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At MotorBurn we celebrate the technology that is found in cars. It can be a new safety technology, gadget or an all new idea for a car (BMW i8 anyone?).
What is important to a lot of petrol heads, however, is the idea of purity. A McLaren P1 might be an amazing drive, with more tech wizardry than has been used in all the Apollo space missions combined, but there is a definite charm and appeal in a simple, honest car.
As technology progresses, even the simplest cars are becoming increasingly complicated — ABS, ESP and a load of engine technologies working out a way to make the drive quicker, more comfortable and more economical.
That said, with not too much effort one can uncover a number of truly analogue cars. Here are five great analogue cars launched and unveiled in 2013.
1. Chevrolet Corvette C7
The all-American sports car was launched in its 7th version this year. It has the classic analogue recipe: A normally aspirated engine in the front, rear-wheel drive at the back and, most importantly, a manual gearbox in the middle. All of these components are linked by only the most basic electrical components – ABS, EBD and traction control. Thatâ€™s it.
General Motors talks at length about how the C7 is an all new direction for Corvette, and initial reports on the car are that it drives like a sports car rather than the red-light racer of previous generations. Iâ€™ve seen a C7, and it is still a large, rather vulgar and flashy car made out of plastic. I love it.
The Corvette embodies the idea of an analogue car. To quote Jeremy Clarkson, itâ€™s just â€œroad, seat, arse.â€
2. Jaguar F-Type V8S
â€œHello. Iâ€™m an old school villain. Do you have an old school car I can use as my getaway vehicleâ€
â€œCertainly sir. How about this British roadster? It has a supercharged V8 engine for evading the rozzers?â€
With a similar recipe to the Corvette C7, the Jaguar F-Type V8S may be brand new, but itâ€™s already a dinosaur. With a 5.0l V8 engine, supercharged to 364kW, the F-Type V8S will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds. Those figures are very modern, but having a large V8, supercharged for extra power and quad-exhausts for extra aural pleasure, this is a muscle car from the 1960â€™s that has found itself in 2013.
3. Ford Fiesta ST
A 1.6l turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox powering the front wheels, all in a small body. This recipe sounds similar to the mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTi (Okay, the GTi was normally aspirated) and Ford have applied it to their Fiesta hatchback.
In making the Fiesta ST, Ford have embraced the idea of a small, nimble, cheap sports car. Like the Corvette C7, the Fiesta ST has only the most basic electronic aids, and the interior is the same as the standard Fiesta. Thereâ€™s no trick gearbox or over-done entertainment system. The Fiesta ST is so true to hot hatch roots that Top Gear made the Ford Fiesta ST its Car of the Year for 2013.
4. Datsun Go!
So technically the Datsun Go! breaks the rules because it wasnâ€™t on sale in 2013, but I think this little car deserves all the praise and hype it can get.
For those who donâ€™t know, Nissan is reviving the Datsun name as a budget brand for its range. So Infiniti are the luxury vehicles, Nissan are, erm, the normal cars and Datsun takes the form of the budget brand.
For your wallet-friendly price, the car comes with four wheels, a 1,2l petrol engine… and thatâ€™s about it. The little Go! doesnâ€™t even have a radio. Instead, there is a dock for your phone to play music into the speakers. Itâ€™s a return to the spirit of the original Mini — cheap, honest transport. Letâ€™s hope it drives as well as the old Brit!
5. Renault Duster
The Dacia Duster has been available in Europe for some time now but it ventured to a good few foreign shores in late 2013. The model thatâ€™s arrived in some countries may have far more comforts than the European models — they have models with wind-down windows and no air-con — but the Duster still has a decidedly working class feel to it.
The engine is an old 1.5l turbo-diesel from the Nissan NP200 and the interior design is… Soviet, but the Duster has a definite simple car appeal to it.
There you have it: five great analogue cars from 2013. As technology progresses these simple, honest vehicles are becoming more and more rare — some killed off because of their gas guzzling engines, others because the market demands more technology for less money. But, they all have a simple, honest charm about them.