In Reply to: Re: Perhaps....... posted by Praveen on June 08, 1999 at 19:21:31:
There are plenty of other non-boring Japansese cars, including one of particular relevance here, the new Honda S2000. And if we judge "soul" by the fanaticism of the cars' makers and buyers, it's impossible to dismiss the Japanese; the number of car magazines here is crazy (last weekend I saw on one newstands seven special edition magazines dedicated just to the S2000!), the aftermarket is remarkably robust, and people love their cars (and spend a lot of money on them), even though those who live in cities typically don't get to use them every day and rarely have the chance to exercise them hard.
Before coming here, I've always been biased in favor of German cars--and to an extent, I still prefer the typically heavier weighting of the controls (e.g., clutch, steering) in the German cars--but it's clear to me now that complaints about the "soullessness" or "appliance-like nature" of Japanese cars are also simply biases. Most Japanese cars sold in America, it's true, are not particularly interesting, but that's because most people don't want particularly interesting cars. A Ford Taurus or Chevy Lumina is also not terribly interesting, and neither is a typical Opel.
And anyway BMW's ultimate goal is no different than Toyota's--to make money . . . witness the progressive softening of the 3-series with each generation and concomitant sales increases.
: I think both camps here are exaggerating their points of view. The fact is that there are many Japanese cars that kick ass on the track and are far from boring (or soulless): miata, nissan skyline GTR (fastest laptime at Nurburgring of any production car?), rx-7, subaru wrx/rs 2.5, integra type r, the toyota mr-2 that brought mid-engined agility to the masses,...
: And I have never heard anyone buying a Benz say that they bought it because it was fun to drive. In fact, Lexus seems to be inspired by Benz and wants to do things that Benzs are good at better than Benz.
: Anyway, maybe all of the below responses and your post are tongue in cheek...