Friday, June 27, 2003
Selling Young -- An amusing, interesting, and highly unscientific Autoweek piece on Honda and Toyota's efforts to market cars -- the Element and the Scion siblings, respectively -- to young hipsters. Slate's Gearbox had an entry on the Element that explores the demographic issue. (Go here and search for IKEA.)
Hublog, decidedly not part of Honda's target demo, confesses having a crush on the Element.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Imagine ... -- What if Porsche, instead of building the ugly-ass, fabulously overweight, albeit spectacularly engineered Cayenne built a perfomance saloon along the lines of the coming Maserati Quattroporte? None of the extra weight and complexity of the off-road systems that will get used by -- maybe -- 10% of the Caynne buyers, even those very occasionally. Imagine the Cayenne engine in the A8 platform, overhauled to deliver Porsche-type ride and handling.
The choice is almost certainly dictated by market opportunity. (Note that Maserati is also building or likely to build the Kublang cross-over.) The real shame is that that market opportunity is actually a market distortion. The regulatory treatment of light-trucks compared to real cars (CAFE among others), drives a manufacturer like Porsche to build the dream car for the citizens of Moronica rather than a true heir to its performance legacy.
Maybe one day. Maybe ...