Friday, February 14, 2014

Car Spotting

Ferrari 458 Italia
If you read this blog enough, you'll know that I like cars.  And I like driving them, the faster the better.

One problem with where I live is the lack of variety when it comes to cars.  Oh, sure, there's the rare interesting vehicle.  But if you watched cars go down the main street of this small, agricultural town you'd notice a profusion of pickup trucks, minivans, SUVs, and practical sedans.

No, it seems you have to get across Snoqualmie Pass and into the Seattle are to see more interesting cars.

One car you see a lot of in environmentally-conscious Seattle and environs is the Nissan Leaf.  This is a pure electric car that burns no gasoline.  It is, in fact, surprising how many you do see in the Seattle area.  They aren't very (or at all) practical for long-range driving but for commuting around the Puget Sound area I can see where they would work fine.  I've also seen a Tesla S and once saw a Tesla Roadster (a car you can no longer buy).  But I had to admit that Roadster could squirt through traffic with the amazing torque the electric motor supplies.  Both are also pure-electrics.  And of course, the Toyota Prius is as thick as Birkenstocks over there.

But the electric cars are a curiosity, not something that makes me sit up and take notice.  Yesterday I saw for the first time a Subaru BRZ.  Now while it seems those who drive under the speed limit in the left lane have migrated from Volvos to Subarus (mostly Legacys and the occasional Forester), the BRZ is one of the purest sports cars sold today even though I think it needs a bit more power than its 200 horsepower.  (Toyota sells essentially the same car with slight cosmetic changes as the Scion FR-S.)

In the Seattle area you never know what you might seen running while.  High-end BMWs and Mercedes, lots of Audis, and I have seen a McClaren 12C recently (this was not far from Microsoft headquarters).  I have seen Ferraris but I don't think I've seen a Lamborghini in Seattle (saw one in Florida).

Why do I care?  It's not as if I'm driving these vehicles (oh man!).  Well, some people trainspot, some airplane spot, I car spot.  Seeing a piece of precision speed machinery is sort of like seeing a pretty girl (yes, I girl watch, too).  It's just fun.  And while you're stuck in Seattle traffic, it gives you something to do.

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