Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: What spins your wheels

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The new track focused Chevrolet Camaro Z28 has lapped the Nurburgring circuit this week in 7 minutes 37 seconds. This makes the new car faster around the track than a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
The new track focused Chevrolet Camaro Z28 has lapped the Nurburgring circuit this week in 7 minutes 37 seconds. This makes the new car faster around the track than a Porsche 911 Carrera S.

As the years go by - as they seem to be doing at an ever-increasing rate - it's fair to say priorities change.

Over dinner at a car launch last weekend, there was an interesting discussion about what our needs are when it comes to motor vehicles. There was a wide mix of nationalities and lifestyles among the group, and the things we all considered vital in our road-going arsenal were just as varied.

There was a lifestyle writer who lived in the lap of luxury in the UAE who had an immense knowledge of expensive watches and wines, and was more concerned about how a car was perceived by the rest of the world than what it was intended for. He even asked if there were more straights and less corners on the second day of the sportscar launch we were attending. There were guys there with families who would rather the kids be safe and it be practical enough to fit a large variety of activities that each family member enjoyed.

Others preferred something a bit quirky that identified them as an individual - including one chap who announced he'd once owned a Goggomobil, one of the most bizarre vehicles ever produced.

As could be expected from a group that was weighted heavily towards writing about driving, there were a number who wanted to have an involving and enjoyable drive. But even this differed from a nice drive in the country in something fairly short on performance but long on presence to high-speed blasts on two wheels around mountain roads, to loping cruisers with monumentally thirsty old V8s or to slick little rockets that were just as happy disobeying posted speed limits on public roads as they were on racetracks.

Most of us had similar thoughts around safety, but there was some robust conversation around invasive electronics that almost let the car do the driving for you and, eventually, will probably take over.

What's important to you when it comes to picking a car - do you compromise to fit the family or lifestyle, do you just want to look cool or exude wealth and style?

Let us know what spins your wheels at facebook.com/DrivenNZ or tell us in the comments section below.

- NZ Herald

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