Fireball’s 2017 ‘CARget’ List
Yes, my eyeballs are always scoping for cool cars—usually classics, hot rods and customs. But as I drive many of the new cars for manufacturers, I get a chance all year long to experience what the newbies have to offer and what’s coming. Last year alone, I drove over 50 new cars and got to compare models. So cool, but …
For 2017, there’s a few that I’ll get my hands on that I’m looking forward to more than others. Why? Is it the horsepower? Creature comforts? Spaciousness? Nope. It’s far more complex and in-depth than that for sure. It’s what I call a bad case of “Coolatosis.” Yup. Basically a scientific condition that states: “One who is systematically compelled to find coolness.” It’s a nasty condition that I grew up with and can’t seem to get rid of.
Now, Coolatosis isn’t all that bad and the side effects are actually pretty nice with amazing drives. The sound of the rumble or silent whir of the eco-streeter are both good. I’ve been to a few Coolatosis meetings (being a Coolaholic) and the support is awesome, so I never feel alone. There’s actually a line around the block to get in. But, being a recovering Coolaholic as I am, I started thinking about what cars are coming for 2017 and what I “need” to get my hands on for my fix. And here’s what came to mind:
In this last month, I’ve driven both the 2017 Jeep Rubicon and Wrangler Willys. Beyond awesome for that adventure-seeker looking to get dirty—very dirty. But right now, I have the LuxoCruiser Genesis G90 that has every bell and whistle you can imagine. What would normally be $125,000 in a Merc or BMW is only about $75,000 in the Genesis. Incredible machine with over 400hp and allows me to skip one of my Coolaholics meetings ‘cause the fix lasts so dang long!
But what’s coming that draws my attention are things like Chevy’s Bolt EV, with a 250-mile charge and a price tag of about $35,000. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as a new eco-entry into the van world. Need to paint one brown and add some shag carpet!
Then there’s the Fiat 124 Spyder: a two-seat Italian version of the Miata. I’m visualizing you and I doing donuts in the Norris parking lot at 11 p.m. (Just a visualization, so no freaking out, please.) The Nissan Leaf has an all-new skin coming with what will be an extra few miles on the charge as well, silently scooting us to Starbucks for a Coolatosis Roundup.
Now, electric cars are certainly on the front, Tesla leading the charge with the Model 3. It’s on my list, but Tesla isn’t so open to parting with their cars since they own the planet right now. But we’ll see. Also looking forward to the new Toyota Mirai as a $51,000 eco contender.
Easily and always fun are the Supercars, the head of the list being dominated by McLaren’s new 730. I know I’ll get my hands on one (as well as a few others) to compare at my Wheels and Waves show in Malibu next month. If you’re a dealer and want to show one off, then Bob’s your uncle. Email me. But you may want to call your sponsor first and get some Coolaholic worlds of wisdom just to cope.
So as I stated, being a Coolaholic is one the hardest thing to deal with as it’s so challenging to say “no” to awesome. Someone flops a Lambo at your doorstep and what are you supposed to do? I mean, the temptation is overwhelming and you start thinking, “Just one more. No one will know. Just one more drive and I’ll get that feeling.” Then, and only then will you be able to kick the cool car habit. But, alas, it’s no use. You give in like so many times before and just hunker down for the fix. Take it in stride and try not to feel to guilty about it.
So, here I am, with this year’s dilemma. Show you guys what’s coming that I’ll be all over like white on rice, bird doo on a Bentley or evil on an egg. (Not sure that last one worked, but I’m a vegan …)
Anyway, I’m so pumped that I’d drive nearly anything with four wheels. Yup. That’s bad, I know, but my condition is serious and getting worse over the years. I’m afraid if I don’t handle it somehow, I’ll be the unfortunate receiver of a stable of cool cars that constantly stare and viciously tempt me to the darker side. Ah, the evil that men do.
So this is where I ask for help from you, as I can’t do it alone. Come to Wheels and Waves on Feb. 19 with your amazing car. Show me I’m not alone as a sufferer of Coolatosis. And if you do that, I’ll buy the coffee and we can swap stories and create a plan to overcome this horribly awesome condition. And through that, might make the world a better place.
Or … maybe not. Maybe we’ll just run with it. I’m Fireball … I’m a Coolaholic … and I’m off like a prom dress.
CAR OF THE MONTH
Kelley Blue Book, which celebrated its centennial next year, recommends the four-seat hatchback 2016 Spark, which is being cleared from local dealer’s lots at below $14,000 plus zero financing —fun as first car or student getaway. But Kelley also notes that more substantial cars, such as a Chevvy Sonic, Honda Fit and Kia Rio, are not that much more expensive. — JOHN HARLOW
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