Quickshifter: Ashley Madison and the fantasy life

Toyota Corolla Mazda 2 and Ashley Madison

Most viewed features of the week from the Wheels Magazine website.

SO A WEBSITE purporting to connect lonely married men with naughty married women is looking more and more like a site that connected men with their fantasies – and just about nothing else – for a fee.

All of a sudden the Ashley Madison business model looks a lot less innovative. In fact, it might be argued that it follows the model Wheels adopted in 1953.

You could bolster that argument with the most popular story on wheelsmag.com.au this week, which revealed that HSV was developing a Commodore based road car with no fewer than 476kW. If they build it, they will make only 100 – which makes it a car that most people will drive only in daydreams.

But you could also point to key differences in the way Wheels goes about things. For one, we don’t do this stuff cynically. We are not just about titillating the vulnerable. The fantasies Wheels staff share are their own.

The second most viewed piece this week leaves no room for doubt about that. And it has picked up those views in just a couple of days. A turbocharged 2015 BMW M4 is compared with a naturally aspirated 2003 M3 CSL in an eight-minute video, shot on country roads, a race circuit and a car park or two.

Obviously, it was assumed that Wheels visitors would like the result. But from the first few seconds it is also clear that Road-test Editor Nathan Ponchard and News Editor Alex Inwood are deeply engaged in the story. “Awesome video,” responded one viewer on an online BMW forum. “You can tell they were having fun all throughout. Which is of course the whole point of M cars.”

Which raises a second key distinction for the Wheels business model: we will burst your balloon if we think it’s for your own good. Could a 12-year-old car possibly be more satisfying than its much quicker descendent? Ponchard and Inwood don’t shrink from providing an answer.

If that all sounds a bit airy, let’s come down to earth with a thud. The third most viewed post from the uploads this week is our review of the freshened Toyota Corolla. And our look at the new Mazda 2 Sedan is following hot on its heels. Both were penned by automotive almanac Byron Mathioudakis, who understands that it is models like this that make most car dreams come true.

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