Editors' Picks: Our Dream Cars
As auto writers, it is a guarantee that people will ask us two questions whenever we tell them about our jobs: One: "What car should I buy?" Two: "If you could have any car, what would it be?"
Neither of the questions are particularly easy to answer. The first often opens up a can of worms of questions about budget, segment preference, family life, dog size, etc.
The second is even tougher because, well, there are a lot of awesome cars out there. We love cars. We think about them while we eat and before we go to bed. Often, we find ourselves at a loss for an answer.
In spite of this difficulty, we're going to give it a shot. We recently asked the AOL Autos and Autoblog editors to come up with the one car that they would absolutely have to own if they had all the money in the world and came up with this rather eclectic master list.
Here are the dream cars of people who dream about cars for a living. Click through to see what we would drive, and make sure to let us know what you would pick, too.
John Neff (Editor-in-Chief, Autoblog): Audi RS7
My lottery-winning fantasies tend to base themselves in reality, which is why I'd choose the Audi RS7 as my dream car. I can park it in my middle-class suburban, driveway and remain somewhat conspicuous, and the A7 on which it's based is both gorgeous and surprisingly practical with its rear hatchback. And being the RS7 model, I'd have enough power to embarrass most sports cars on the road.
Check out more photos and information on the Audi RS7 here.
Steve Ewing (Senior Editor, Autoblog): 2007-08 Audi RS4
I am not an extravagant man. To me, a "dream car" is the sort of automobile that I would want to drive every day in every situation. I want to be able to carve canyons one minute, and pack it full of groceries the next. It needs to be fun and functional all year 'round, and because of that, exotic supercars don't make the list. Oh sure, they're a riot to drive, but imagine slogging to the supermarket in a snowstorm behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458. Bummer.
The Audi RS4, however, checks every one of my boxes. Sold from 2006 to 2008 in the US, the RS4 was a darling little sport sedan, packing 420 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque from a high-revving 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 – one of my favorite engines of all time. It could hit 60 miles per hour in under five seconds, only came with a six-speed manual transmission and sent its power to the ground via Audi's remarkable Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Regardless of weather or road conditions, the RS4 was simply a blast to drive, with excellent steering, tons of power on demand and just endless amounts of grip. But it was also comfortable, refined and packed to the gills with luxurious amenities. The RS4 was simply one of the most perfect cars I've ever encountered, and to this day, I still dream about putting a Sprint Blue example in my garage.
Check out more photos and information on the Audi RS4 here.
Michael Zak (Consumer Editor, AOL Autos): Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
If I had access to unlimited money, the car I would buy is undoubtedly the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. I've put a lot of thought into why this vehicle resonates so deeply with me, and I've come to the conclusion that it's simply because it embodies everything I am not. This car is loud, ostentatious, expensive, burly, utterly impractical and, in short, just plain awesome. For me, owning this car would be a classic case of compensating, and I'm perfectly OK with that.
Just look at those gull-wing doors. That ginormous front end. That insane grille complete with a Mercedes badge the size of beach ball. The design of the SLS AMG is the craziest combination of sleekness and brutishness on the road today. And I can't get enough of it.
The best thing about the SLS AMG, though, is how it combines its wonderfully absurd design with great performance. The supercar's 6.2L V8 engine produces, in addition to a savage roar, 583 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, which translates to a 3.7 second 0-60 mph sprint. Wow.
Check out more photos and information on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG here.
Chris Paukert (Executive Editor, Autoblog): Ariel Atom 3
It's not rational, it's not practical, it's not refined ... it's not even weatherproof. Starting at $56,480, it's not cheap, either. What it is, however, is singularly focused on driving enjoyment and straightening out the corners of a canyon road or roadcourse. It's light – just 1,350 pounds – which means that even with its modest Honda-sourced 230-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, it has enough power to hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds. That's just quick enough to change your life and contemplate bankrupting your child's college fund. It is the joy of driving distilled to its purest essence – it is the Ariel Atom.
Check out more photos and information on the Ariel Atom 3 here.
Erin Marquis (Programming Manager, AOL Autos): Ferrari GT 250 California Spyder
I was introduced to this car, as was the case for so many of my generation, by the film 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Since then I've dreamed of snubbing my nose at authority figures and speeding from adventure to adventure in this racy convertible.
This car is so sexy it's easy to forget that it's fast too. The Spyder comes equipped with the same engine as a 250 Tour de France racing car. That's 230 hp packed into a slick aluminum body. Only 50 were ever made and they routinely sell for millions of dollars today. The price and rarity of the 250 GT California Spyder makes it a true fantasy car. A girl can dream, though.
Check out more photos and information on the Ferrari GT 250 California Spyder here.
Pete Bigelow (Associate Editor, AOL Autos): 1968 Cadillac FleetwoodSome people will inevitably pick the fastest car on the road as their dream car. Some people will pick the most powerful. I’ll take the biggest, or something close.
The heyday of America’s love affair with big sedans may have arrived in 1968. On television, Steve McGarrett screeched around every corner in Honolulu driving Ford sedans on Hawaii Five-0. In showrooms, Cadillac sold the exquisite ’68 Cadillac Fleetwood.
