I must admit I found it a bit confusing when I saw some of the nicest supercars on the planet being unveiled at Pebble Beach a few weeks back.
Mercedes, for example, showed a stunning new concept, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet. I expected to see the latest and greatest twin-turbo system lurking under the hood instead of an electric powertrain. I am sure they were trying to make a statement, although I am not sure what it was. There are some great contradictions going on that have to be extremely confusing to customers all over the world.
While I may be interested in an 840-hp Dodge Demon, we are about to be introduced to a new Nissan Leaf that will rival the Chevy Bolt being sold right next to an umpteen-hp Camaro. What's a guy to believe?
I suppose we can chalk it up to something for everybody. But it is getting downright bizarre.
Do I want 700 hp or 700-mile range in my electric vehicle or 700 mpg with some miracle gasoline engine?
Meanwhile, I am patiently waiting for the latest steam engine to give me mileage and power measured by cords of wood burned. Maybe everyone on the engineering side is simply confused. Does the public want cars or trucks or SUVs? Or must we fill our dealerships with plenty to choose from in all shapes and sizes? Can I get 40 hp or 800 hp or electric or gasoline? (Please do not ask for diesel.)
It is really a great time to be a consumer. There is more to choose from in every shape and size. And to add to the mix, we have all sorts of incentives that should make us rush to our favorite dealership to buy whatever we want for the deal of the century.
I have no idea when all this is going to shake out, if ever. As technology advances, we will continue to have lots of choices and life will be just as confusing as ever.
I can only wish for a supercharged, hemi-powered autonomous vehicle. Now that would be worth waiting for.
If choice is a good thing, then we are in a perfect time.
Keith Crain is chairman of Crain Communications, which publishes Rubber & Plastics News.