Just like your pet, your clothes and the number of days it’s been since you’ve showered, the car you own says a lot about you — good or bad.
See a Volkswagen GTI, and you’ll likely find a twentysomething with wraparound sunglasses lead-footing it behind the wheel. A cream-colored late ‘90s Lincoln Town Car? Keep a wide berth; that’s an aging gent more likely to pass a kidney stone than a vision test.
Then there are the cars that tend to send the most odious message to bystanders: I am a douchebag, and this is my ride. You know: the kind of flash-over-function ride that says “I have plenty of money, love speed and/or prestige, and generally don’t give much of a crap about other drivers on the road.”
But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to drive them, if only for a weekend.
To that end, here are five guilty-pleasure-mobiles every man should try — once. And then he should banish it back whence it came.
For nearly 25 years, the Viper has embodied the boisterous, American supercar. It was a machination of automotive excess that was exclusive, raw and could burn your legs if you weren’t careful. Even in its most refined iteration to date, the Viper isn’t for the weak. The interior is better than ever, but it’ll still resituate your internal organs if you let the 645-horsepower V10 engine and rear-wheel drive do the bidding. The problem is that the car is so in-your-face with its haunches, bulges and cacophonous engine that it tends to attract owners of a similar ilk. So, is it a good thing that 2017 will be the last year the Viper is built? We’re not so sure. This guy certainly thinks so. ($89,995)
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible
The Evoque convertible isn’t fast, but it is pretty special, since it’s the only production convertible crossover on the market, now that the ghastly Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is gone. But don’t associate the two, since the Evoque ragtop is playful and avoids looking like a painful afterthought of a CUV. Even though it’s got some punch with the 240-HP engine and all-wheel drive, it’s not meant to be a land rocket. It’s more of an adventure-seeker, and suffers virtually zero styling loss in the quest to go topless. It begs to be driven to the sunny mountains or sandy beachfronts, but we know everyone would be staring at our exposed pretentiousness in those places. ($52,000)
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Yes, it’s probably the vehicle we might actually come close to buying here (if we owned a ranch, at least), since it’s a pickup truck and still bears a bit of utilitarianism. But let’s face it: the Raptor is an absolute monster designed to crush just about anything in its path. The new 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 is expected to throw down upwards of 450 horses to all four wheels that get mated to insane and very special FOX dampers designed to make mincemeat of anything smaller than a boulder. It’s also to certainly terrify anyone in a Whole Foods parking lot, which weighs heavily in its favor. ($48,325)
BMW X6 M
Compared with X6 fastback crossover, the M Performance version looks like it’s from another dimension. The 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 churns out a wildly unnecessary 567 horses to all four wheels, while an utter lack of interior space thumbs its nose at pretty much any drive that requires more than a weekender bag. It’s thick and angry, but it can still take on a track like a car half its weight thanks to brilliant suspension and a super-stiff chassis. ($102,200)
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
Quite possibly the ultimate douchebag car, the Aventador makes zero practical sense. It looks like a giant, pissed-off origami creation, sounds like a Bengal tiger hopped up on amphetamines, and disregards speed limits out of principle. It’s a subtle as using Thor’s hammer to hang a picture-frame nail. But driving it at the speeds it was built for is exhilaration of the highest order. The V12 engine and carbon-fiber monocoque chassis are feats of engineering, and the power it puts down ripples pavement like taffy. But if you’re piloting one down the average city street, you’ll definitely look like someone we’d never let our sister date. ($339,500)