For petrolheads, the car you drive says more about you than the clothes you wear or the company you keep. More than simply a status symbol, that car is an extension of your personality and sense of style. As such, different personalities tend to gravitate toward certain cars that can sum up their whole situation in one quick glance.
Undoubtedly the most infamous faction of car enthusiasts, the Ricer is basically synonymous with "poseur." A Ricer is the sort of guy who spends more time fantasizing about driving the cars in The Fast and the Furious and scoring with "hawt chix" than he does actually making his car fast.
A Ricer is the type of car guy who invests his money in huge plastic spoilers and door stickers to make his car look "tight" instead of actual performance-enhancing components for the engine, suspension, etc.
Ricers are the kinds of people who try to street race in populated areas and, in turn, give the entire automotive community a bad name.
Ricers buy exhaust systems just to make it as loud as possible and think that it sounds good. And, if you don't like the sound of the muffler, well, the 3,000-watt subwoofer blasting house techno beats will probably drown it out anyway.
RICE: Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancement. Basically... Ricers, you suck.
Not to be confused with the dreaded ricer crowd, the main desire of both Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi EVO drivers is to get the world to see them differently than the subwoofer-blasting, neon light-rocking notorious aspects of the import crowd.
They strive for respect. And other people who are clued-up usually give credit where it's due, while the naive in the population tend to shake their heads in disappointment.
Since both cars are four-door sedans instead of the two-door coupe layout – which most people would associate with performance – they have a stealthy, sleeper aesthetic, which many see as a choice to focus more on "go" instead of "show".
So EVO/WRX guys, we know your cars don't suck. Really, we swear – you don't need to troll the comments every YouTube street racing video to preach the gospel of AWD and turbos.
We already know.
The Muscle Car Guy's style might be the hardest to pin down, largely because they are perhaps the most widely varied bunch when it comes to style. But, a common thread binds all of them together: a desire for big cars, loud V8s, and straight roads. Cornering often takes a back seat to the ability to lay down an awesome burnout.
The Muscle Car guys' turf is not the S curves of the Laguna Seca Raceway, but the endless stretches of highway across the New Mexico desert. People don't love the Gone In 60 Seconds chase for the lateral Gs that the Mustang GT is producing in the turns; they love it for the roar of a big block as it vanishes in a haze of tire smoke. Good thing, too, because the understeer in those cars is a bitch.
Not satisfied by mere Vipers or GTRs, the Exotic Car Guy is less concerned with the performance of the car than he is about, say, how rare it is, and how people will react to it.
In that regard, the Exotic Car Guy is the epitome of a man who wants something that screams "this way, gold diggers!"
Unless Exotic Car Guy is hitting the Monte Casino Ferrari Meet every weekend, there's no purpose for this car in an urban setting – other than to be a status symbol for what a fabulous lifestyle he leads, with his Lacoste golf shirt and John Varvatos shades.
And when Exotic Car Guy drops R370 000 on an oil change, you know he must be pretty cool.
The most enjoyable activity for BMW Car Guy is convincing everyone else that BMW makes the best cars in the world. There can be no other car better than a BMW M3. It is simply perfection.
The BMW guy offers a level of pretence which can sometimes rival Exotic Car Guy, but with a much smaller impact on his bank account (which also makes him better than the Exotic Car Guy).
BMW Car Guy is a refined sophisticate, and he has ascended beyond the juvenile need to do burnouts. BMW Car Guy is more concerned with car magazine statistics, expensive aftermarket wheels, nanotechnology car wax, and the latest watches in GQ magazine.
For some odd reason BMW guy despises Volkswagen guy. It's not a case of which car is better, but a case of mild intimidation caused by just Volkswagen swag and popularity.
'Course, BMW guy also has the obligatory hot Asian girlfriend, so he scores a tip 'o the hat regardless.
Volkswagen guy is an interesting case. He doesn't need to be with his car to be identified.
They have a weakness for vapeing and listening to Trap music. The ultimate goal is to make their car as low as possible which, ironically, makes their ego and status as high as possible.
They too love to prove a point that their GTI or R has the potential to smack a BMW, or to put an ST in their place... and to their smugness, usually succeed.
Although denied by any Volkswagen Guy, they are in fact very similar to ST guys whereby status is everything. However, the Volkswagen guy just knows he is in a higher class.
Much like the Volkswagen Guy, ST Guys can be made out anywhere. You'll see them crowded together, unsocial with anyone else at events, almost like a support group. They'll be talking about gains, doesn't matter what type of gains, however – could be performance or even bodybuilding.
Remember the jocks in high school? The ones who got all the popular girls? The alpha males? Yeah, which begs the question... why do they refer to the little ST as a FiST? Haha!