Friday, September 12, 2014

Coffee Brake: The Future Of Cool

The future is a scary place, especially when you look at the emergence of electric cars, self driving cars, and the general condition of the automotive market today.  What will be cool to drive in 20 years isn't the question -- but, will it be cool to drive at all?  Electric cars aren't a bad thing by themselves, the brush-less DC motors and energy dense batteries found in RC cars is particularly exciting, but cars driving themselves will certainly take the fun out of something as exotic as a Ferrari. However, you won't need to ride in some worthless self-driving cube a few decades from now because the cars for sale today will be future depreciated classics.  The question for discussion today is -- what car in showrooms today is going to be your future cheap driver?

Image from Zanthia on flickr

For me, the answer is simple.  Find the most expensive, technology-laden luxury sedan you can find and just wait for time to hand it to you on a gilded plate of depreciation and out of warranty repair bills.  The 2015 Porsche Panamera Turbo S Executive edition starts at an MSRP of $200,500 according to the Porsche USA website.  Buyers of this car can expect to lose $150k minimum in the first 5-7 years of ownership, and just imagine what it will be worth after 20 years and 150k miles.  $15k?  $10k? $500?


Pic from Porsche website.

Oh yeah, did I mention that it is hideous?  Hideous in a Godzilla stepped on a Porsche Cayenne sort of way, but hideous enough that it won't suddenly become the apple of some investor's eye and there is no way it will ever be collectable until prices have hit rock bottom for a few decades. 

What are you going to pickup for cheap in 2034?  Maybe a Subaru BRZ from the change you find in your W123 Benz cup holders?  A Tesla Model S with a carburetor fed Chevy 350 V8?  The future is going to be awesome!!  Comments below.

19 comments:

  1. There are two of those monstrosities in the parking lot at my company. I like to call them Porsche Compromisas

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    1. We call them what Clarkson said they looked like: A mangled ape.

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    2. The AMC Matador reborn. Actually they are excellent big sedans. Just butt ugly.

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  2. Panamera is a great choice.
    You'll always have any and all AMGs of course as well.

    Also I think any water cooled 911 will fall to some floor of 20 /30k in relatively short order.

    My pick though is SRT / dodge Viper. The older ones are starting to get appreciated & the new ones get no love. Give it a few years & the new ones will remain the black sheep of the 2 seat super sportsters.

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  3. the current maseratis will be cheap - imagine the parts costs though

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  4. Fleetwood T. BroughamSeptember 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Polaris Slingshot---I don't care if they classify it as a motorcycle---it's a car.

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    1. I really wonder what that must drive like. The single wheel out in the back could make for some really hairy dynamics at the limit, or it could be really sweet. For $25k it really isn't worth considering, but in 10 years at a 10th of that price...sign me up!

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    2. Fleetwood T. BroughamSeptember 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      I just read a review of it in a motorcycling magazine, and to my surprise, understeer was the more pronounced handling trait. I would have predicted an oversteering machine. As I recall, it pulled about .88 on the skidpad, which isn't gonna worry any Ariel Atom drivers on a track day, but should be fun in an open-air-5-inch-from-the-ground machine.

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    3. I live in Polaris country (Arctic Cat also) I can't wait to see these on the road and hopefully ride one!

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  5. Ditto on a Porsche. '03 to '05 turbo 911's for $40k to $45-ish K, with good miles to boot. Not to shabby.

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  6. 03-05 Porsche turbos go for that now! As a 2006 Carrera S owner I would love to replace my 04 S500 Mercedes with a Panamera down the road. As stated old German luxury sedans drop in value faster than anything, I bought my Mercedes 3 years ago with 25000 miles for $25000, what a deal and it's been a reliable and fantastic highway cruiser. A few more years and I will start searching for an S4, turbos are just too much trouble.

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  7. In 2034 I'll be in my mid/late 50's, the kids will be in the middle of college (should they take that path), and the wife & I will probably still be driving the same crap heaps we're driving now... and loving every second of it.

    Once the kids are grown and done with college, I'll probably pick up an F-Type Roadster.

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  8. Never heard of the Polaris Slingshot until now. I bet it is awesome fun, but it looks more unusual than cool (if you care about such things). I think I would prefer to make my commute in an Elio and come home to a Viper, though.

    To answer the question, I don't know that today's cars will age in quite the same way that yesterday's classics have. Cars like the Panamera and Maserati are simply too forbidding for many hobbyists to keep alive year after year. With few exceptions, there were no cars with collector value made from about 1974 to 1984, because of quality, size and low power output. Seems to me that between 1980 and 1990 cars became more about ease of assembly and plastics took over interior under-hood and a lot of the exterior parts. It is very hard to find any cars built in the 1980s in junk yards. Now that cars are even more complex, who will want to keep them on the road as they lose value? Imagine trying to maintain things like passive restraint systems and traction control systems on a 40-year-old car. Who will really want to replace a Cayenne GTS driveline with 220K on it or fix an obsolete navigation system with original parts? I don't think the classic car hobby will look the same.

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    Replies
    1. But between 1984 and about 2003 there were a lot of interesting cars made that were relatively simple compared to modern units with a lot appeal to my late Gen X demographic. MB 190e variants, 944/968, Lexus, Subarus, sleeper ToyoHonMazdas...

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  9. The car I most want this (but is least likely) to happen to is the Jag F-Type coupe. They're not going to make enough of them, so I doubt they will ever depreciate below half their showroom value.

    Realistically, I think the next step down from the Hellcat twins is going to be a sweet spot. Who would want a Hemi 392 when you could get the Hellcat? Odds that Mopar will release a supercharger kit or crate Hellcat are quite good, so why spend the money upfront?

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  10. My choice will be the 2016 Mercedes AMG GT, as written about here...
    http://www.autoblog.com/2014/09/09/2016-mercedes-amg-gt-photos-official/?icid=autoblog|trend|2016-amg-gt
    Can't wait, can't wait, oh,oh,oh,oh is it 2034 yet???

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  11. I'm sorry to say I'll be eighty years old! Damn hard to believe.I'll still be looking at most anything built in the sixties........1960's that is. You couldnt get me to buy a Panamerica for any amount of 2034 dollars....though maybe my old bones could squeeze into one of those 2014 Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ's in twenty years

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    1. With age comes wisdom (I'll be 88) - there will be no replacement parts available for all the computerized gizmos of today's cars in twenty years ... I'll be driving a simple but steady Morris Minor. I hope.

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  12. It will be interesting to see the effect 3D printing will have on classic car ownership. The possibility of quickly and cheaply producing hard to find parts could make ownership a lot easier and more affordable.

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