So not me

For the past four days, I’ve driven a borrowed 2005 Mercedes SL500. Fun, yet so wrong for me.

Fast but heavy. Graceful but dated styling. Luxurious but showy. Surprisingly non-exclusive — once you drive one, you notice with embarrassment that so does every silver-haired gentleman in Newport Beach. With sport suspension turned on, there is too much body noise for a $100k car.

Mind-bogglingly complex — dozens of motors manage various tasks of dubious import. One example from many: raise the rear windows, and they move a quarter inch sideways for a better seal. Two motors just for that. This is a car that will not age well — who replaces 20 failing motors on a decade-old SL500?

My tastes run to simple quality: Toyota drivetrain, racing suspension, hand-cranked windows. Does this exist? As a matter of fact, it does:


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