Friday, November 21, 2008

the current AE86

A Mazda RX8 is everything an AE86 was 20 years ago.

Similarities between AE86 and RX8, both:
are funny looking.
are wonderfully underpowered.
handle well, take corners like a champ.
have similar power to weight ratio.
have comparable price tag to power ratio.
are naturally aspirated.
are rear wheel drive.
sit 4 passengers.
are affordable sports cars.
are seriously fun.

A lot of people would argue that RX8 is a disgrace to its former rotary-powered brother, RX7.

The 8 is lackluster for the 7's fans.
The 8 misses all that made the 7 great- speed and looks.
The 8 can no longer attract boy racers.

Ding! That's the point exactly. Thank you RX8 engineers.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

my addiction...

to sports cars has worsened in the past year.

I'm able to identify most sports car models at a glimpse.
I frequent car sites and blogs often refreshing their page only to find there is no update.
I have plans for the next three car purchases, or for the next 5 - 10 years.
The cars I have "chosen" have gotten more expensive.
I enable all javascripts on my browser for car websites.
I have a hard time considering anything having more than 2 seats.
I have a strict up-shifting scheme, on current car, lowest threshold 3.5k rpm.
My real dream car would be a sleeper or a Q-car.
I know which 4 cars (a particular model that I like) are available at local used car lots, always.
While I'm getting busier at work, car browsing still takes up considerable time nightly.

Maybe we can look at something a little less realistic:
(I know I said a sleeper car but let's face it, if you can, you would too!)

Koenigsegg CCR
4.7L V8, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door roadster
6 speed manual, 806 horses, 0-100km/h (0-62mph) = 3.2sec

Porsche Carrera GT
5.7L V10, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door roadster
6 speed manual, 612 horses, 0-100km/h = 3.9sec

Pagani Zonda R Clubsport
6.0L V12, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door coupe
6-speed sequential manual, 750 horses, 0-100km/h = 3.3sec

Ferrari FXX
6.3L V12, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door coupe
6-speed sequential, 800 horses, 0-100 = just under 3.0sec

McLaren SLR 722 GT
5.4L V8, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2 door coupe
5-speed auto, 650 horses, 0-100 = 3.6sec

Lamborghini Murcielago LP640
6.5L V12, mid engine, 4 wheel drive, 2 door coupe
6-speed eGear, 632 horses, 0-100 = 3.6sec

Gumpert Apollo
4.2L V8, mid engine, rear wheel drive, 2 door coupe
6-speed manual, 650 horses, 0-100 = 3.0sec

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

now you've won


wandering, results, nostalgia

I'm wandering in the tubes of the Internet waiting for the election results to come in, but of course nothing so far.

I come across this Google maps subsite that does a good job on finding your nearest polling place. So I go along and put in my old address, from where it accurately pinpoints the very place I cast my first vote as a young and responsible American. It was in a local high school within a stone throw from my old apartment. I voted twice there 7 or 8 years back.

Thanks to "street view", I am able to walk the virtual streets of Brooklyn. Boy! Can one be drown to death in nostalgia?

There was this place we used to live in a townhouse on the second floor. The subway track is inches in front of our front windows. They would shake when trains pass. A karaoke bar right under. We used to get free drinks for putting up with the noise, and that the co-owner and I went to the same university. A liquor store 3 doors down has Japanese sake. We made our "atsukan" without knowing how. A laundromat across the street I met a dark Scandinavian girl who worked there part time, folding and doing people's laundry for a fee. I kept going back even after we moved away. My out-of-job friend would give me a lift there once a week since I didn't have money for a car. I promised her I would make time to visit. But I lied. I'm sorry.

We used to discuss petty things like weather and snooker, but soon we started talking about more serious issues like politics, wars, and unemployment. I thought we had made an interesting connection spanning those boring hours looking at machines spin.

We watched the first broadcast of the Iraq war in "SWC laundromat" when my damp laundry was tumbling in the dryer. There was a large TV tuned on something like MSNBC at night. It was almost 6 years ago. I told her I would be in Japan for a while and hopefully we can catch up soon enough. She had a boyfriend who shot a mean 9-ball pool game, had his own expensive cue, and a cold attitude. We kept in touch through emails but eventually the emails turn annual, finally there was no more.

After these 6 years I have arrived, with my little success, in my own peaceful corner, remote to all those memories.