As you may have seen, Porsche recently released a configurator for the Panerama S Hybrid and 911 GT3 RS. If you haven’t been over to the website, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Even if you will never have the means to buy yourself one, it’s an immensely satisfying way to waste some time. You can customize pretty much anything – sure any automaker gives you a choice of exterior paint but with Porsche you get to take your eye for detail right down to the vent surrounds.
Since I am sorta-kinda-but-not-really in the market for a new car (pending finances, you know how that goes) I have been bouncing from one manufacturer’s site to another comparing models, options, specs, and everything else in between. What I have found is that in my price range (hint: exact opposite from a 911 GT3 RS), there is always a concession to be made. This car has the fuel economy and sunroof but not the HIDs. That car has the sunroof and HIDs but a spotty reliability record. Still another has everything *except* space to accommodate my family. And thus, I begin another round of “it would be perfect if…”
Surely you’ve played that game, right? I know most of us fancy ourselves armchair engineers or designers. I’ve seen the comments: “Dear Honda, why can’t you get rid of that hybrid nonsense and make the CRZ a true CRX successor? Lose the weight, drop in a turbo, call it a day.” Or how about “Hey Chevy, why does the back-end of all your cars look so terrible? I give you props for the upcoming ‘Bu’s makeover but can’t you do something with the Cruze? And fix the steering column issues while you’re at it.” Then there are those of us like me who still pine for the days of discontinued models gone by and wonder how many goats we have to sacrifice to get them re-released.
You’ve seen us, staring forlornly at used car lots as we drive by, saddened at the abuse these once-great machines have endured and wishing we had the time/money/space to restore them to glory. For me, it’s cars like the Prelude, 300zx or 240sx (and my husband’s would be the Mk1 MR2). About six years ago, I had a ’92 240sx but had to give it up when our son came along. I remembered reading a rumor that Nissan wanted to bring back a “small, affordable, RWD sports coupe” and I was dead set on saving my pennies for one. The talk died down but seemed to come back again around 2008 when the news of the Toyobaru project started. I don’t know how much truth was in the statement and the way the world’s economy has gone recently it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if that project was shelved indefinitely. After all, how long have we been waiting for a new NSX from Honda?
In my dream world, it would be perfect if Nissan brought a new 240 to the table if/when Toyobaru ever gets their own RWD coupes into production. Then Honda could de-neuter themselves and give us that “S2200″ they teased way back when. It would, uh, be good for competition and the market, yeah yeah that’s the ticket! It can’t be too hard, right Nissan? Kill off the Sentra you’ve let die a long and painful death to make room in the lineup, use or modify the 370z’s platform, pluck the 1.6L turbo from the Juke (although, I’d prefer if you used a 1.8 so we can affectionately call it a 180sx again, but I understand if you need to use an existing engine for the sake of cost) and throw it into dealerships. I’ll even go ahead and put my name on a waiting list for one. Granted, I still couldn’t haul around my family and being Nissan, they will probably arrange the options into some fashion to guarantee that if I want a sunroof I will have get a $5000 package that includes everything but the kitchen sink. But hey, nostalgia rarely does come cheap.