Slate.com’s Ad Report Card recently flayed Jaguar’s “Gorgeous” campaign for suggesting that purchasing the 2006 XK8 was tantamount to “buying a flawlessly sexy 24-year-old woman.” In truth, the Jaguar does mean a lot to those women: They want to buy it.
Hornburg Jaguar sales manager Nesh Sekulic says 50% of his customers are women, a statistic borne out at other luxury dealers.
“It’s ‘The L Word,'” says a sales associate at Beverly Hills Porsche and Audi. “Women can have the guy, the girl and the car.”
The rep, who asked not to be identified, says over the past five years the dealership has quadrupled its sales of the traditionally male Porsche 911 to women like Renee Zellweger, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore. “It’s a power accessory. It’s like having a really great bag.”
Women may also make better car buyers. Bruno Duque, another Beverly Hills Porsche rep, says he’s more attentive to women because they’re usually not on a kick-the-tires expedition.
“Guys tend to take their time,” he says. “Women know what they want.”
But that doesn’t mean they’re an easy sell.
“You can’t talk a woman into buying above what she’s set her mind to,” says Duque’s colleague, Omar Hajar. “They’re more conservative with their money, so even if they can afford a Carrera, they might buy a Cayman instead.”
What car satisfies a fast femme? Fashion designer Dana Cheney’s top choice is a 1968 Camaro. Pushed for something from this millennium, she replies, “The Batmobile.”
With that in mind, V Life Weekend sought out cars that were fast, sexy and didn’t have Christian Bale at the wheel.
|2006 Porsche Cayman S||2006 Audi S4 Cabriolet||2006 Jaguar XK8|
|Sales pitch: “What would life be like without curves?” The Cayman looks as agile as the South American crocodile that gave the car its name. Available this month.||Sales pitch: “From zero to breathless.”||Sales pitch: “Gorgeous deserves your immediate attention.” Penned by the designer of the Aston DB7, it’s edgier than the current XK. On sale in April.|
|Basics: 3.4-liter, six-cylinder engine behind the driver’s seat; rear-wheel drive; 6-speed manual or 5-speed Tiptronic S transmission.||Basics: 4.2-liter, V8 convertible; all-wheel drive; 6-speed manual or Tiptronic automatic transmission.||Basics: 4.2-liter V8; rear-wheel drive; six-speed ZF automatic transmission.|
|Horse race: 295 hp; top track speed of 171 mph.||Horse race: 340 hp; 0-to-60 in under six seconds.||Horse race: 294 hp; 0-to-60 in less than six seconds.|
|Sizing: The steering wheel, electric seats, pedals, seat cushions and the backrest — all adjustable.||Sizing: 12-way power driver seat with four lumbar adjustments; “tilt-and-telescope” steering column.|| Sizing: Lots of bells and whistles, but a “fitted” interior means you
may not see six-foot models driving Gorgeous.
|Safety: So many airbags you’ll think you landed inside the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man if you’re in an accident.||Safety: Copious crumple zones and comes with its own first aid kit.||Safety: Dynamic Steering Control stabilizes around corners.|
|The maintenance: Unless you drive like Trixie (or Speed Racer), you won’t see the dealer for two years.||The maintenance: Scheduled tweaks are free for four years.||The maintenance: One year of free scheduled tinkering.|
|Highway mileage: 28 mpg|| Highway mileage: 21 mpg (manual)
22 mpg (automatic)
|Highway mileage: 26 mpg|
|Extras: 85% of the car is recyclable; storage pod roof rack available.||Extras: Heated rear seats.||Extras: The trunk features a body-colored “plinth,” the wheels are called “Venus.”|
|Price: $58,900||Price: $55,360||Price: $70,495|