When I first proposed this list, I reached out to the staff to help me brainstorm. Here are some of the ideas they offered up that I ultimately didn't use: Jaguar XE Coupe, Pagani Huayra Roadster, Mercedes-Benz S-Class "parade car" (cabriolet), Morgan 3-Wheeler with Ducati V-twin, Ford Transit Connectamino (pickup), Mercedes CLA63 AMG, Ford Fusion 5.0, BMW i8 Spyder, Lexus RC-F Shooting Brake, Volvo XC90 Polestar. Oh, and things we collectively wanted to stick Dodge's Hellcat in were almost as numerous as models that Fiat Chrysler Automotive currently makes (though none quite so compelling as the Grand Cherokee you see above.)
Ultimately though, while I used a couple of ideas from my colleagues, the list of cars I'd shell out for unquestionably is very personal. Though it isn't complete, what follows is a selection of cars whose very existence would prompt me – or the trust-fund-baby versions of me – to utter without hesitation: "Shut up and take my money."
Honda CR-Z Si :
I've always been a supporter of the quirky Honda CR-Z. But as a recovered Honda fanboy, I can also understand the frustration with its mild performance letting down the new-generation-CRX potential.
What's the solution? Taking out the CR-Z's mild-hybrid drivetrain and replacing it with the naturally aspirated, 205-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Civic Si seems to be the answer Honda heads have been screaming for. The CR-Z Si would (probably) net out with a power-to-weight ratio akin to a Ford Fiesta ST that, coupled with Honda's Teflon-smooth six-speed manual transmission, would vault the coupe into the top of a lot of hot-hatch consideration lists – especially if it looked at all like the Mugen RR concept seen above.
Subaru DRX Five-Door:
I'm confident in speaking for both myself and the rest of the Autoblogers when I say, we love the Subaru WRX. Our long-term Scoobie has already been checked out for more than a handful of road trips, and basically every other test period we've had with the car has been followed with comments of satisfaction.
Hell, we don't even hate the CVT.
What I can't abide, nor begin to fathom, is the lack of a five-door model from the WRX range in North America. The WRX wagon (as seen above in historical splendor and STI fettle) has been the darling of the range during its history on this continent as far as I'm concerned, with just enough added practicality to make the Subaru an almost-perfect combination of practicality and pleasure.
Cadillac may even be working on a hotter ELR, as evidenced by the spy shots seen above, but I don't think tweaking goes far enough. Instead, replace the plug-in power with the killer twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V6 from Cadillac's parts catalog, and give the ELR a "-V" suffix to go with its 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of twist. The resultant coupe would be lighter, faster and, to my mind, a hell of a lot more desirable than the reticent ELR electric. The swap – as unlikely as any I've suggested on this list thus far, though it may be – would almost be enough to make the coupe justify its $75,000 sticker, too.