If the Mayans were correct, the world will come to an end in just 17 days.
Though the specific event is open to interpretation, colliding with a planet called Nibiru, being swallowed by a black hole or suffering through a sudden loss of gravity will all produce the same results, and none of us will need to worry about packing on extra holiday pounds.
There’s a very good chance that the coming Mayan Apocalypse was nothing more than a rounding error, or a simple we’ve-run-out-of-space-in-the-calendar kind of thing, because let’s be honest: none of us would do well planning events a thousand years in the future.
We’ll be at our desks on December 21, keyboards in hand, banging out the steady stream of automotive news that you’ve come to depend on us for.
On the off-hand chance that we’re wrong about the whole end-of-the-world thing, we’ve compiled a helpful list of cars we’d lease over the next two and a half weeks if we truly believed the world were ending.
We’ve got good credit, and money certainly isn’t a concern if you’re not around to make that first lease payment. In no particular order, below are the rides we’d be shopping for.
Rolls-Royce Phantom: Because no other car on the planet says “conspicuous consumption” quite as well as a Rolls-Royce Phantom, we’d be content to head on into the last sunrise behind the wheel of Goodwood’s finest. Since most Phantoms are built to order (and we simply don’t have that kind of time), we’d gladly settle for a used model, as long as it was tastefully appointed.
Art Deco Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2012 Paris Auto Show
Ferrari 458 Italia: To be honest, most Ferraris simply don’t do it for us these days. Sure, we recognize their appeal, but long for the days when going fast behind the wheel of a prancing horse was more about the driver than sophisticated electronics. The exception to this rule is the 458 Italia, a car we find as beautiful as any to ever come out of Maranello. The ability to listen to its sonorous 4.5-liter V-8 on song for a final few weeks would allow us to go gently enough into that good night.
2013 Ferrari 458 Italia
Lamborghini Gallardo: Sure, we’d rather have an Aventador than the Gallardo, but the Aventador has an 18-month waiting list, and that’s 17.5 months more than we’ve got. By default, then, we’d take the Lamborghini Gallardo, which should be available from most dealers’ inventory, and spend our final time on earth learning how to drive in a manner that would make Valentino Balboni proud.
2013 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante Edizione Tecnica
Ford Shelby GT500: Never in the history of the American automobile has a more hoon-tastic car been built by a major automaker. With 662 horsepower on tap and a live axle at the rear, even aids like Electronic Stability Control won’t save you when you overstep the car’s boundaries (and trust us on this - you will). In fact, knowing that we’ve got just a few weeks left of this mortal coil, we’d likely put the Shelby GT500 near the top of the list. Points left on your license? Might as well use them up.
2013 Ford Shelby GT500
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: If we were going for the Shelby GT500, chances are good we’d try to lease a Corvette ZR1 as the other bookend for our grin-inducing-performance-car shelf. Where the Shelby is a polished meat cleaver with a rosewood handle, the ZR1 is more of a carbon-steel chef’s knife: it’s precise and nicely weighted, without being overly expensive or impossible to handle. It sounds good, too, especially when the supercharger starts stuffing more air into the car’s massive 6.2-liter V-8. You probably can’t outrun the apocalypse, but behind the wheel of the Corvette ZR1 you can give it one hell of a try.
The Chevy Corvette ZR1 Indianapoils 500 Pace Car
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Let’s assume for a second that the apocalypse is only a pseudo-apocalypse. Sure, you’ve still got the end of civilization to contend with, but no other vehicle on the planet allows you to “bug out for the dugout,” in the words of Kinky Friedman, quite like the Ford SVT Raptor. No roads? No problem.
2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG: While the G63 AMG may not offer up the same ground clearance or go-anywhere capability that the Raptor does, it will still take a lot of places that lesser SUV’s won’t, and it will do so with all due haste. We wouldn’t want to attempt a passage of the Rubicon Trail in one, but if we were trying to make tracks out of a major city with a boatload of gear and meals-ready-to-eat, the G63 AMG would likely be our conveyance of choice.
2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
Porsche 911 Carrera S: On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said about facing your end with dignity and grace, and no sports car on the planet meets that criteria quite like the Porsche 911. The new Carrera and Carrera S models are, in a word, fantastic, and occupy the niche directly between daily-driver and track-animal like few other cars on the planet. In fact, of all the cars on the list, it’s the Porsche 911 Carrera S that would likely leave us wanting more time to learns its every nuance.
2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S
McLaren MP4-12C: While finding an available MP4-12C might prove challenging, we believe that the driving experience would reward you for your efforts. It’s fast, it handles remarkably well and it asks owners for none of the comfort or usability sacrifices demanded by the earlier McLaren F1.
The 2013 McLaren MP4-12C
Aston Martin Vanquish: Sometimes you want to go fast, while other times you want to be coddled in luxury, swaddled in a sea of premium quilted leather. Enter Aston Martin’s latest effort, the range-topping Vanquish; with 565 horsepower on tap, it can take you to your appointment with destiny in speed and style. Like all Aston Martins, it will ensure that your final journey is a comfortable one, too.
2014 Aston Martin Vanquish