This is a follow-up rant to my short article (here) about Jaguar’s snuggling of the electric car tar baby. The whole thing makes my teeth ache. I try not to fall into Luddite-ism and technophobia, but I can’t help being appalled by the way technology is homogenizing everything and not only that, it’s making us less free by placing us under ever-greater-control by technocracy.
I’d much rather have a gas-engined E-Type or XJS.
How about you?
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The sad thing is what you are saying about an emotional investment in cars just doesnt exist today…. and most people in the cities in their 30s or below today actually talk about shit like how big the screen is, how good the resolution is, and how good apple car is vs android car (or whatever its called). Every time someone leases (ofcoruse) that 40k car, its all about how convenient things are in it like phone integration, or how quiet the engine is (really! I like hearing the engine!) or how nice the leather stitch is (get a sofa not a car). Strangely most dont even turn up the stereo to full to see how it sounds loud (ok maybe thats just me), but they know how many speakers it has and all those specs which are thrown around….
Contrast that to my childhood where dad used to talk with his buddies about how fast the car went, how quick it would overtake or how it cornered, etc…..
I’ve always had a soft spot for jaguar. I know it would be a bad idea, but I can’t help but be tempted by the 510hp 2010 XFR. I keep seeing them in the classifieds for about 25k.
I love Jaguars – in part because of Jaguar engines. But an EV Jaguar is like a disposable lighter that’s green vs. yellow and has a chrome top instead of a brushed nickel one. Who cares?
Even most premium and luxury cars sold today aren’t electric. There is no way they can be all electric and stay in business. There is no reason to be all electric.
It’s a catch-22.
On the one hand, if they want to stay in business, they have to comply with 50-plus MPG CAFE, “zero emissions” and “carbon footprint” edicts. This effectively mandates electric cars.
On the other hand, as per this discussion, electrics are fundamentally homogenous. This reduces differences between “modules” to superficial things and it is hard to grok how luxury brands survive when all the separates a luxury module from a standard-issue module is the price, the shape (which is also being homogenized by regulation) and a higher level of amenities … but not all that much difference, even with respect to that. It’s not 1975.
A $20,000 new car has a touchscreen, AC, good stereo, etc.
A $30,000 new car has climate control, heated seats, great stereo and a big touchscreen.
There’s not all that much of a meaningful upgrade from there to a $50,000 car.