The current health crisis gripping the nation has halted the automotive industry and left many of us stuck at home for the next few weeks. And though we should feel proud that we’re doing our part to help flatten the curve, that doesn’t make the isolation and boredom any easier to deal with. (And we’re lucky—we’re still technically working, with jobs; some have free time under worse circumstances.) So, to take everyone’s mind off of things, stay positive, and keep occupied, let’s look ahead—okay, maybe way, way ahead—to brighter days when we can all get out there and car shop again. Whether your car shopping is a serious endeavor or fantasy, we can all start with the fantasy part, and what better way to prepare than to spend hours on an automaker’s configurator building your dream ride?
We’ve collected the best ones out there, with the most detail and most fun options, to help you kill piles of time:
The 991-generation Porsche 911 alone was offered in 24 different variants, which goes to show that Porsche’s customers are you used to having a glut of choices. The brand has a configurator to match, one that lets potential Porsche buyers load up their dream P-car to their heart’s desire with myriad options that actually appear on your virtual car. This isn’t limited to the 911, but the entire lineup. Have your heart set on a six-figure Macan? You can build one in a multitude of ways. Or maybe a 718 Spyder or 718 Boxster is more your style? See the mid-engine sports car of your dreams become (virtual) reality as you select the perfect exterior color, wheels, interior scheme, headlights, and more. You can even opt for a Porsche child’s seat. We already know how much of a time suck the Taycan’s configurator is, but go nuts with the options and see for yourself.
Chevrolet Corvette C8
Even though GM has already stopped taking orders for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8, the configurator is still up, which means we can to fantasize about our ideal mid-engine ‘Vette and prepare for the 2021 coming out this summer. There’s a lot to configure, too. There are 12 exterior paint colors, 12 interior color schemes, six seat belt colors, three brake caliper colors, three decal stripe colors, and much, much more to choose. There are three different bucket seat designs, and you can specify your engine cover in red to accentuate the C8’s midship layout. Another thing you can customize is the wheel center caps, which you can order with a cool Stingray logo or Corvette Racing’s “Jake” skull motif in place of the traditional crossed flags emblem.
When spec’ing a Bentley, just about any color combination you can imagine is possible. Unlike other automakers, which offer at the most two shades of black, Bentley has a whole subsection of paints dedicated to the darkest spectrum on the color wheel (though, granted, it includes a few dark grays, too). For exterior colors, you’ll also find blues; greens; silvers; whites and beiges; reds and purples; and golds, oranges, and browns—each containing multiple hues to choose from. Choices for interior color combos are nearly as vast, with 15 main hide colors and 10 secondary hide (which also selects the contrast stitching color) options to play with on the Bentley Continental GT. Additionally, there are six single-finish and four dual-finish wood veneers available. But if that’s too much choice for you, you can always go with one of the preset configurations in the “Bentley Suggests” section. For the Continental GT First Edition, that includes Magma, Paladin, Zodiac, Vesuvius, and Romanche. Put on your top hat and monocle and give it a whirl.
If you need an example of a first-world problem, just pretend you’re a Lamborghini Huracan Evo shopper torn over the supercar’s 41 available colors. They’re all so pretty, and they have rad-sounding Italian names like Nero Nemesis and Verde Scandal. If that’s not enough weight on your shoulders, just imagine your anxiety over which interior theme and materials to go with. Unicolor leather? Bi-color Alcantara? Forged carbon trim? Put yourself in a Lamborghini buyer’s shoes for an afternoon and see just how hard life can be.
Much like Lambo and Bentley, McLaren ruins practically every other car for us by offering a ridiculous list of options to choose from. The color palette for the 720S includes 40 different hues (though “only” 35 for the new 765LT) and there is an obscene number of custom exterior details on the menu. Do you love the look of exposed carbon fiber? McLaren’s configurator gives you not one—but two—styles of glossy carbon-fiber weave to play with when envisioning your dream 720S.
Few cars have as much history with factory personalization as the Ford Mustang. The sporty two-door continues that tradition today, offering a wide variety of trim levels, packages, and custom exterior bits. Naturally, you’ll gravitate toward the big dogs of the lineup—the Shelby GT350s and GT500s. But even building a GT or EcoBoost turbo model is satisfying, perhaps because they’re more attainable and thus more tangible to those of us with shallower pockets. Plus, even on the lower-trim ‘Stangs, you have access to alluring color choices like Grabber Lime and Twister Orange.
You can’t have a list of OEM car configurators without including Mini. Since its rebirth under the BMW umbrella, the Mini brand has been all about offering near-endless customization options and an engrossing configurator to match. Sure, at the end of the day you’re building a Mini, not a six-figure supercar. But it’s easy to get lost in the build process because that Mini starts to become yours—and they’re just so darn lovable.
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