20 Late-Model Cars Destined to Become Classics

While the breadth and quality the classic-car market may be at an all time high, so are the prices. In an era when muscle cars can bring seven figures and televised collector auctions are considered quality entertainment, it’s hard not to become at least a little cynical. To help take the edge off, we compiled a list of late model vehicles that we feel have a good shot of becoming classics in every sense of the term. To narrow our list to manageable size, we limited our choices to vehicles from the 2010 model year or newer, and those with retail prices of below $100,000 when introduced. While none of these models can be considered “cheap” yet, they are generally new enough that unmolested examples can still be found for a reasonable price. And remember—the best part about owning any car is driving it. If a return on your investment is your primary goal, consider a stamp collection.2011 BMW 1-series M Coupe2013 Ford F-150 STV Raptor Supercab2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG2012 Nissan GT-R2015 Chevrolet SS2000 Honda S20002012 Porsche Cayman RSaab 9-5 Aero2013 SRT Viper GTS2010 Mazda RX-82016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT3502009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe GXP2013 Corvette 427 Convertible2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI hatchback2012 Audi TT RS2015 Dodge Challenger SRT HellcatLotus Elise/Exige2011 Cadillac CTS-V wagonIt’s achievement that separates a classic car from one that’s merely old. And that’s why the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution—the Evo to any reasonable person—is guaranteed to become a future collectible. Combine the car's racing achievements with the likelihood that Mitsubishi will never again build anything like it, and it’s a can’t miss proposition. In its constant quest to find a compelling image for itself, Mitsubishi got serious about rallying in the late 1980s with the turbocharged, all-wheel drive Galant VR-4. But while the Galant VR-4 had some success, it was too big. So basically what Mitsubishi created the first 1992 Lancer Evolution I by shoving that car’s powertrain into the smaller Lancer sedan. Mitsubishi’s bulletproof, iron-block 4G63T 2.0-liter turbocharged four could take tremendous amounts of turbo boost. While early production Evo models were rated at well under 300-hp, in competition dress 500-hp was easily obtained. Using Evo III, IV, V, and VI models, in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 Finland’s Tommi Mäkinen won four consecutive World Rally Championships. The changes between Evo (IV or V or whatever number) models were often slight. But it’s those differences that are likely to only magnify the cars' collectibility in the future. Well, those and the Evo VII’s starring role in 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. The final Evo—the Evo X, the only one not powered by the 4G63T—debuted in 2008 and never was campaigned by Mitsubishi in the World Rally Championship. Despite excellent performance and handling, its lack of racing luster and the passing of the sport-compact craze let it fade in the marketplace. What a damn shame. It left production after 2014. Perhaps the greatest challenge for Evo collectors of the future will be finding one that hasn't been beaten to death or modified poorly. —John Pearley Huffman2012-Ford-Mustang-Boss-302

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The Incredible Disappearing Act of Matt Nieto

Two years ago, the Sharks were singing the praises of two rookies that had bounced onto the scene and shocked us all. Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto were brand new faces that seemed destined to shine for the Sharks for years to come. Hertl’s incredible knack for the net and Nieto’s ability to play alongside Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau against tough opponents endeared them to fans. Now, Hertl is looking to make the jump from rising youngster to household name; while Nieto is hardly mentioned at all.

Is Nieto Actually Declining?

In his first two seasons, Nieto spent most of his minutes on the second line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau. Not an easy ask of a kid from Long Beach right out of the gate. His line frequently faced the toughest competition and played vicious minutes. Yet, Nieto posted a respectable line his first season. 24 points with 10 goals and a -4 rating is very solid for a young skater. His second season, while his point production increased, saw a dramatic drop defensively. The aging Patrick Marleau may have helped this number a bit, but his plus/minus plummeted to -12.

Now, nine games into a fresh season and Nieto hasn’t really made any headlines this year. With four points in 9 contests, his points may still be holding steady at his old rates, but for a player fighting for ice time, that’s not enough.

He only has one goal this season and that came as an empty netter that he didn’t even really want. He was attempting a pass when a bounce came right back to him and he was able to bury it.

