Happy New Year!
Happy New Year from the team at Top Speed!
This past year was quite a ride; we partied with Aston Martin and traveled with Ford. The new car market started off with rebates and tax incentives being offered for hybrid power trains and ended up with Cash for Clunkers, a sales boosting maneuver across the board, however most of them were imports not to mention ridding the road of almost every late ‘90s Explorer. The highly anticipated Porsche Panamera jumpstarted a four door sports car movement and although the new mid engine Ferrari 458 Italia made its debut, we are still waiting to see them on the street. Audi celebrated their centennial with a party at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe inspired Toyota to bring back the hachi roku with their rear wheel drive FT-86 Concept that we so affectionately referred to as a Toyobaru for most of the year. On a sadder note, modern American classics like the Viper have suffered a cruel fate due to the credit crunch but from the ashes we are seeing local upstarts like Devon Motorworks and Rossion Super Cars that give us hope in the future of domestic performance. And while the power is going back into the hands of private individuals, American electric car builders Tesla have sprouted roots in a very similar fashion.
Starting at the top of the motor sport charts, the defunct Honda Formula One team started over as Brawn GP and with a pair of unlikely drivers started the season with a bare white chassis and ended it covered in sponsor’s logos. Not to mention that the English driver Jensen Button not only started winning races, but he took home the driver’s championship as well. Speaking of long overdo victories, the Australian driver David Brabham finally got his win at Le Mans, and while it was in a diesel, the Audi’s were trounced by the home town favorite Peugeot 908. Speaking of legendary endurance racers, the Porsche 917 celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009 and was the star of the Monterey weekend with the German sports car maker being honored at Pebble Beach.
Continued after the jump.
Next year looks promising for automotive enthusiasts and is guaranteed to bring things that make for excellent bedroom posters. We are sure that we will be seeing a few new four door GT cars in the coming year and the sport compact scene is looking strong from the import automakers, we just hope the Americans get on board before its too late. That is not to knock what is going on in the modern muscle car category. The return of the 5.0 with over 400 HP and our beloved SS give us a reason to dream at night. Much of which consists of a Boss Mustang going wheel to wheel with a Trans-Am spec Camaro on the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca with Michael Schumacher and Danica Patrick behind the wheel while taking a break from their new Nascar and F! careers. Hybrids and EVs are sure to be strong contenders in the marketplace and American’s will continue to be sold on the idea of paying a little extra for a premium compact, good luck automakers.