Much more so than, say, the staid candle-lit dinner, the automotive cruise for two provides the ultimate romantic experience: the intimate enclosure with privacy, the endless possibilities of destinations (and freedom and excitement contained therein), the rush of speed as the engine revs. A car, indeed, can be more than just a mode of transportation: it can be a conduit to closer romantic relations--all the more appropriate for Valentine's Day. Remember: Cupid aims truly at those who choose the right ride.
Late last year, my fiancée and I traveled through the South of France in a Fiat 500, shifting through the labyrinthine alleyways of Aix-en-Provence and into the open air countryside past houses with terra-cotta roofs and eggshell-colored stucco. In fact, most of our trip revolved around the peppy Cinquecento--with the intoxicating aroma of lavender pervading the air as we zoomed through Provence. If the Fiat Super Bowl commercial is any indication, the Dolce Vita power of a Fiat can really get your motor running. Traveling along the Corniche in Marseilles with the turquoise Mediterranean Sea in the back drop is a pretty hard-to-beat pairing to the intimate Topolino cabrio, but AOL Autos has concocted a list of the Top 5 Romantic Cars for Valentine's Day.
5. BMW Z4
It's hard to find a car lower to the ground in its suspension than the Z4, and you feel the energized vibrations of the road. You'll be able to use the full limits of the 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, as the low stance of the car provides the driver with maximum control – a natural aphrodisiac to anyone in the passenger seat.
Get the open-air version, and imagine zipping across the desert under the stars with your loved one, or pulling into the local A&W stand for burgers and root beer with the one who matters most.
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4. Porsche 911 S
It's pretty hard to argue with a 3.8L, Flat-6 engine that produces 385 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Who needs champagne and flowers with that kind of power?
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3. Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
This is the American muscle car par excellence that has managed to cram all the ripped, jacked lines of the car seamlessly into a convertible – no easy task. The 6.2L, V8 with 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque ensures none of the other Cassanovas do you the dishonor of a left lane pass.
It's also an advantage to drive al fresco when things get toasty inside the car. And if the Camaro can go topless (gulp) ... you never know.
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2. Mercedes-Benz SLK-350
This little hotdog with a rounded trapezoid of a grill is sexy all around. The cockpit is compact, which allows for the advantage of nuzzling proximity and hand-holding on your romantic cruise.
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1. Fiat 500c
This diminutive compact convertible is the ultimate in cute with flashy Italian flair. It's not too showy and provides a subdued, snuggled interior. Perfect for a romantic vibe. Spring for a slightly upmarket bottle of champagne with the gas money you save on the start-stop technology.
The roman-shade style drop-top turns a so-so hard-top into a fun, economical open-air ride that appeals to both women drivers and men who don't necessarily require the heavy horsepower to make their point with the ladies.
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