Monday, December 21, 2009

Motoring in 2000-2009 - what will we remember in 20-30 years?

The Decade 2000 to 2009 was influenced by a rapidly increasing oil price towards the end of the period (for example the ratio between the highest and the lowest price per barrel was 5-6, peak was reached in 2008), by the inconvenient truth of a changing climate and global warming, by terrorism, tsunamis and hurricanes. Towards the end of the decade the whole world suffered from the consequences of the financial crisis and a global recession. At the same time the digitization of the world has continued and we couldn't imagine a life without mobile connectivity, Internet and flat screens.

So what where the motoring highlights of the years 2000 to 2009?

A Decade of Extremes
Super and Hyper Cars got faster and faster. The climax has been reached with the Bugatti Veyron, a car that really showcases what is feasible today. Whether anybody needs 1001 HP and 400 km/h top speed is another question.

The reinvention of the cheap car
Tata introduced the Nano, a really cheap car. But already before Renault has proven with the Dacia that there is a market for cheaper cars.

Supercar performance on a budget
When Nissan announced the GTR it was an instant success. Fast laps on the Nurburgring also helped to establish the image of a supercar on a budget. And the interior is designed for the PS3 generation. Four seats even make the car suitable for a small family.

The Hybrid Decade
With the Toyota Prius a new technology became both fashionable and consumer-ready, the hybrid car. While the Prius may neither have been pretty nor ecological it was sold very successfully thanks to Holywood and a brilliant marketing and it certainly proved that people can be motivated to save fuel.

Retro retro
The new Mini is a success, but the Fiat 500 was even more loved by the crowd thanks to its affordability and the really cute design. Revitalizing the Abarth brand at the top end of the 500 has also proven to be a clever move.

Electrical cars that actually are attractive
Tesla built a Roadster on top of a Lotus Elise chassis and loaded thousands of laptop batteries. Despite some getting quite hot this cars proved that performance and electricity don’t need to be opposites in the motoring context. Since the Tesla many manufacturers (i.e. Audi, Mercedes) and tuners (i.e. RUF) have followed and presented electrical sportscars.

In a next post I will talk about the ones that didn’t make it and why I think that from a motoring perspective the 2000 to 2009 decade was a disappointment after all.

No comments: