During my time wandering the floors of the 2015 New York International Auto Show last week, I kept thinking to myself, why do all these cars suck? Where's the Porsche Cayman GT4 and the 991 GT3RS? Where's the new Audi R8 or even the new Camaro? Then I looked around and realized, none of those cars matter because there is a 22B on the floor and the new Focus RS is here. This was an auto show for FlatBrims.
Who are FlatBrims? FlatBrim is the name given to the culture and livelihood behind the majority of the stereotypical buyers of the MazdaSpeed3, Mitsubishi EvoX, and of course my favorite, the Subaru WRX/WRX STi. FlatBrims often wear FlatBrim hats, commonly sporting a Monster logo or a very familiar #43. FlatBrims are not well liked. They are known to drive loud, obnoxious, turbocharged cars and their brapping is often unwarranted. Over the winter I have tried my hardest to become a proper FlatBrim (commonly referred to as Subro).
I feel it is important to list these FlatBrim-marketed cars not only for the FlatBrim people, but also because they are some of the most important and well liked enthusiasts cars on the market for under $40,000.
2016 Honda Civic Concept
Honda stunned the press audience at NYIAS when they unveiled the aggressively styled 2016 Honda Civic Concept from behind some white boxes. They announced that this generation of Civic would be the first to be offered with a turbo option, as well as the first Civic in America to be offered with a hatchback variant in several years (hurrah). Something in the back of my mind tells me that in an effort to appeal to the majority of the Civic buyer demographic, which is generally teenagers (and let's not forget the parents actually paying for those cars) the new Civic we'll be seeing on showroom floors in a couple of months won't be nearly as aggressive as the concept shown off at NYIAS, but let's hope I'm wrong. Of course, us FlatBrims won't be truly satisfied until the Type-R shows up on our shores, but who knows when that will be.
2016 Ford Focus RS
The new Ford Focus RS has been well anticipated for a very long time. In an effort to steal some of the crowd from Subaru and VW, Ford has created a 300+HP, turbocharged, AWD monster. Though the Focus RS will lack a driver controlled differential system similar to Subaru's DCCD, the car will come standard with a system that will automatically adjust the cars throttle mapping, suspension, exhaust, and differentials depending on whatever drive mode the driver selects (click here to watch a Ford Performance engineer attempt to explain that all to me). If they can package that all for less than the sticker of a new STi, they might just be able to get me to rip my Subro card in half.
2016 VW Golf R
Since the Mk6 revival, the Golf R has been a great option for those looking for something with the usability of the WRX/WRX STi, but with a more German feel. At $2100 more than the base STi, the 2016 Golf R also comes with a much more German price tag. For 2016, Volkswagen is now offering the Golf R with the desirable six-speed manual gearbox alongside the DSG, as well as an (very expensive) optional 'dynamic chassis control' system.
Photo Credit: Brian Silvestro
2015 Subaru WRX/ WRX STi
The 2015 Subaru WRX brothers have been in American showrooms for nearly a year now. The 2015 WRX is one of the few new cars I would purchase for under $30,000 off the lot. I've hooned one around a frozen lake, and it was one of the best experiences of my young life. The STi takes it to another level. Starting at $26,295, the WRX is one of the best new car deals on the market today. My only questions are, when are we going to see the hatchback or the 2.5L FA motor?
Photo Credit: Brian Silvestro
Honorable mention: Subaru 22B
Because it's a fucking 22B.
Photo credit: Aaron Brown, Brian Silvestro