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What I want for Father's Day instead of breakfast in bed

Consumer Reports News: June 15, 2012 03:08 PM

Waking up to an automotive-related Father's Day gift this year would certainly be an improvement over last year (an ER visit with our eldest child!), and it would definitely be better than breakfast in bed or a garish tie. But choosing just one dream gift has proven difficult.

While many of my Cars colleagues readily put a car on their wish list, I'm torn. If I must pick a car for my dream ride, then it has to be the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins.

These coupes have the enthusiast world in a tizzy because of the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive setup; rev-happy engine; attractive retail price; an available manual transmission; and balanced weight distribution. These features—not to mention the fixed roof—make the cars fun for weekend back road carving, as well as heated track-day lapping. If I ever needed an excuse to get back to doing track days, these two are it.

I have already notified my wife that I might seriously consider buying one when we are done testing ours. (Good luck with that.—Ed.)

McLaren-Venge-bicycle.jpgThe other choice is a McLaren Venge. Haven't heard of it? Well, it isn't a car. It's a bicycle. The Specialized S-Works + McLaren Venge is a road bike that combines McLaren's Formula 1 racing knowledge and Specialized's bicycle know-how to improve the aerodynamics and stiffness of a top-end racing bike—all while lowering its weight.

So what that it's $18,000 and is really best when challenging for the maillot jaune at the Tour de France? While it certainly isn't a wise choice for riding down to the local coffee shop to pick up some new beans, we're talking wishes and dreams here, folks.

There is no justifying either the car or the bike. For the $25,000 or so that the FR-S and BRZ start, I could certainly find a number of used cars that would serve the same purpose of weekend pleasure and eventual track enjoyment. For half the price of the Venge I can have a new bike that delivers performance far beyond my ability.

Neither the car nor the bike will make me a better pilot. Without skill, I wouldn't lap Virginia International Raceway any faster in the FR-S/BRZ, and despite the uber-spendy bike, stronger riders would still drop me on some climbs.

But a Dad can wish, can't he? Both choices are sexier than a three-pack of BVDs.

So, what's on your wish list?

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Jon Linkov

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