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The North American new car reality

Allow me to begin by saying I love it, being a performance-driving enthusiast. If you’re not sure what I’m going on about, I wrote a little blog on the fact that carmakers have done a recent about-face and have dropped “green” cars as their headline grabbers. 

Current automotive news stories paint the same picture. Think topics on the Acura NSX, Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster, Veyron, FCA and Plum Crazy (for the MOPAR muscle-car lover in you) and many more. Sure, there’s the occasional Kia Sportage and new Mazda crossover, but unless you’re Tesla, the news writers ain’t really picking up on hybrids, EVs, plug-ins, CNG or other ICE alternatives. 

The Canadian new-car landscape comes into focus every year at the AJAC’s annual Test Fest where auto journos take a week of their time to determine the Canadian Car and Utility Vehicles of the Year. Before we get geared up and head out to the event, a list of eligible cars from manufacturers is submitted to the CCOTY comity for validation. Once it’s past that round, the list is then shared with voting members. Said final list contains 43 new cars and utes, of which 14 are considered sports cars. 

I knew I wasn’t that crazy. 

I’ve been a member of AJAC for 10 years and never have I seen such a mix: 33% of all the new entries (yes, 1 in 3) are performance oriented poster cars (with a few exceptions on the poster part). Was I wrong in my assessment following the 2015 New York Auto Show? I don’t think so. 

So what does this all mean? Well, there’s good news and bad news. 

The good news is that cars like the Dodge Hellcats, Subaru BRZ, Chevy Camaro, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche Cayman are here and are available for you to purchase now and new. The selection is wide, the powertrains are varied and the prices range from the mid-20ks all the way to half a million bucks. 

The bad news is that this is a trend and thus will slow down. Sports cars will never disappear (wishful thinking perhaps…) so for the foreseeable future you can still pick up a Ford Mustang or a Mazda MX-5 and baby it as you would your child -- possibly more for some. 

If (and not when! -- more wishful thinking perhaps…) autonomous cars become the norm and driving becomes an illegal activity, we car lovers will all die a slow, painful and excruciating death. The time to rejoice is now! The time to live and drive is upon us!

The bottom line is that today is the day you all must go out and buy new sports cars! Get that Chevy Corvette you’ve always wanted, the Nissan GT-R, the Volkswagen Golf R! This will ensure that this category will be around for years to come and that I’ll finally be able to afford one when you sell your gently used 2016 Subaru WRX STI in 2024. I like the base car in Word Rallye Blue, with the spoiler and no sunroof (!). Please and thanks.