Buckle up, I’m back!
Let me cut straight to the point and ask the questions that are causing me the chronic insomnia: what is happening to the automotive industry?! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not negative nor positive; I am not here to express happiness and satisfaction nor grief. I am just not getting what is going on.
Allow me to demonstrate, you are sitting in your favorite café in downtown Beirut, enjoying the shy morning sun and the breeze that is desperately trying to penetrate your super 120s wool blazer and suddenly you hear this atrocious sound of a roaring petrol monster; you’re not sure if it’s a V8, V10 or a classic V12! You’re expecting a mean machine, a car with a 300,000 USD average price tag that continuously keeps trying to assassinate its driver. You would definitely imagine a pain in the behind bucket seats, red button saying “eject” in the middle of the dashboard, aluminum floor, hard shiny clutch pedal and wooden ball on the top of your shift stick… A car that looks like Cindy Crawford but acts like Madonna if you know what I mean!
Anxious, you would lose your cool and probably spill your espresso while turning right and left in your seat trying to locate and identify the monster! To your own surprise, the roar stops, a door opens and suddenly a cry of a baby in the back seat blasts loudly, synchronized with the sound of “key in the ignition while door is open” tone. The long expected monster is a 4 seater made by a super car manufacturer, driven by a mom who has stopped to change her baby’s diaper.
I sure hope you get the image right! The image that to me is as bright as the sun; car makers, sport car makers to be accurate, seem to be more concerned in diapers and the family trip to the country side than in the absolute shear masculine sporty drive a man would want to have after a long day in “life”. In the old days, a sport car was the man’s fairly owned asset, a tool to break the rules of the roads and bend the rules of physics, a treat, a reward. One could appreciate the value of life after a ride in those old models that gave you a near death enjoyment.
To prove my point, let me give you some examples, does a Ferrari oriented gentleman be really interested in a 4 seats and 4-wheel drive fat car like the FF? Or would a Maserati fan be turned on by a Ghibli that delivers as much power as a Benz CLS500 and that has the back seats of a Hyundai? Or do you all believe that the same engineering team that has been maintaining the Turbo S as conceived by Dr. Porsche, and I am talking Porsche baby, had anything to do with the Macan and the Panamera? When it comes to the English and away from the 4 seats and 4 door, I am really not able to figure out who is copying who, is Aston Martin trying to put Cote D’or out of business with their “Dark Art of Seduction” DB9? Or are they targeting Victoria Secret models as a client target to purchase the car as part of their seduction accessories. And if you for once thought that I forgot about Lamborghini, well folks i haven’t, simply go to their website and you will a car that looks more like a 2050 concept American jet fighter that supposes to be the next generation Lambo and yet all they have to say about is: “less weight more driving fun”. Don’t believe me? Go to their website. Okay! I know it’s a fast beast, but just “fast” and “fun”, is not exciting enough.
What is happening is this; makers used to select drivers but today, makers tend to target everyone including women and their children. With the extreme focus on who designs the best looking LED head and taillights and building the car that is most interesting on a red light or at the shopping mall parking had compromised the shear sense of aggressiveness and sportiness in “SPORT” cars. If only the R&D funds being spent to develop the current boring models would be put to give us back dirty, rude arrogant and masculine models that the wife doesn’t dare to ask for its keys!