This is one thought that hatched over the past long weekend. When you combine the effects of the bad economy with actions of embattled manufacturers along with the Fed's new CAFE standards, what does this mean for enthusiasts or wannabe enthusiasts who have been considering a new vehicle purchase? My mind came up with "Instant Classics."
Today's Instant Classics are those cars that warrant an enthusiast's attention based on style and performance. In other words, these vehicles have earned your attention. But what makes these vehicles rise to the top of one's consideration list is the fact that they are most certainly doomed to a near-term extinction. Consider the following equation:
Great Vehicle + Low Production Volume + Soon Out of Production + Future Govt. Regs = Instant Classic
I'd be interested in seeing your suggestions , but I've come up with these based on conversations with PR people from GM and Chrysler:
- 2010 Pontiac Solstice Coupe
- 2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP
- 2009 Saturn Sky Red Line
- 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP
- 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
My thinking with these vehicles is straight forward:
First, Pontiac is dead ... well, almost. The Solstice is still in production, as is the Saturn Sky, so if you want one of these sporty models (I've recommended the highest-performance editions because they will retain more value as an Instant Classic), you can still get one built to your liking.
2009 Pontiac G8 GXPEnlarge Photo
According to Pontiac PR, the G8 is also still being built and imported from Australia. The timetable for its final production run has not been made public, so you could still order a big-displacement, rear-wheel-drive mid-size sedan if you acted quickly. With the new CAFE regulations, it's unlikely you'll ever see something just like the 2009 G8 GXP again. The possibility exists for a turbo V-6 variants, but nothing sounds or runs like a V8.
2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8Enlarge Photo
A call over to Chrysler confirmed that their SRT organization is still intact (unlike GM's High Performance Vehicle Group), and that production of SRT vehicles continues, including the 2009 Grand Cherokee SRT8. This is one seriously badass vehicle. Jeep showed their new 2011 Grand Cherokee at this year's New York Auto Show but don't expect to see an SRT version of the new truck. The exceptionally low volume of SRT vehicles doesn't make a good business case, especially for a company exiting bankruptcy.
Post your suggestions below, or better yet, tell us about how you're going to (or have already) acquired what you believe will be an Instant Classic.