As we're now heading towards the fourth quarter of 2014, we're going to start seeing the "wind down of 2013" type of stories.
You know what I am talking about.
"The BEST Cars of 2013" type of stories. Typically speaking, these pieces are pretty formulaic and tend to bloviate the same a bit.
BUT once and a while someone will come out and, frankly, surprise us. That, my friends, would be this year's Esquire's Car of the Year, which has been awarded to the 2014 Lexus IS350 F Sport.
Pointed out in the award is the fact that most Lexus products HAVE been great but lacking a certain something, namely emotion. While it made great products that satisfied it just lacked that little something and, finally, it's been addressed. Instead of being a segment "also ran" we're now seeing the IS350 F Sport be the vehicle that tops the class.
I have to ask, though: Did Esquire get THIS one right? Is there a better car for 2013? What say you, Spies?
Accountants will tell you that car companies live or die by marketing. Al Gore will tell you that everyone should buy an electric Nissan Leaf because the climate is changing. But there's more to it than either of those things: Cars aren't toasters, EV's don't solve everyone's problem, and even the most boring automobile was built by a group of people dedicated to giving you an emotion. For some, that means rolling down the road oozing an image. (Example: Leaf, you look like a selfless, humble man. Porsche 911, the opposite.) For others, on a different part of the spectrum, it's knowing they made the smartest purchase possible.
We put a priority on the urge. A car should be based on need — it has to be responsible, affordable, adult, refined — but also desire. You have to look at it twice, maybe even a third time, as you walk away from it in a parking lot. It should rip apart a curvy two-lane and make you feel like you're getting away with something. Maybe it makes the neighbors overtly jealous, or maybe it hangs out under the radar and makes them think you bought a used taxi. Above all, like our past choices — the 2013 Cadillac ATS, the 2012 Audi A7, the 2010 Audi S4, and the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO — it has to feel special. Which is remarkably hard for a mass-produced object to do.
The IS 350 F Sport does all of that...