I don't know what being sent to review a bicycle says about my driving abilities, but I got the last laugh for having the most fun with a vehicle review. Tearing through neighbourhoods, hills and city streets on an electric pedal-assist bicycle is living out your best unfulfilled grade-school speed demon dreams.
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Take the religious following of air-cooled Porsche 911s, then reduce that to the community of folks who are evangelists for the four-cylinder 912, and you've got a group of seriously passionate people. Like most passionate people that I've met, they want to bring you into the fold and show you why whatever it is they love deserves attention.
I was appalled to learn that my colleagues, the Mikes Roselli and Ballaban, did not like the 2017 BMW M2. Too hardcore, they said. Too harsh and crazy and ill-suited to daily driving! I called shenanigans on that, and I'm thrilled to say I'm right and they're wrong.
I'm about to complain. Not about the 2017 Porsche Macan GTS, that thing is damn near perfect. I'm about to complain about my life, and you're going to hate me for it.
The 2017 Honda Civic Si is no revelation of automotive excellence. But it's easy to live with, encourages hard driving and has a little attitude without making you look like an arsehole. Messing around with this car is enough to lure anyone into driving for the fun of it, and that's exactly the point.
Yes, the Ford Focus ST is actually still around. It's the hot hatchback we love but faded into the shadows after its little sibling, the Fiesta ST, kicked its arse in the fun-per-dollar argument. It then totally lost everyone's attention when the almighty Focus RS arrived and decimated everything. It's still damn good.
It wasn't long before we crossed what had been the East German border, the prow of our borrowed black Rolls-Royce cutting a clean line through arterial highways out of Berlin. Highways turned into two-lanes, two-lanes into little village streets, until we pulled into an unassuming edge-of-town industrial lot. On a far building, on a corner, stood a little Porsche crest. This is the home of one of the most secret cars in the world, a hidden product of two men in a fit of reciprocating and all-encompassing madness.
When the United States was on the bottom rung of The Great Depression, looking for a foothold, desperately clinging onto any shred of hope, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created The New Deal. Hand over hand, rung by rung, we sprung forward with innovative programs like The Tennessee Valley Authority, which still rests in my backyard today. No one got rich working a New Deal job, but it put a dollar in your pocket every day, and gave people a sense of pride. It wasn't much, but it was yours, it was honest, and you earned it.
Admit it: you've done this at least once. Curiosity on Craigslist has led you to search for one of the internet's most loved -- some would say overhyped -- used cars, the E30 BMW 3 Series from the 1980s and early '90s. And then you found a truly beautiful one. And then you saw that one letter at the end of its numerical name that serves as an instant disqualifier: e.