Expensive Cars Are All About Customization
BMW has kicked off its new line of M Performance accessories and is promising a full line for all of its models. Add this to the four different interior styles on the new 3-series and we're looking at millions of configurations so that the moderately wealthy can feel more like their new, expensive car is a personal expression. This isn't just BMW though, Abarth has announced a customization programe for the Fiat 500 Abarth and Volvo was showing off a variety of new R-Design trims as well. Oh, and the new SRT Viper is said to have up to 150,000 options. Seeing as dealerships make most of their money in accessories these days, expect this to continue.
The Wagon is Coming Back in Style, Even For the Rich
The wagon has, in the past, been a vehicle for lower and middle classes. Affordable cars get made into wagons, and luxury cars don't. The SUV craze nearly killed off the wagon, but it's clearly back with a vengeance. Not only were there Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo/Fusion wagons on display at the Paris Motor Show, but Mercedes showed off the wagonized CLS and Porsche stunned the world with the Panamera Sport Turismo.
Luxury Cars Must Have Massive Touchscreens
Luxury is now defined by iPads. For whatever reason, the touchscreen has taken over our collective consciousness. Despite the fact that knobs, switches, and buttons are much, much easier to operate while keeping an eye on the road, in-car touchscreens are proliferating like the black death. Just look at the interior of the Lexus LF-CC concept. The car basically is a touchscreen.
Electric Cars are Getting Fancy
The Nissan Terra Concept is an off-road, zero-emissions that was dropping jaws in Paris and is ready to push a (personal) favorite like the Juke into new territory. The Terra is set to run fully on fuel-cells, and if it hits market by 2014, will redefine how we think about "treading lightly" through rough terrain.
The second car that was causing major whiplash was the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive. It's a supercar with zero emissions and is even more powerful than the gas model for goodness sake. Also, it puts to rest ideas that we can't house new, environmentally friendly technology in traditionally elegant bodies. The car will hit 60 in 3.9 and have 740 horses galloping. That's impressive. These two concepts make us believe that electric and real driving can mix.