Pulling Power

February 14, 2014
Performance Comms

What’s the point of all the silly gadgets and OTT designs on concept vehicles? All we really need are cost-saving and environment-rescuing innovations, right? But wait; concept cars are designed to look ‘sick’ (in a good way) as well as slick and therefore attract the opposite sex. This is very important too.

This is the dilemma that started me thinking about the subject of attraction in more depth. So for my Valentine’s Day post I’m going to look at a couple of real-life pulling machines and summarise what I think makes the cars sexy.

I accept that this is quite a parochial subject but it is topical because today is Valentine’s Day. I also accept that one person’s sexy is another person’s sexism. I’m throwing around some clichés – but everyone is different.

I’m a girl and I like cars so this is relevant for anyone who has similar taste. I bet car designers and advertisers do exactly the same stereotyping with all their segmentation profiling principles; “ABC 1” or “Mildly Messy Mum” anyone?

BMW not the firstThe link between sex and cars is one of those ethereal, unscientific grey-areas, more likely to be discussed in hip hop culture as opposed to any kind of viable anthropological study. Like it or not, sex sells. Car makers, like all other brands out there, have been using sex, or ‘pulling power’, to advertise their products for a long time such as the much-parodied BMW print ad from 2008.

A family car maker may wish to use a supermarket-sweep narrative to tell-and-sell the story of their latest product to the mummy-driver. A manufacturer of sporty or luxurious cars will appeal to its target audience using narratives that matter to them.

So, what can a single driver look out for when buying a car for the purpose of impressing the opposite sex on Valentine’s Day?

I’ve been on WhatCar.com to find out what’s on the market. I’ll be reviewing the cars sexiness based on three factors, in chronological order of the pulling process:

  1. ‘Flash them keys’, inspired by Nelly’s seminal ‘Hot in Herre’ record, how likely are you to pull in your ride based on just simply having the keys in your hand, or beside you on the bar.
  2. ‘Grippin’ them curves’, nothing to do with ride or performance, simply, how sexy is the cars bodywork, paintwork and wheels.
  3. ‘Check out all my functions babe’, inspired by R-Kelly’s ‘ignition’ anthem, this is all about the amount of spec your car’s got.

I’ve picked two cars, available now on autotrader.co.uk for similar budgets, within a few miles of our office. One choice for the ladies, one for the gents.

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Mercedes SL350It’s unclear whether the pulling power phenomenon is gender-specific. But if a lady were to choose a car for the purpose of attracting the opposite sex, what’s her best option?

Mercedes SL350In the world of pulling power, it’s all about the Beamer, Benz or Bentley so I’ve selected this SL350 Benz as the winner of the category:

An obvious winner; this car has a drop-top so a lady pushing this whip is sure to be seen – she just needs to be careful not to ruin her flawless bouffant with the hood down. But it’s got the “Air Scarf” wind deflector, which helps. BMW or Benz, a star or propeller logo on your key fob says ‘executive’ loud and clear. A professional woman who’s got her own thing going on can be a very alluring trait.

The car loses pulling points on being predictably silver. But, it’s top spec otherwise and interior comfort options and leather seats will help set the mood whilst the driver shows off the power of those 306 horses.

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Bentley ContinentalI’m a Bentley fan. So this review is utterly biased. I’ve selected this Continental GTC for my super-pulling-power dream machine:

It’s got that slab stance that rappers and footballers go crazy for and a candy paint job that’ll make all the girls heads turn, (because it’s as reflective as a mirror).

The spec sheet of this particular example has some fun features to impress your date. Cruise control and 20” rims are all pretty standard, but this whip is also packing “door puddle lights” to protect your ladies footwear, a “ski hatch” and my favourite, a Breitling clock on the dash.

The Bentley’s keys are one of its minus-points. Sadly the Conti’s key looks similar to a VW’s. At least this example has keyless entry. It loses another point for the lack of black lacquer on those 20’s.

Whatever your budget, a Bentley packs the ultimate pulling power. It’s got class and is never understated. The WAG’s favourite, any singleton pushing this whip is surely not going to stay that way for long, if their game is tight.

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The love-game is different for everyone. For many people, owning a hot ride is the ultimate pay-off for all the hard work they’ve put into their careers. Through the years, there’s been many a song dedicated to rappers attracting hot females with even hotter rides. Guys want nice cars, because women want guys who can afford nice cars. Hip-hop honeys and Cali car culture are far from being mutually exclusive.

The rules are simple. It’s hard to break a singletons spirit when they’ve got their hair freshly-done and some nice wheels to drive around in. There’s no pick-up lines needed when you’ve got a decent ride and it’s no secret that a nice car can do wonders for a guy’s hit-rate with the ladies.

Rebecca Diver-Clarke 

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