Most of us use our cars for basic stuff most of the time. Driving to the store. Picking up the kids. Yawn, right? If you’re a car aficionado, sometimes you wish you could apply your skills and energy to something a little more pulse-pounding. Like being a getaway driver for a heist.
Okay, maybe it sounds far-fetched, but I swear this is worth thinking through. What if I’m in this very situation someday? What if I don’t have a choice in the matter? What if my family is being held hostage and the only way to free them is to provide my unparalleled driving skills for this heist? And then, what if all my plans go horribly awry, much like in the thrilling heist film Wheelman, premiering on Netflix on October 20? I’m just saying! Here are my thoughts on what I would use in this somewhat probable situation.
2016 Honda Accord Sedan EX-L V6
Maybe not the most exciting car, but that’s exactly the point. We’re not out to impress, we’re looking to disappear. I see more Camrys these days, but the Accord is pretty damn vanilla and gets the nod here for having a slightly better 0-60.
Roomy enough for 4 loot-laden passengers, its 3.5 liter V6 puts out 278 HP, 252 lb-ft of torque and can do 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. For a car your mother-in-law drives, that’s not bad. Plus, good outward visibility and decent handling will help you maneuver through sticky situations. Slap an Uber sticker on the windshield and drive like a maniac. Who would even notice?
Okay, okay. Forget what I said about being inconspicuous and practical. I get it. You didn’t get into robbing banks to play it safe. Go ahead, knock yourself out.
The 911, featured in the truly bananas climax of Wheelman, definitely needs an experienced hand. It’s a rear engine, rear drive car, meaning it’s basically a pendulum, but for someone with a soft right foot and sensitive hands this car can really fly. It’s heavily biased to oversteer, however, driving a car from the rear wheels means you can quickly point it in the right direction and get the hell out of dodge.
If you and your safety deposit box of diamonds need to scoot, this is the way to go.
2018 Honda Odyssey Elite
I hear you. You wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan. Well let’s hope not, right? Using the same logic as the Accord, this is a run-of-the-mill family car, but with more room for personnel and freight.
Lots of shoulder and headroom as well as large sliding doors offer flexibility and speedy ingress and egress when you’re all tooled up. Fold that third row down for more loot space, or keep it up if you’ve got a hostage.
With about the same horsepower as the EX-L V6, it’s not going to set any speed records, but of the minivans, it’s still got one of the fastest 0-60 times. And when loaded down with passengers, its handling is pretty agile for its class.
The real kicker? It has a built-in vacuum so that when the job is done you can tidy up the back seats before picking up the kids from soccer practice.
MINI Cooper S 4 Door
Small, low, and light, the Mini Cooper S is super maneuverable, great for tight city streets if that’s where the gig goes down. Unless this is a two-person job you’ll want to go with the 4-door version.
Obviously there is a huge tradeoff of space for handling but as long as your partners are average size, they should be able to deal with being a little cramped until you get to the rendezvous point for the split. You can also ditch the Mini relatively quickly and hop into something with a little more room… like the next car.
Mercedes Benz E63 S AMG Wagon
As long as I’m in fantasy land, I might as well go all the way. This is the whole enchilada right here. Spacious, fast, and powerful.
The 2018 has a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V-8 rated at 603 horsepower that gets you from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. It is also thoughtfully outfitted with a “Drift Mode” if the all-wheel-drive system feels too restricting. With acceleration that rivals a Porsche 911 Carrera in a wagon body, this is the ultimate incognito speed demon.
The one drawback: You probably can’t get this car. It’s cost prohibitive, starting north of $100k, but even if you’ve got the bread (and why would you be robbing a bank if you do), Mercedes produces so few that you’d be hard-pressed to find one to steal. But if you do, and you happen to get pulled over with several million dollars in cash, the police may think you’re just a billionaire taking your money out for a joyride.
What would you use as your getaway car? Let us know in the comments. And keep your heist-film fantasies alive by watching Wheelman on Netflix, premiering October 20. The movie stars Frank Grillo as a getaway driver in a heist that goes wrong. I’ll be taking notes.
In addition to being a heist enthusiast, Andrew Dickerson devotes much of his energy to poking fun at corporate culture with coffee mugs on www.tentontitmouse.com.