One day you’re sitting on the most expensive real estate in the world, the next day the Asset Price Bubble pops. You’ve been forced out of your swanky Aoyama penthouse apartment and the banks have repo’ed your collection of late-80s Wangan monsters.
What JNC would you live in?
Sweating out the Lost Decade might be more bearable in one of Japan’s one-box vans, but in hindsight it might have been wiser to invest in a Toyota 2000GT. In 1999 I saw a Belatrix Yellow flagship on eBay. With nothing by my first full-time job to my name, I asked the seller his reserve. Surprisingly, he wrote back with an answer: $150,000. 15 years and one curved spine later, I’d be rolling in — pinky to mouth — one million dollars.
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of the last QotW, “What would you tell automakers to do?“
Clearly JNCers have a lot on their minds regarding the current state of the auto industry. We received a ton of responses, to last week’s QotW, but about 90 percent of them were in response to dickie‘s incredible rant, one that covered everything from crate rotaries to advocating that Mitsubishi kill off everything but the Lancer Evolution:
Toyota is already shaping up if you believe the rumors that they’re ditching Subaru and picking up BMW as a partner for a small sporty RWD coupe. in doing so, they’re dropping the pancake for a proper inline-4. my input for them is relatively light – put Scion out of its misery, roll the next sport coupe into the Toyota brand and keep it simple (stupid), redesign the Supra follow-on, bring over the Mark X in place of the Avalon, and please for the love of God end the “spindle grille” and uber-contrived Lexus design language You’re at the top, no need to resort to LED Nike swooshes and other gimmickry.
Mazda, as much as i’d love to see a new rotary engine, i seriously doubt you’d be able to meet the steeply climbing economy standards and package it in something that would move enough units to justify its creation. that being said, maybe think about continuing to develop and support it as a “crate motor” option to a conventionally-powered sports car for those of us less concerned with fuel efficiency and NVH. how nice would it be to have a “body in white” RX and Miata option to be sold through dealers with a plug-n-play Renesis or Skyactiv motorsets ready to run?
Nissan, very little can be done to save you as a brand. the Z is a bloated caricature, the GTR is an arcade style simulation of a sports car, the idx looks like you decapitated Michael Bay’s Bumblebee, force-fed it to Megatron and put 4 wheels on the resulting excrement. Carlos Ghosn could be considered successful from a financial perspective, but hasn’t produced anything exciting since he’s been at the helm. axe the Maxima, between the Infiniti line and the ever-growing Altima it has become completely redundant. speaking of the Altima, ditch the sporty pretense. it’s not and will never be anything other than an unfortunately-styled grocery getter; only deluded mouthbreathers buy the coupe. it’s time to start from a blank slate. take some of Ghosn’s ridiculous paycheck and put it back into R&D. fire everyone currently on that payroll and bring in new blood. cut ties to Renault before you eventhink about bringing a car to this market. sweep the Datsun misstep under the rug while you still can.
Mitsubishi. oh, Mitsubishi. focus on the one thing you do well – building the Lancer Evolution. kill all of your current platforms. start with a new Lancer that shares proportions with the pre-X cars. 2.0 liter turbo inline 4 with an advanced turbocharging system with whatever dual clutch thingamajig you currently offer AND a real manual transmission option. complete overkill AWD system that could handle itself whether i’m blasting up Pike’s Peak or running to the taco stand a couple blocks away. i want a rally car in a tidy little package. if you need something more Galant-sized, stretch the platform a couple inches and add some distinctive styling cues and an upmarket interior. for bonus points, offer a VR-4 trim that includes the Evo engine and drivetrain. then lift it, add a couple inches of vertical space, factory standard mudflaps and call it the Pajero. Get away from FCA as soon as possible.
Subaru, just keep doing what you’re doing. your fanbase is so hardcore and everything about your products is so polarizing that you’d have a hard time losing or gaining any significant portion of the market share. you could literally buy up all of the Dacia Dusters, paint them blue and slap STI badging on them and it would only be a matter of time before the wannabe Blocks and Pastranas start posting “snow drift” (parking lot donut) videos on YouTube.
Honda: S2000. this is non-negotiable.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!