HomeCar CultureCommentaryA youthful -- and European -- perspective on cars and driving

A youthful — and European — perspective on cars and driving

A fresh view on the car world from a 20-something Gen-Z contributor in Denmark,


My name is Lars Madsen. I’m 25 years old and studying for a Masters in Business Administration degree at Southern Danish University in Denmark. Besides my studies and an internship in a great small company, I have a huge interest in cars and automobiles. My whole life I have been interested in cars, almost ever since I could walk.

I am honored to have been offered the opportunity to write a little column here on the Journal. For my first installment, I’ve chosen to write about myself and my car and about where I hope to be in the future when it comes to cars and the automobile industry.

My car, as you may have noticed in the pictures, is a little white hatchback. It is not very special, but it really means something to me. It is a Ford Fiesta, a 1.0-liter Ecoboost version with 125 horsepower.

“What?” you say? “That is the size of a bottle of milk!”  You are right!

But 125 horsepower is quite a handful in a 1.0-liter engine and car car with a curb weight of 2100 pounds. You might wonder why I don’t ride a bicycle. Bikes are very popular and common form of transportation in Denmark. It is simply because I love cars. I live and breathe for cars. It is my biggest passion.

Why do I drive a brand new Ford and how can I afford it when I’m studying? That is because it is not brand new. My car is 7 years old, but I still think it looks new. You could say it is a less costly version of a (Ford-era Jaguar X-type), but still as fast as one. I have had this car almost since I earned my driver’s license. It has been the perfect car for me. I have driven more than 100,000 kilometers (thats 62,000 miles for you Americans) so far. It still pulls like Lamborghini from the 1970s. Or was it a new Lamborghini? I can’t tell the difference any more. Everything is left in the dust no matter what — I might just be joking.

There is just something appealing about this little pocket rocket which still makes me keep it to this day. That appeal is the Focus FIA World Rally car. My car has some rally car DNA. It has a spoiler on the back and factory body kit all around the skirts. All in all, it has a very aggressive look considering it only puts 125 horsepower to the ground. But that’s what I like so much about it.

I live in the third biggest city in Denmark, called Odense. I study at the university here, so I mostly ride in the city center or urban areas. There are often tight curves which are quickly followed by traffic lights. This is where the small engine upfront combined with the low weight of the car makes it like go-kart on the streets. It is a dangerous combination and you quickly get addicted. Don’t do small light cars, kids. But it really suits the city environment, and is also a big reason why I don’t want to change car at the moment. It is perfect and has a bit of charm as well. Just look at the design for such a small little car! Reminds me of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage with the headlights.

When it comes to investing, this car is not going to be a hot shot for the speculative guys out there. It is not like if I keep this for a longer time, people are standing in line to knock on my door, asking if they can purchase it. If you are looking for a more potent car for investment and joy, take a closer look on the Ford Fiesta ST 200. It debuted as a special edition just before the launch of the newest generation of the Ford Fiesta ST.

The interesting thing about the model I’m driving is the engine. Some people have pulled 200 horsepower out of it and say it still runs perfectly. Would I recommend pulling 200 horsepower out of the engine. Absolutely not, only if you have a wish on blowing up your engine faster than you are able to blink your eyes.

But I might be wrong. This video with Chris Harris says something different. Maybe it is possible, but as I said, there is enough power to go quickly around the city with a smile on your face.


What are my plans for the future? Investing in a new car. Maybe, I would like to speculate in various different cars, starting with some of the cars I have already written about elsewhere. There are so many cars out there that are so interesting and really worth looking into.

I am personally very much into BMW at the moment and am looking like a crazy man on the internet for a good one. There is really one BMW that has my full attention — the fantastic BMW 135i coupe from 2009. It offers the best from BMW in my eyes. An inline 6-cylinder with 306 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. So much power in a such a small car! It’s like a design devil came up with when he was asked what kind of proportions his car would have. But for now, it’s just looking.

There is one year left here at the University and after that I hope comes a new car. Will it be a BMW? We will see when the time comes.

Stay tuned…

Lars Madsen
Lars Madsen
Lars Madsen is 25 years old and is enrolled at Southern Danish University, in Denmark where he is completing his Masters in Business Administration. He has a huge interest in automobiles going back to childhood -- it runs in the family. Lars brings a youth and European perspective to Journal and is hopeful of a career in the automotive industry.


  1. And I drive a 1962 356 Porsche which is an S model so 75 horsepower in a 2000 pounds. It is how you use the horsepower and handling. I know I am not in the majority in America that seems to want 1000+ horsepower to go straight but reality is an electric motor beats it almost all the time, except in the new Taycan vs. the new 918 which is gas and faster by fractions of a second.

  2. Any fool can drive fast in a straight line but corners are where true driving enjoyment lies.
    You seem to realise that, Lars.
    I confess l don’t know much about 1 series BMWs but l once owned a Toyota 86 which was a really good drive. I only sold it because it had a fixed roof and my Mustang is a soft top. Once you’ve had a soft top nothing else will do. Riding in an open car is like having a little holiday – even if you’re only going to work.
    Consider the 86 before you buy your BMW.

    • Dear Malcom,

      It is Lars here. I have a good friend who own a Toyota 86. It is a fantastic car, but it is somehow very expensive here in Denmark. Unfortunately.

      That is why the BMW was very interesting as well.


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