 

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But what made Nieto great wasn’t his scoring numbers, it was his ability to stand up to opponents and neutralize them. Number 83 was a prime example of how advanced stats showed a player’s value. His Corsi For? Down from 52.6 to 49.0. His shot differential? Down to just a +3 from +47 and +35. The one thing that is up, is his goals for (66.7). But that has a little wrinkle in it.

Nieto has been getting new line combinations more frequently this season. Coach DeBoer has had him mainly on the third line with Tommy Wingels and Chris Tierney. However, he did see around 30 minutes of 5-on-5 time with the top Joe’s (Pavelski and Thornton). In those 30 minutes, his goals for was a perfect 100%, definitely raising that stat. So, it is fair to say that his numbers are a bit skewed by the time he spent with the team’s best. Let’s be honest, the Joe’s could make Mike Brown look good.

When not playing with the very best, Nieto’s numbers are poor. When on the third line (with Wingels), his Corsi drops further to 43.2%, the goals for is down to 33%, and he only has the one solitary point.

What’s the Problem Then?

The answer to solving the struggles of Nieto is definitely not to throw him up to the top line. While his numbers are flashy up there, he simply doesn’t produce enough offensively to play there. A top line forward can’t score less than 30 points in a season, and that’s what Nieto is capable of right now.

What may be contributing to the lack of flash from Nieto, is where he starts his shifts. Because of his proven ability to defend the puck against any competition, Nieto has been asked to start most of shifts playing defense. His 43.75% offensive zone starts is lower than that of Marc-Edouard Vlasic, meaning he is tasked with tougher starts than the Sharks’ best shutdown defender.

The argument that follows is that while he may start in the zone more often, Vlasic still has tougher assignments. That’s not entirely true, however. The average Corsi For percentage of his competition is the highest on the team. At 52.29%, Nieto squeaks by Vlasic’s second best mark of 52.23%. In reality, Nieto has become a weapon to use against an opponent’s tougher players.

If you want his offensive numbers to soar, he needs to be given a little bit more of a chance to play offense! That’s tough to do against difficult competition with your back to your own netminder. But is that really the best way to use him?

No Nonsense Nieto

While Nieto has all but disappeared from the headlines, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He may be going the route of Vlasic in terms of never getting attention from the media. The California native won’t get awards for most points, but he will quietly make plenty of difference. Lack of offense doesn’t necessarily equate to lack of usefulness. While it would be nice to see him create a little more offensively, Nieto’s role as a two way forward cannot be understated. His goals against per 60 is an immaculate 1.18 (again lower than Vlasic’s 1.62). So, why not let him be the calming presence on the bottom six? With a team so starved for balance among four lines, Nieto will be a valuable tool that nobody recognizes.

A Korean Crossover at Home in the Euro Zone: 2016 Hyundai Tucson Limited Test

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-In the ever-escalating battle for the hearts and checkbooks of North American crossover SUV buyers, Hyundai is drizzling a bit of European character into its all-new 2016 Tucson. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, torque-rich four-cylinder turbo, stiff structure, and improved chassis are some of the attributes that give this compact crossover a more composed, more substantial—dare we say almost engaging?—feel behind the wheel. The Continental flavoring is no accident, as the new Tucson is also the replacement for the Euro-market ix35, and so it must not disappoint picky Old World drivers traveling on, say, unrestricted autobahn stretches or serpentine Bavarian two-lanes. READ MORE ››

 

Following Jail Term, Slava Voynov Signs 3-Year Deal in KHL

It took a while for the deal to finally get confirmed, but a contract is in place now, according to ESPN.

Slava Voynov has signed a three-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg, one of the wealthiest teams outside of the North American circuit.

Voynov missed the majority of the 2014-15 season after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence following an incident that put his wife in the hospital with multiple injuries resulting from a domestic dispute with the former Kings defenseman. Voynov was sentenced to a 90-day jail term with three years probation. After serving his sentence he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Before he could get a hearing on being deported, Voynov elected to self deport and leave the United States.

The 25-year-old defender will join St. Petersburg, who was the KHL champion last season. He’s also likely to play a key role for the Russian national team on the international stage in coming seasons, presumably at the Olympics in South Korea rather than the World Cup. Though, it’s not yet clear if he’ll be eligible to play in the World Cup as he’d been serving a suspension with the NHL that hasn’t had to be addressed again since he self deported and left the league.

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