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> DSCOTY '06: Sports Cars & Convertibles
DSCOTY '06: Sports Cars & Convertibles
What is Dieselstation's best Sports Car or Convertible of the year?
Cadillac XLR-V [ 4 ] ** [7.55%]
Mazda MX-5 Miata [ 17 ] ** [32.08%]
Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky [ 4 ] ** [7.55%]
Porsche Cayman S [ 28 ] ** [52.83%]
Volkswagen New Beetle Cabriolet [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Volvo C70 [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Total Votes: 53
  
clarkma5
post Dec 8 2005, 02:04 PM
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For more on the Dieselstation Car Of The Year '06 competition, please see this thread.

Alright, I foresee endless bitching about the Sports Car and Exotics categories, so let me explain how difficult it was to set these up and why some cars are where they are. My goal was to create categories that didn’t have too many entrants in them so votes wouldn’t get split too many ways, but I also wanted the categories to have enough entrants that an undeserving vehicle wouldn’t win an “easy category”. That is why the convertibles are lumped in with the sports cars, because there are only two non-sports cars convertible that are new for ’06 which is an inadequate number for their own category. The unfortunate side effect is that neither of those cars have a prayer of winning this category, but that’s for you to judge.

In splitting up the Exotics and the Sports Cars I was forced to draw a line somewhere. I couldn’t just pick a price because I found that some cars were more exotic but less costly than others…my final goal was to group cars together that had as similar a character as possible and in such a way that no one car was a clear favorite. I wanted to avoid lopsided categories. I toyed with the idea of changing the exotics category to the supercars category, but I found that that would’ve shuffled a lot of cars I put into the Exotics category into the sports cars category, creating a sports cars category that would’ve been too large. I then contemplated moving some of the convertible sports cars from the sports cars category into a separate convertibles category, but I found that that split up the sports cars entirely, which was something I strongly hoped to avoid. Plus, either way I split up these segments, the Volvo C70 and VW New Beetle would’ve been thrashed by the likes of the Miata/Solstice…this is an enthusiast’s board. Pardon me for editorializing, but I’ve been here for a couple years and I know how the DS users think as a whole pretty well.

So, before everybody bitches, realize how much thought and reasoning went into these categories and ask yourself if you can honestly fault me for my reasoning. I did my best to create categories that are not only sensible but also entertaining in terms of debate and vote splitting, which was made all the more difficult by a crop of cars that really tries hard to avoid being categorized. So, with that said, on with the cars.

Cadillac XLR-V
Base MSRP:
$100,000 (estimated)
Available Engines: 4.4 liter DOHC 32-valve supercharged V8 with 443 HP and 414 ft.-lbs. of torque.
Available Transmissions: 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
Available Drivetrains: Rear wheel drive
Curb Weight: 3804 lbs.





Mazda MX-5 Miata
Base MSRP:
$20,995
Available Engines: 2.0 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 170 HP and 140 ft.-lbs. of torque
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual or 6-speed manual transmission; 6-speed automatic transmission with automatic shift mode
Available Drivetrains: Rear wheel drive
Curb Weight: 2441-2527 lbs.





Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky
Base MSRP:
$19,995 (Solstice); Unknown (Sky)
Available Engines: 2.4 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 177 HP and 166 ft.-lbs. of torque (Solstice); 2.4 liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with 170 HP and 162 ft-lbs. of torque (Sky).
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
Available Drivetrains: Rear wheel drive
Curb Weight: 2860 lbs.







Porsche Cayman S
Base MSRP:
$58,900
Available Engines: 3.4 liter DOHC 24-valve flat-6 with 295 HP and 250 ft.-lbs. of torque
Available Transmissions: 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
Available Drivetrains: Rear wheel drive
Curb Weight: 2954-3042 lbs.





Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible
Base MSRP:
$23,790
Available Engines: 2.5 liter DOHC 20-valve inline-5 with 150 HP and 170 ft.-lbs. of torque.
Available Transmissions: 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
Available Drivetrains: Front-wheel drive
Curb Weight: 3164-3258 pounds





Volvo C70
Base MSRP:
$38,170
Available Engines: 2.5 liter DOHC 20-valve turbocharged inline-5 with 218 HP and 236 ft.-lbs. of torque.
Available Transmissions: 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode
Available Drivetrains: Front-wheel drive
Curb Weight: 3803 pounds



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fiber optic
post Dec 8 2005, 02:07 PM
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Ooooh Saturn, Porsche, or Mazda. This one is tough.
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clarkma5
post Dec 8 2005, 02:07 PM
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That is probably the first time those three manufacturers have been compared and thought of as a tough decision tongue.gif
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Dweezil
post Dec 8 2005, 02:08 PM
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I can see how it would be difficult to try and break this down. Personally i've always considered exotics, sports cars and super cars to be different things. To me exotic means foreign to my country and expensive. A F430 is an exotic supercar. A GT40 is a supercar. That's always how i've interpreted it, though.

