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Driven!

08 Feb

Cars as fashion accessories are rather more heavy-duty, and expensive, than those Cuban high heels you may have acquired in a fit of lunacy brought about by peer pressure or media-hype. The need to be in with the “inn crowd” or worse still, be prominent from the “inn crowd” can cause the most sensible person to make a fashion statement which turns into a fashion disaster the moment you open the front door of your newly purchased car. Impulsive purchasing can be sometimes not suitable to use once you get them home hence people usually throw them in the dark corner of their wardrobe. But this can’t be the case with cars as they cost too much and take up too much room to be pushed to the back of the garage.

There’s no denying the reality. We are all spending increasing amounts of time in our cars. Blame it on urban and suburban development and the deficiency of road construction to keep up. Blame it on a record number of vehicles now present in the country. Or blame it on a society that loves to be mobile all the time. It doesn’t matter. Drivers are expecting and challenging car makers to keep them in touch with the outside world while they spend a huge chunk of their lives riding the cars. So, more vehicles are including systems that make communication easier and the whole experience more fulfilling.

Today, automotive electronics have moved away from the engine to transmissions, all-wheel-drive and traction systems, brakes, navigation systems, climate control, audio, safety systems, suspensions and diagnostic tools. Thanks to the comparative low cost of electronics these days, electronics are being put into cars, trucks, sport utilities and vans in thriving numbers.

The automobile started out as a rich man’s toy in the early part of the 20th century. Within 20 years, however, Henry Ford’s simple, functional Model T had put the world on wheels, suddenly causing massive social change. Passenger miles traveled by automobile were only 25 percent of rail passenger miles in 1922, but were four times as immense as rail passenger miles by 1929.

In 2010 things will keep getting better in the car industry as the demand of each driver gets even more imaginary. Trends in cars are ever evolving and becoming increasing difficult to meet by the common man. Hence we shall leave the luxury of purchasing the “inn” car to the rich.  First things first: There will be no flying cars in your driveway — not tomorrow, not next year, maybe never no matter how much you want it especially when you are stuck in a jam of cars to infinite. But that doesn’t mean the future of automotive technology is uninteresting or boring. A growing fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles is threatening to drag the nation’s aging power grid into the digital era, while new self-healing smart polymers could send auto body shops rushing for business. Hmmm. If not flying cars at the moment drivers could definitely use some innovative and impressive ideas like these.

The car every rich man is looking for is the 2010 Ford Fusion range which demonstrates impressive bandwidth, from a fun-to-drive entry-level model with a four cylinder engine and six speed manual transmissions, to a high-tech, highly fuel efficient hybrid, to a sporty version with a 3.5-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive. According to car magazine editor, this year’s Ford Fusion offers a “sweep across one of the market’s more hotly contested segments.” “It looked, felt and drove like an entirely new machine,” wrote another editor, “Ford has proven its resilience in these tough times by delivering to market a car with broad appeal to a broad range of consumers. The Fusion range has developed into a competitive roster of midsize sedans, able to compete with the sales juggernauts such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It is no surprise the Fusion now comes in the top ten best selling cars in the world.” 2010 Ford Fusion range has after all been named the “Motor Trend Car of the Year”. The Ford Fusion also comprehensively out drives the Camry; providing a level of steering feel, control responsiveness and overall ability that’s far superior to that of its Japanese competition.

If you are a sucker for fashion and can’t afford Ford then I have just the thing for you which will still keep you on the top of your game. Meet the affordable hybrid; 2010 Honda Insight EX. Honda says the emphasis this time is on bringing down the price of hybrid benefits more than pushing out the technical frontier. At first momentary look, the Insight reveals itself as the Prius’ fraternal twin. The gratifying replication separates the Insight from its dopey looking forerunner, and places the new car squarely on the Toyota gas – electric coattails. The Insight’s shape is pleasant, like a large colorful cocktail. It’s just not stimulating. The Insight gets a bonus star for being a five-door which is handy for the people in our society.

There was a time when speed was the name of the game. Hands-on automotive fanatics would switch their car’s two-barrel carburetor for a four, replace the manifold, straighten the exhaust, anything and everything was done to make their ride go faster but now it seems life is taking its toll and it is all about going green and saving the extra buck. Now the fashion statement of a car is not made by the looks but what the little baby can actually do and how much it can help us help the world!

Sadly, we accept that nowadays it’s far more problematical to make a motoring fashion statement but you might just have it right with Ford. Cars are not as instantly identifiable as they used to be. Once upon a time there was no way you would ever mistake a Hillman Imp for a Ford Capri but shred off the badging of the 21st Century motor and one car begins to look very much like another – a reality which goes some way to explaining the growth of car clubs and the increasing fame of classic cars. A car as a fashion accessory says I’m rich, tasteful, and flashy, urbane, eccentric, green, old, young, hopeful – much the same as your clothes. So, which one are you going to drive today to remain in fashion and support the nature; hybrid car, I hope!



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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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