Fast, Fun and Affordable

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Fast, fun and affordable. Three words that have endless meaning in the car world. When my father decided to buy a new car a few years ago, I of course jumped all over the situation and found him all kinds of cars. He wanted something that was fast, fun, and of course affordable. Another requirement was a sunroof and manual transmission. In the end, the search came down to two vehicles- the Honda Civic Coupe SI or the Volkswagen GTI.

The decision was simple once we visited the Volkswagen dealership. It was instant love. The SI was out of the picture and my dad was now a proud new owner of a 2012 Volkswagen GTI.

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Purchased for about $27,000 the GTI came with a sunroof, 6-speed manual transmission, touch-screen radio, bluetooth connectivity, 18 inch alloy rims with low-profile tires and unique plaid seats. Under the hood sits a turbo-charged Audi engine that produces about 211hp (although its only marked at 200hp). The duel chrome tipped mufflers let off a soft growl as soon as the ignition is turned on. The GTI is offered in a 4-door but this model is the 2-door, which in my opinion has a meaner look. On the grille of the vehicle is the iconic red stripe with the GTI badge proudly displayed between the stripes. The GTI  badge is also shown on the trunk of the car. The VW logo stands out both in the front and rear of the vehicle, which I think it is perfectly placed. Look through those unique 18 inch alloy rims and your eye catches sexy red brake calipers.

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Open up the doors and the first thing you’ll notice are the plaid cloth seats. This is a feature that has been passed down from each generation of the GTI. For the people who aren’t into plaid, black leather is also available. Personally, I think the seats are beautiful and help give the car a distinct look. The bucket seats are very comfortable and very sporty looking. All the stitching is red which adds to the true sports car feel. The 6-speed manual transmission is simple black leather that leads up to a steel-colored shifter knob. The touch-screen radio is the same you get in any Audi. The steering wheel, which is flat bottomed is absolutely stunning. Black leather, and outlined in red stitching it is truly sexy. In fact, it is the same steering wheel that has been used in Lamborghini Gallardo’s. The backseat has plenty of room for passengers and also has the plaid seats. The added optional Bose stereo sounds pristine!

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Clutch down and turn the key. The GTI comes growling to life. A few revs even sound pretty nice. First gear is extremely powerful making for an almost immediate shift into second gear. The car weighs just over a ton so acceleration is excellent. Anyone in the car is thrown back against the seat has the FWD quickly gains traction and launches the car. The engine gets louder and louder making for a pretty good exhaust note. The driver can conquer all 6-speeds pretty quickly.

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On winding roads the GTI really shines. With sport tuned suspension the vehicle easily handles turns at speeds of 40mph+ and remains completely flat. The low profile tires are glued to the asphalt and anyone inside the car is not roughly tossed around. The cornering in this vehicle feels as if you were driving in a Porsche. No turn is too hard to handle for the GTI. My dad often loves to take out the car on winding roads and put the suspension to the test- and it never fails.

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On an open road in upstate New York, my dad and I decided to open up the GTI. Starting in 6th gear at about 65mph we floored it. With absolutely no turbo-lag the car rocketed forward and seamlessly reached about 115mph before we braked. The speedometer goes up to 180mph which is pretty impressive. The digital speedometer kept skipping numbers as the car reached higher speeds. The vehicle handled with such ease and if this had been an open-track, the GTI would have easily topped the 115mph mark. This car is completely stock, but there are many offered upgrades, some which give the vehicle 500+ horsepower!

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Today the GTI has about 10,000 miles on it. It has been driven from Long Island to Tennessee with great ease. It has handled the snow of New York, and even a crazy ice storm in Arkansas. The vehicle is reliable and has never had an issues and VW offers great maintenance deals. The GTI is the perfect car for someone looking to add some fun to their daily driver. With a price tag starting at just $25,000 the GTI is extremely affordable for all power and superb handling it gives. Credited car magazines such as MotorTrend have said that the GTI is much better value than the more expensive R version. I would highly recommend the GTI to anyone. It has quickly become one of my favorite cars to drive and be a passenger in.IMG_3700

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An Over Produced Lamborghini?

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IMG_1187Is it possible that Lamborghini managed to overproduce their beloved baby bull? At the end of November 2013, the very last Gallardo rolled off the production line at the factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy; stopping production at 14,022 units!

A Quick History:

Lamborghini first started the Gallardo line back in 2003. It entered the super car market as an entry-level Lambo. It’s “big brother” bull was the legendary Murcielago. The V10 engine in the baby bull produced 439hp and launched the car to 60mph in just 4.10 seconds! The exotic hit the market with a sticker price of $185,000 and has since risen upward of $225,000. Since the early production days in 2003, Lamborghini has released numerous special edition models such as the Superleggera– a lighter, faster edition kept unique by its limited fleet of 172 units. The latest model was the 2014 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse which produced 570hp and would cost a buyer $264,195 as just 50 cars were produced worldwide.

Over the years the car has battled the spotlight with everything from the Ferrari F430 to the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. As the Gallardo was the successor to the Lamborghini Jalpa, it now has paved the way for the newest member of the family: the 2015 Lamborghini  Huracán LP 610-4! The new supercar will be the baby bull to the already established legend Lamborghini Aventador. The new bull will boast a 5.2 liter V10 with 610hp propelling the vehicle to 60mph in just 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 201mph!

With 14,022 Gallardo’s produced it is Lamborghini’s best selling car. In comparison to these high production numbers, Lamborghini made the Murcielago very rare, only making 3,983 in its 10 year model run. One of the Gallardo’s first competitors, the Ferrari 360 Modena, has 17,800 cars today. This includes coupes, spiders and special editions. The Ferrari F430 has also ended production. Although no specific production numbers have been released, it is estimated that around 8,000 vehicles were produced. The Gallardo definitely tipped the scale when it came to production numbers, however it still remains a more rare sighting than a Ferrari here on Long Island. With so many baby bulls tearing up the road one can expect that they will certainly depreciate at a faster rate than some other vehicles, such as the Murcielago. For these high-end performance car owners, this is not good news. However, for those who dream of one day becoming a Lambo owner this is great news– as prices will fall and more used Gallardo’s will be available.

So was the Gallardo over produced? In my opinion, yes. But, hey, who really cares? All that means is that there are more of these beautiful handcrafted machines roaming the streets of the world, and used models will be available for a “reasonable” price.. perhaps around $90,000.

Tell me what you think!

Check out the stunning Lamborghini here!

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