Personally, I can't recall so it must have been donkey years ago. And for good reason. It has been a long time since there has been a bread & butter car that could inspire even a teeniest bit of motoring soul or passion. In fact, I think it has or will get worse in the coming years.
Take a look at the line up of affordable cars today and we would struggle to find one that could make car enthusiasts drool or go gaga over. We have a couple of pretenders to the throne (say the Kia Koup). But, really, it seems that this is as good as it gets for normal average Singaporean drivers. If you don't have more than 150 grand to dish out on a car, you can forget about motoring pleasure, soul, passion & what not.
For this, I blame the eco-mentalists and green activists. Their constant badgering for improving emissions standards and fuel consumption have led car manufacturers to focus on chasing these boring old figures rather than focusing on horsepower & handling.
For one of the biggest victims of this green focus, we don't have to look any further than Honda. For a car marque that used to be steep in racing heritage and made pretty dang good mass market cars just decades ago, it has now stooped to the level of advertising its technological advancements in hybrid technology! A far cry from its glory days I say!
Well, this has gone too far and I had had enough of all these eco-silliness. It is, quite frankly, making the car enthusiast in me feel sick. So my first wish for 2011? For car manufacturers to recognize and acknowledge that we still need exciting cars and to stop sacrificing it all just for some emission figures.