golfs have been sold because simply, they are a great all rounder. It is a durable as a brick wall, comfy as your own sofa and the next generation is predictable as the next day in lockdown. If you’re not a snob and very… well normal then you are a Golf.
If you’re fit…
You would definitely not be a Challenger Demon despite how fast you may be. You are a stripped out sports car such as the Caterham 7 superlight with all the frills gone. Just you, the engine, the gearbox and the steering wheel. It may not have a huge top speed but acceleration is rapid with 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and weighs just 400kg. That’s only 3 times more than a medium size oven. But this isn’t its party piece. Its party piece is its agility, it won Top Gear car of the year for being one of the fastest cars to go round the Dunsfold track. Think of it then as Mo Farah with wheels.
If you’re technical
There have been many technical masterpieces however, I believe the best is the BMW i8. It is officially the supercar with the smallest engine from a MINI yet has huge performance figures and power. This is because of well thought out engineering not just a thirsty V8. The design is distinctive too, it is known as the DeLorean of the future. Most hybrids - the Porsche 918, LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and even the Honda NSX - famous for making the supercar affordable, can’t match the i8’s price tag of just over £100,000 which is around the same price of an Entry Level Range Rover and I know which I’d rather have. The interior is tasteful and has curved but doesn’t go “look at me” and despite some blue pieces of trim, it feels like a 6 series inside. One upside to going hybrid is to reach its official MPG figure of 135 MPG which is great. You may not love this car but you must admire it as it is simply a masterpiece, in the same way you admire scientists.
If you’re understated
There is only one country that pulls this off, Germany, specifically the BMW 550i SE. In terms of styling goes it looks like a 520d, less aggressive even when the 520d you’re looking at is in M Sport trim. Twin exhausts not quad exhausts, no angular bodywork, there is chrome around the windows and you can find ones with small 5 spoke alloys but when you look at a small badge at the back you know that under the bonnet it has the same engine from a BMW M5 or M6. This twin turbocharged 4.4l V8 is beast; but a sophisticated beast with over 400 BHP its not short for grunt but it pulls off being subtle better than any car ever made while completing the sprint in under 5 seconds. What is even more impressive is the torque. 650Nm in fact; 110 more than a Ferrari 458 which is 5 years younger! How much fun would you have racing supercars at the lights whose drivers believe you have a 520d until you beat them clean. Lots is the answer. And what staggers me the most is that a car with around 60,000 miles won’t cost £50,000 or even £20,000. No, one can be on your drive for £15,000. I doubt a day will occur when a car can be as understated as this.