Ireland isn't just shillelaghs, shepherd's pie and Guinness Draught. It's more than lads named Rory or lasses with red hair who dance with their arms at their sides. And St. Patrick himself is only the beginning of Irish wisdom. Leprechauns, however, explain everything. And even leprechauns need to drive.
So here are 10 vehicles every leprechaun should drive. And here are the reasons why they fit the leprechaun character. Oh, wait, make that 11. Leprechauns strive to do the unexpected.
1. The Small Business Leprechaun — Ford Transit Connect
Traditionally leprechauns have been shoe cobblers: re-soling while tormenting Irish souls. That's a tough small business that runs on tight margins and needs a reliable vehicle for deliveries and house calls. The Ford Transit Connect front-drive van works hard, looks good and gets up to 29 mpg with its 2.5-liter four and six-speed automatic transmission. And with an Edmunds Price PromiseSM base transaction price of just $24,403 it's economical to buy, too.
2. The Magically Delicious Supercar — Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4
With their whimsical edge and devilish love for all things extreme, leprechauns need something that will release their pent-up desires for high performance. What does that better than Lamborghini's new 602-horsepower V10-powered, all-wheel-drive Huracan LP610-4? And really, is it a coincidence that both the Italian and Irish national flags are red, white and green? The Huracan is a banshee with all the visceral pull of a freshly poured bowl of Lucky Charms. But don't expect much of a discount off its $242,445 base price. This car is in demand.
3. Greenest of Green Cars — Tesla Model S
Leprechauns, like all good Irish, love all things green. And nothing is greener than the all-electric Tesla Model S. From its lithium-ion battery pack up and across its various tax credits, nothing bespeaks a genuine commitment to environmental virtue quite like the Tesla. Prices start at $71,070 for the Model S, but leprechauns need more juice than that. So expect every leprechaun to go for the $119,420, twin-motor, all-wheel-drive P85D. In a recent comparison test, it ripped to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds and devastated the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds at 108.4 mph. And it didn't emit a spec of carbon while doing it.
4. Mischief Maker — Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Every leprechaun is fond of mischief. Misplacing things, hiding things, fomenting conflict and generalized mayhem are all things leprechauns love. And mayhem is what the Corvette Z06 does better than any other car.
It's a 650-hp supercharged V8 hooked up to a chassis that's far more capable than it should be, and an exhaust system that seems to cackle and giggle as the driver roars through the manual transmission's seven forward gears (or eight if it's an automatic). It will annihilate a quarter-mile in about 11 seconds flat, run to 60 mph in under 3 seconds and top out at over 200 mph. It's also the greatest device yet conceived by man for frying rear tires.
And that results in great clouds of smoke under the cloak of which much leprechaun mischief can be perpetuated. Prices start at a bonnie $90,210 but most will nudge that over $100,000. And sticker is about what any leprechaun will have to pull from his pot of gold for a Z06.
5. Glen, Glade and Grass Consumption — Land Rover Discovery Sport
Roadways aren't always available in Ireland for the quick, elusive getaways every leprechaun must be prepared to make while practicing his leprechaun-ish shenanigans. So here's the new Land Rover Discovery Sport — nimble, quick and small enough to hide behind a large rock — for covering whatever emerald terrain it encounters. It also happens to be the most beautiful thing out of the British Commonwealth since Maureen O'Hara.
Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that makes 240 hp that feeds a nine-speed automatic transmission, it has the blarney to take on BMW and Audi's small SUVs with some sly wit. Prices start at $37,995, and since this vehicle is only now going on sale, discounts are unlikely.
6. Wish Machine — Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II
Catch a leprechaun, the legend goes, and he's obligated to grant you three wishes in order to regain his freedom. So everyone wishes for a Rolls-Royce. And that means a leprechaun has to keep a well-stocked supply of Ghost Series II sedans on hand, all ready to be instantly dispensed to a captor.
Unfortunately every 563-hp, V12-powered Ghost carries a minimum suggested retail price of $267,800. "Sometimes," one leprechaun who asked not to be identified told Edmunds.com, "it's cheaper to just hand over my pot of gold."
7. Ireland's Most Popular Car — Volkswagen Golf
Leprechauns are Irish from the marrow of their bones to the mops of red hair under the buckle on their green hats. Sales figures show that the best-selling car in Ireland is the Volkswagen Golf. That makes sense since we all know the Irish love the game of golf and their native son Rory McIlroy.
Logically, if there are a lot of Golfs being sold in Ireland, some of them are being driven by leprechauns. Fortunately for all of Ireland, the new seventh-generation Golf is fine and prime griskin: built atop VW's outstanding MQB architecture and running VW's well-proven engines. And using Edmunds.com's Price Promise, buyers save an estimated $1,310 when buying one.
8. Antisocial Car — Ariel Atom
The Ariel Atom is not so much a car as the skeleton of one, pared of everything that can be pared including the windshield and doors. It's a midengine midget built to scream around roads like those that crisscross Ireland. A perfect vehicle for a creature who wants to be alone and has to chase the end of rainbows — one leprechaun to drive and the pot of gold strapped down in the passenger seat.
9. The Car for Golf — Buick LaCrosse
The game of golf was invented in Scotland, but it was perfected in Ireland. After all, Scotland is rugged and rocky, while the Emerald Isle has earned that nickname because it's verdant and covered with grass. The island of Eire is a golfer's paradise and the evidence is that whether it's getting in a round at Royal County Down or Royal Portrush, every leprechaun needs to haul his clubs with him. He needs a car optimized for the golfing lifestyle, and that's the big, broad-shouldered Buick LaCrosse.
10. Pot of Gold Security Detail — International MXT
Every leprechaun is obsessed with protecting the pot of gold that lies at the end of every rainbow. And to do that, he needs a rugged near-military vehicle like the International MXT. These oversize pickups can carry all the shillelaghs necessary for a leprechaun who is protecting his golden stash.
Power comes from a big 300-hp, 6.0-liter turbodiesel V8 (the same engine Ford once sold as the PowerStroke). The more paranoid leprechauns can choose several armored versions. Even used MXTs sell for more than $100,000. So only leprechauns with really big pots need one.
11. Leprechaun Scaled — Mini Cooper Four-Door
Back in 1948 Ireland formally declared itself a republic and withdrew from the British Commonwealth (Northern Ireland remains part of Britain). But it's still the British Mini that is scaled for the leprechaun lifestyle. And now that the Mini Cooper is available as a four-door, it's a convenient machine for those of smaller stature who nonetheless are raising a family of young leprechauns.
Powered by a standard 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder making 134 hp, the Mini has never been more economical or leprechaun-friendly. And buyers (leprechaun or not) who use Edmunds.com's Price Promise program can reap average savings of $1,299 off the list price.