– One (1) Nissan Leaf. What is the plural of “Leaf?” What if I’d seen two?
– One (1) Prius V.
– Two (2) new Kia Rios. I wasn’t even aware these existed until I saw them and a billboard advertisement for them.
– One (1) Ford Aspire, which I laughed at, causing my wife to look at me quizzically. “What’s that?” she asked. “Pretty much the worst car Ford ever made,” was my reply. “Even the name implies you should be trying harder.” That amused her.
– One (1) Aston Martin V8 Vantage, which is pretty cool I guess.
– One (1) Porsche GT2RS, which is exponentially cooler.
The GT2RS was black with red graphics and passed me on the right as it headed for an exit ramp. The sound was a reserved snorty rumble, hinting at the barely contained force of 620 twin-variable-geometry-turbocharged horses under the rear decklid. My reaction was at first irritation (I hate being passed on the right), then stunned amazement, then disbelief, then a sort of embarrassed, apologetic, quiet respect for the motoring deity that I had just briefly shared time and space with. With your $245,000 racecar for the street, you can pass me on whichever side you want, sir.
In California, though, you get both edges of the car sword–the awesome and the inexplicable. On Thanksgiving Day, we attended a party at a gorgeous house at a small vineyard. I didn’t know about ninety-five percent of the people there, nor did I especially want to after overhearing one conversation in the kitchen. About five people were gathered around, talking about the speed they would typically set the cruise control to in their Prii when commuting.
My brain ground to a halt. I was unable to form coherent thoughts. I had no way of inserting some sanity into the conversation because it was so utterly removed from my reality. You all own Prii? You are proud enough of this fact that you volunteer the information at parties? All five of you think a discussion about what speed you set the cruise to is interesting? WHY? Judging by the look of this place, you all have money and a modicum of taste, so you’re certainly not trying to trim your budget by minimizing what you spend on gasoline, and you don’t think the car is good-looking. So why own one?
Not knowing any of these people, there was no way I could ask these questions without making a scene, so being the well-bred guy that I am, I just settled myself down and walked away. But that’s the thing about the Prius. It’s the Tim Tebow of the automotive world. One sect of people adore it for their reasons, and another sect hate it for theirs. It makes its fans feel better about themselves for little or no quantifiable reason. It’s not a great performer by the usual metrics, but it’s a stunning sales success.
But the GT2RS, that’s Aaron Rodgers. World Champion and MVP.