I voted XLR-V because it's the best looking besides the Sky, and until they make a hardtop redline Sky i'm not super interested in it. I also hate the Cayman, so, yeah.
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clarkma5
post Dec 8 2005, 02:13 PM
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I really like the XLR-V...it looks attractive, particularly with its top up, and it's got a lot of power. I do think, however, it is too expensive for what you get and it's an automatic only...more of an SL55 competitor I guess. Also I'm annoyed that the same engine in the STS-V makes 26 HP...why did they hold back with the XLR-V? It's significantly more expensive but it has less power...whacky Cadillac.

After that, I'm charmed by the Solstice and the Sky...they look great, are affordable, and offer a distinctly american alternative to other cars that, for once, isn't a CRAPPY alternative. But in the end their parts-bin engineering shows through just a little too much.

The Miata is a brilliant little sports car; it's one of the best cars I've ever driven, in fact. It's to its credit that it pulls my heartstrings nearly as hard as a Porsche that cost about three times as much.

But, in the end, it's the Cayman that I have to vote for. Where other cars here are attractive, the Cayman is beautiful. Where the other cars are quick, the Cayman is fast. Where the other cars are merely fun, the Cayman is exciting and passionate. In so many ways, it's the best car to come out of Stuttgart...ever.
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fiber optic
post Dec 8 2005, 02:14 PM
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QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Dec 8 2005, 04:07 PM) *
That is probably the first time those three manufacturers have been compared and thought of as a tough decision tongue.gif


Agreed, it even felt weird typing it. In the end I had to go for the car from Stuttgart.
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dukenukem
post Dec 8 2005, 02:31 PM
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Should i go with the Saturn for making a relatively brand new car thats close to world's best or should i vote for Mazda for making the best even better or should i vote for Cadillac for scaring away the old people ? Damn it !!! This is hard.
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marcos_eirik
post Dec 8 2005, 02:33 PM
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The Cayman... 911 thrills for a huge chunk of money less...
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Mitlov
post Dec 8 2005, 03:09 PM
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The Cayman. It's the only one of these that gives me a longing ache in the pit of my stomach. And in a "sports cars & convertibles" competition, that's what matters most.
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Windshield
post Dec 8 2005, 03:18 PM
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I remember when 300hp was fast.
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Does the MX5 have a limited slip differential? What about the Solstice?




(Edit: Oh all I had to do was look at that picture.)
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goota
post Dec 8 2005, 03:20 PM
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miata... no doubt
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DakianDelomast
post Dec 8 2005, 03:38 PM
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Oh man clark.

Miata vs the Cayman. I have to say that is a kickass battle.
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clarkma5
post Dec 8 2005, 04:20 PM
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Are you making fun of me?

The rule is officially NO BITCHING. I've put more thought into these categories than anyone else would've.

If you're not making fun of me then thank you, I try biggrin.gif
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goota
post Dec 8 2005, 04:21 PM
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QUOTE(Windshield @ Dec 8 2005, 03:18 PM) *
Does the MX5 have a limited slip differential? What about the Solstice?
(Edit: Oh all I had to do was look at that picture.)


on two of trim levels of the miata, you can get an LSD and bilstein shocks biggrin.gif
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DakianDelomast
post Dec 8 2005, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Dec 8 2005, 07:20 PM) *
Are you making fun of me?

The rule is officially NO BITCHING. I've put more thought into these categories than anyone else would've.

If you're not making fun of me then thank you, I try biggrin.gif


No! Its an awesome battle. I'm going to be interested in seeing how it turns out.

Granted the Cayman will win but the MX-5 is going to put up one hell of a fight.
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Phix
post Dec 8 2005, 05:53 PM
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New Beetle Cabriolet.
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Keitero-sama
post Dec 8 2005, 08:34 PM
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My mind is telling me I SHOULD vote for the Cayman, I should.... but I'd rather much have the MX-5.
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Mr b00st
post Dec 9 2005, 01:01 PM
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Coxster for me.

I think it's probably the best car that's come out of Stuttgart, or has the potential to be. It doesn't have the inherent pendulum momentum of the rear engined 911, making it more balanced and easy to drive fast. It's useful, with a trunk in the front and a hatch in the rear. It's sexy... well, duh. And it's fast.

I'll take it in black, thanks smile.gif
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DZ302
post Dec 9 2005, 01:06 PM
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saturn sky
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moe
post Dec 10 2005, 12:19 AM
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Ummm I was having a tough time with the Caddy, the Mazda, and the Solstice. Just as I voted for the Caddy, I knew it was the wrong choice, can you switch my vote over to the Miata please? Thanks clarkma.
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