America’s Hot-Hatch Dilemma


Ford Focus RS. The last of the hot-hatches?

When Ford announced that it was going to cease production of all its hatchbacks due to decreasing sales, car enthusiast forums lit up. Why? Sadly this also means the death of the Ford Fiesta ST, Focus ST, and Focus RS, some of the last manual-transmission performance version hatches sold in the U.S.

2019 Toyota Corolla XSE. Is there hope?

So is there any hope? Maybe. Toyota is about to release the Corolla XSE “hot” hatch for America. I put hot in quotes because the car has an output of 168 horsepower. However, Toyota also makes the Yaris GRMN for the European market. It’s a Nürburgring-tested proper hot-hatch with a 6-speed manual, aggressive-sounding center exhaust, and 210 supercharged horsepower.

So what’s the solution? Well are there any Toyota U.S. executives reading this?

Dear Toyota U.S. execs,

Could you please take some of the Yaris GRMN DNA and apply it to the U.S. Corolla XSE? I mean it already has an aggressive wing, and while you’re at it, could you please add a sport-tuned suspension, a mean sounding exhaust, and a supercharger to boost power to over 200 horsepower? Thank you.

Who are we?


Americans who still love the art of driving!

Toyota Yaris GRMN, for the European market only . . .

Should New Yorkers Consider The Elio?

 Elio at the plant

Elio Motors recently announced that the Elio, their $6800 3-wheeled 84 mpg autocycle, could be available for purchase as soon as first half 2016. The Elio is being marketed as a “second vehicle” for U.S. consumers, but many New Yorkers don’t own a first vehicle. Will the Elio work for our wallets? I’ll compare buying an Elio to other options for driving out of town.

Elio vs. Leasing:

The cheapest lease in Manhattan is the Fiat 500. It’s $2000 down, $99 per month over 2 years. Over 4 years, you’d pay $8750 to lease the Fiat which you would have to say “ciao” to at the end of the lease, vs. $6800 to own the Elio. The advantage goes to the Elio.

Elio full

Elio vs. Renting:

Let’s say you get 2 weeks of vacation per year and during that time you rent an economy car. The car rents for $600 per week in New York City. If you rent 2 weeks per year over 5 years, you’d pay $6000 to drive 10 weeks total. Of course if you own an Elio you would have access to drive 365 days a year. Advantage Elio.

Elio vs. Car-Sharing:

Let’s say you don’t take long road-trips and you’re more of the daily getaway type. Taking out a Zipcar for 14 day trips per year (at $109 per day), over 5 years, costs $7630. It would be advantageous to purchase the Elio.

Elio back

Every New Yorker likes a bargain. If you’ve ever gone to Century 21 to buy a suit, or traveled to Newark just to rent an economical car, the Elio could be for you. It will be available for purchase in time for summer 2016. Will it be accepted in the Hamptons? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure: I’ll see you in Bridgehampton in a 4-wheeled (or possibly 3-wheeled) vehicle . . .

Elio Summer


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