Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Conceptually Speaking, I'm Tired

The North American International Auto Show is upon us, once again. Growing up, and even into adulthood, this was a must-see event. There was something exciting about previewing the latest and greatest car models...not to mention the cool concept cars. You brave the crowds, fighting for a chance to catch a glimpse of that three-wheeled thingamabob, or that car with the doors that flipped up like wings. You imagine the most futuristic vehicles sitting in your driveway, getting in, and having it take you to work as you sit back and read a book! Or, perhaps, just checking out what other cars you might consider to replace the one you already own, but have suddenly grown tired of.

That's how it used to be. But the auto show kind of grew, and crowds became a bit unbearable, and while it is still fun to look at new cars, it just isn't worth the hassle.

And apparently, "old fogy" mode has kicked in for me, because frankly, I'm growing tired of concept cars. I'm tired of the automakers teasing us with awesome looking vehicles that we'll never see. I'm tired of outlandish ideas that no one should ever see. We get it, Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc. You can come up with some really nifty, eye-pleasing candy for us to sample. But what's the point? You won't sell us more. I feel a bit like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory...given an everlasting gobstobber that I'm not allowed to eat.

What's the deal? Why can't you show us real vehicles? Or, rather, realistic? We're mature enough to handle it. In fact, we're mature enough to handle those far-fetched styled vehicles as well.

I remember asking my dad, once, why they don't make concept cars for real, and one reason he gave was that there is a point where the public won't buy something that is too futuristic. Yet, that seems less true today. Personally, I think futuristic would sell nicely.

And even when we are taunted with a vehicle that is production-worthy, either it, too, is never seen again, or by the time it actually makes it to the marketplace, it is old news. Ford's Thunderbird was a prime example of that. The concept vehicle was an awesome reincarnation of an American classic. People raved about it. But several years later, after the design had been watered down, the whole "retro" movement had become old news.

Give us the future now, because frankly, I've grown tired of the concept car. It no longer generates excitement, but frustration. Frustration that instead of that sleek-looking vehicle on the podium, we get that clunky-looking counterpart sitting on the floor next to it.


Rashenbo said...

Hi Ryan,

Saw you on and thought I'd visit your blog. Since I'm here... thought I'd just leave you a little comment saying hi!

So... HI! :)

RyanBruner said...