The CarBuzz Team picks the cars which epitomize each Euro 2012 Semi-Finalist.
The 2012 European Championships have reached the Semi-Finals and with four teams remaining, the tension and excitement in Poland/Ukraine is growing exponentially. The CarBuzz crew is still a bit fatigued (read: hungover) from watching Italy sneak through on penalties against England yesterday, however that isn't stopping us proud car nerds from wondering aloud which cars would epitomize each of the remaining teams in the finals.
The first semi-final takes place Wednesday and features Portugal taking on reigning World Cup and Euro Cup champions Spain. Portugal features fast wingers in Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, both of whom could be labeled as the two fastest players in the competition. Speed and quickness has been Portugal's strength, though finding some unexpected consistency after shaky performances in the past two international competitions (and earlier in this one, no less), has done enough to see them past the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. So what car can be compared to the Portuguese?
We need quickness, say 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds, and speed, in the form of a 217mph top speed, style and looks (have you seen how much hair gel Ronaldo uses before a game? Seriously, have you seen how much hair gel Ronaldo uses before a game?). The Lamborghini Aventador looks great, runs fast and is quicker than most models could ever dream of being. Oh, and Ronaldo owns one as well. Portugal's Iberian neighbor and adversary in the semi-finals comes in the form of Spain and their all-conquering core of Barcelona players.
The Spanish have been the most consistent team in recent international play, having set the record for most consecutive matches undefeated between 2006-2009 and losing only a handful of times in the three years since. In choosing a car for Spain, you have to take that into account as well their depth in numbers in their midfield (Xavi, Fabregas, Alonso, Navas, Iniesta, Silva, the always dirty Sergio Busquets, etc.) and goalkeeper positions (Casillas, Valdes, Reina), along with their defense. Their speed on the flanks also outlines their need for a quick ride.
The BMW M3 Sedan is a logical choice, as it does everything well and year after year, is a peak performer that combines style, substance, technique in terms of drivability as the consummate daily driver and can seat a bench-ful of high quality substitutes in its large interior. A 414hp 4.0-liter V8 good for a 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds and top speed of 155mph predicates performance to boot. We like Spain to outclass Portugal as a whole and head to the finals in a smooth ride based on Tiki-Taka possession and goal scoring prowess.
The second semi-final matchup takes place on Thursday and pits the inconsistent and eccentric Italians against the efficient Germans. The Italian team looks terrific on the pitch in terms of hairstyles (think Buffon and Pirlo during the penalty shootout over Balotelli's "look-at-me" Mohawk) however they lack the quality and consistency of the Germans in terms of positional discipline and all-around talent. The throwback hairstyles and defensive style of play harken back to the Alfa Romeo 147, a great look but like the aging roster of Italians (and knuckleheads like Balotelli and Cassano), it needs plenty of serious, regular maintenance.
Most of Alfa's problems with reliability came in the form of axle and suspension failures, while a quarter of the issues coming from the Italian's engines. Compared to the national team, reliability isn't the word usually associated with the Azzurri's strikers and replace 'engine' with injury-prone midfielder Thiago Motta, and you have a recipe for a poor reliability-ridden Italian sports hatch representing an eccentric and high-maintenance Italian national team. Germany, on the other hand, is the antithesis of Italy in terms of consistency, power and performance.
The team always finishes their chances and plays hard and fast all game long. The Porsche 911 typifies the team's easy quarter-final win against Greece, as they played without their top players like Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller. When they add the terrific attacking trio they instantly become a 911 Turbo S, a model that screams consistency, power and performance while looking good doing it. The 3.8-liter flat-six cranks out an impressive 530hp, good for a 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 195mph.
Germany's midfield of Khedira, Schweinsteiger and Ozil have bossed every game they have been in, combining power and precision to the max, the same words of which can be used to describe the Porsche 911 Turbo S. The German sports car-cum-supercar is just too much for the Alfa Romeo 147, and the latter's midfield should again be dominated and picked to shreds by Germany's pass-masters and powerful finishers. The match everyone is hoping for is a wide open game of entertaining soccer between Spain and Germany. The BMW M3 Sedan against the Porsche 911 Turbo S isn't much of a fair fight however to be the best you have to beat the best.
The 911 Turbo S is faster, more powerful and features that brilliant flat-six. The M3 Sedan is legit in its own merits and does what it does to perfection. Spain are the reigning champs in Europe and the World, however Germany is a young gun going for their first major tournament victory since the Euros in 1996. It's a very, very tight call and though Germany is bigger, stronger and faster, like the Porsche 911 Turbo S, Spain holds the ball forever and all they do is win. It's 2-1 with Sergio Busquets taking out the 911 Turbo S with some clever sabotage. The Spanish BMW M3 Sedan pulls out the win.