In my book, there’s no more perfect car. There’s not necessarily rhyme or reason to this. Just a gut feeling. With a polished black exterior and perfect white-wall tires, it looks near presidential.
Two years later, the Fleetwood would lose some of its luster when Cadillac did away with the stacked-headlight grille in favor of the side-by-side lights. In 1973, the first oil crisis would start spelling the end of the great sedan. For sedans, there was never another year like 1968.
Seyth Miersma (Senior Editor, Autoblog): 1974-76 Lancia Stratos
The unlimited-funds, era-no-object Dream Car question is as tantalizing for me as it is impossible to answer. Depending on the time of day, time of year and how big a lunch I might have eaten, my answers could range widely. Still, if there’s one car that I’ve lusted after more than any other since I was just a wee child, it has to be the Lancia Stratos.
The Statos is dreamy for any number of substantial reasons. The Lancia was rallied to championship results for three years from 1974 to 1976, so it has honest motorsports pedigree. Despite the relatively unknown brand (Lancia has been around in Europe forever, but doesn’t really register on most Americans’ radar), the car has a blueblood engine in the form of a 2.4-liter Ferrari V6. But mostly, the Bertone-penned bodywork of the Stratos makes it look like the motive version of illicit sex with an Italian runway model on a Sicilian beach at midnight.
As far as dream cars go, the Statos is a downright bargain, too. I saw a stunner of a ’72 model sell at Pebble Beach this year for around $375,000. That’s chump change to your typical Ferrari guy.
Jeremy Korzeniewski (Managing Editor, Autoblog): Volkswagen Type II Bus
Call me crazy, but there isn't an exotic vehicle in the world that appeals to me in quite the same way as a vintage Volkswagen Type II bus, naturally a 21- or 23-window example with pop-out Safari windshields and a canvas roof. I'd prefer it to look mostly stock, perhaps lowered a little bit with an aftermarket air suspension system and a set of era-appropriate wheels with modern tires, but the engine would get some attention. I'm pretty sure I'd start with an air-cooled Volkswagen engine block, though I'd also entertain the notion of a Subaru boxer engine, and I'd add a turbocharger.
Since money is no object (hey, it's my Fantasy Garage after all...), I'd go with a stock-looking interior, but I'd add a few modern conveniences like a good stereo system and reasonable air conditioning and heat. I'd top it all off with a two-tone paint job, the color of which I'd decide on after much internal debate. And then I'd drive it, every day and everywhere.
Check out more photos and information on the Volkswagen Type II here.
Adam Morath (Executive Producer, TRANSLOGIC): DeLorean DMC-EV
When considering my choice for "dream car," I started with one criteria: it had to be electric. As the editor of our TRANSLOGIC site, not only am I convinced that electric propulsion is the way of the future--be it traditional battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell--but also that an electric car doesn't have to be boring. On the contrary, an electric car can be the stuff of dreams.
Now which one to choose?
The Chevrolet Volt is an everyday electric whose backup gas generator and reasonable lease price makes it a pragmatic choice for those living in EV-infrastructure-challenged parts of the country, like Metro Detroit. But pragmatism does not a dream car make.
The Tesla Model S gets closer to dreamland by blending high-tech features and performance with an EV ethos, making it one of the most talked about cars of the past year. Indeed, it's such a popular topic of conversation these days that it seems like too obvious of a choice.
A "dream car" should feel unique; almost unattainable. It has to be the sort of car you would chase down the street as a kid, should you ever be lucky enough to see one in the wild. For me, that car was the iconic DeLorean DMC-12.
As we chronicled in an early episode of TRANSLOGIC, the original DeLorean DMC-12 didn't exactly live up to its futuristic sports car billing. With only 130 horsepower, there wasn't much performance to speak of and, unlike in the movies, it could neither fly nor travel through time.
The custom Electric DeLorean DMC-EV seeks to resolve some these performance and technology issues with a modern 215 kW electric powertrain and revamped, coach-built interior. It looks just like the original from the outside, but the gas tank and engine is swapped for a Flux Power LifeP04 battery pack and 400 volt AC induction liquid-cooled electric motor that makes 260 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is reported at 125 miles per hour, with a zero to sixty mph time of just under 5 seconds. A custom 240 volt, 70 amp charger is said to fully recharge the battery in just 3.5 hours, good for over 100 miles of city driving.
The interior receives a modest upgrade as well. The DMC-EV travels to the 21st century with an smartphone dock, navigation screen, dial controls and a 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Mixing an icon of the past with the latest in technology? Now that's what dreams are made of.
Check out more photos and information on the DeLorean DMC-EV here.
Chris McGraw (Associate Multimedia Producer, AOL Autos): Ford GT40
In the 1960s, Ferrari was undefeated at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at least until this 40-inch tall racecar showed up. In 1966, the GT40 delivered Ford its first win at Le Mans, and dominated the race the next three years. The Mk IV version that took home the trophy in 1967 is still the only entirely American made car to win.
With only 107 made, the GT40 is incredibly rare and expensive, but for a mere $200,000 you can pick up a used 2005-06 Ford GT, which is visually based on the Le Mans Champion.
Check out more photos and information on the Ford GT40 here.