The Next Generation

I have created a monster, and he is my nephew. Meet Wesley.

Wesley GTR 2

Wesley knows more about cars than you do. He probably knows more about cars than I do. Wesley is 10 years old.

All I remember doing is giving him and his brother, Tim (also a car fan), some Top Gear DVDs. And maybe an Automobile Magazine or two. And maybe some website suggestions. But seriously! That’s all I did. The kid took it from there.

Wesley is the next generation of car guru in our family. And, importantly, the next generation of car enthusiast and car buyer. (But not for many, many, many years.) So I thought the Motorweb and all the Very Important car executives who read this blog (hello? anyone?) should hear a little bit about what that next generation is thinking.

What he likes

Wesley’s favorite car is the Audi R8 GT. Coincidentally, that is also my favorite. Great minds think alike. Wesley likes the R8 because he likes German cars in particular, and the R8 looks good and is fast and spacious (relatively). He prefers the GT trim line because it is lighter and has more horsepower. He finds it unfortunate that the GT was a one-year, limited edition model.

Wesley is a discerning consumer.

He’s a big fan of Audi in general, and also of Cadillac. He likes the Cadillac CTS, ATS and SRX. He also appreciates the new products from Ford and Dodge, such as the Ford Taurus and Fusion and the Dodge Journey and Charger. He thinks the Charger is cool: it is powerful and looks like a muscle car, but can seat four comfortably. Wesley is more practical than I am. But you don’t need to be practical to like the Charger – I like it, too!

Wesley’s family currently drives a Range Rover, which he likes. He says it is comfortable and he really likes the seat warmers! (He lives in Utah, where four-wheel drive and seat warmers are de rigueur. ) He does not like how high the Rover is, though. Since the Rover is almost out of warranty, he and his brother are helping their mom shop for a replacement car. We will have to check back in on their progress!

Wesley’s favorite car show is Top Gear, and his favorite TG segment is the getaway-car test. In the non-car universe, he also enjoys NCIS and Frasier. And the kid’s a brown belt in karate. But those are pretty much the only non-car-related interests I am aware of!

Where he gets his information

In addition to Top Gear and Automobile Magazine (to which he recently bought his own subscription), Wesley gets most of his car information from the Internet. He primarily goes to manufacturer websites, where he looks at pictures and uses the car configurators (take note, execs!). He also watches a lot of car videos on YouTube.

When I asked Wesley why he likes cars, he said that he likes learning things, such as the different car models and what they can do. He soaks up the data, from horsepower to top speed to trim lines, and spends a lot of time turning it over in his mind. His mother says that, on their recent “field trips” to local dealerships, he generally knows more than the salespeople.

This is the next generation of car buyer. Salespeople, be warned – you better know your facts. This next generation, Internet-raised, data-fed, knows what’s up.

What his plans are

Wesley has a few years yet before he learns to drive, and awhile beyond that before he is in the market for his own car. However, he is already giving both matters some thought. He intends to learn to drive a manual (and apparently both he and his brother intend for me to teach them!). And, when he’s ready, his ideal car would be: sporty, not a convertible, light, 4-door and black or silver.

I’m feeling pretty good about the next generation.

Wesley goof