It’s all very well driving a McLaren Spider or a Lamborghini Aventador – a car so exciting that its own press release mangled itself into: “the authentic design masterpieces together stark dynamism with aggression to produce a cutting-edge carbon fibre monocoque”. Eh? But the problem with supercars, lovely as they are, is that you cannot exit them, as I do, with peri-menopausal coat, crone hair and an empty Tesco carrier bag while human civilisation is thus imperilled.
When Uncle Ben’s Special Golden Vegetable Rice is a status symbol, who needs a V12 styled for sex maniacs who are into necrophilia and acid green, unless you need to get far away very fast? I am already far away; I walked Virgil Dog at Cape Cornwall yesterday. I have no excuse to ponce around in sex cars, wishing I were more. Such things are spurious now.
It is usual in American apocalypse scenarios to fantasise about the Chevrolet Silverado Black Ops which is, again, a car for imbeciles. Someone made a list of Apocalypse-worthy vehicles; you can read it here. It includes an amphibious jeep and a spindly flying car I doubt would out-run a Ford Fiesta. Or, if the Apocalypse is British, it must be a Land Rover Defender. I am all for the Defender – I love paranoid all-weather vehicles with spouts, containing dukes insinuating patriotism– but I couldn’t park one at Morrisons without anguish. It needs an estate. It deserves one.
No, for this latest instalment of Apocalypse living, I have settled on the recently re-launched Toyota Supra: it’s hot, fast and it’s Japanese and German: reliable then. It’s slightly over £50,000 and you couldn’t be lynched for it, well, not by reasonable people. If they don’t come for the drivers of the Jaguar F-TYPE, why would they come for you in the humble, yet blood-red, Toyota Supra? Rather, people will think: you obviously spent a lot of time on What Car? choosing a stylish and reliable mid-range sports car to take you onwards unto dust; congratulations on having the imagination to avoid the Porsche 911 and the thrift to avoid the Aston Martin Vanquish.
You couldn’t fit many toilet rolls into the boot of the Toyota Supra, it is true; for that you would need the Hyundai Zombie Survival Car, which was also on the Apocalypse Car website. It has defensive spikes and room for your Andrex Natural Pebble and your more general arsenal, but I can’t speak for its fuel economy. I am disappointed that we have raised toilet paper to currency, but people are disappointing, and it is a truism to say that we are – and always have been – full of sh*t. I would have chosen puppies, and the Toyota Supra costs fifty elegant puppies or two hundred and fifty normal puppies. I do not expect the puppy economy to endure.
The original Toyota Supra was manufactured from 1978 to 2002 and it looked like a car you crashed into a bridge while laughing your head off on cheap amphetamines; it appeared in The Fast and the Furious and it was both. The first generation was resurrected last year. It is fatter and curvier than the original – all sports cars look like various Mr Men pumped up or smoothed down these days – and it is righteous.
It is part Toyota and part BMW Z4. The first one off the line was sold for $2.1 million, presumably to someone who believes that being first is winning; but people do. I refer you again to the Andrex Natural Pebble.
If, like me, you need the Toyota Supra principally to go to Morrisons, you will be thrilled with the mere £52,695 version. It’s a 3.0-litre engine – vroom, as the pointy-heads say – and a lovely ride. It’s fast – 0-60mph in 4.1 seconds – obedient, because all BMWs are obedient, and muscular. It feels solid beneath me; I do not feel, as I do in a Morgan, that it will fly away. I drive it to Legoland, and to Brent Cross to buy a Henry Hoover – why not buy a hoover with a face so you can pretend it is human? – and to Bath, where it sits on the Royal Crescent looking charismatic and odd; a sensible sports car, then, in insensible days.