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Why Do Automakers Tease Us?

Concept Cars
Posted July 20 2007 04:03 PM by automotivedp 
Filed under: Editorials

Volkswagen GTI W12

Why do automakers tease us?  I just don't get it.  Take this W12 twin-turbo GTI for example.  6.0 liter, 650 horsepower, 200+ mph, all wheel drive, buff fenders and extensive body work (note that the whole roof is a diffuser).  I'm not typically a Euro guy, but this VW deserves a gander.

This is just one example of the many forbidden fruit the general public will never taste in their lifetime.  It's like automakers want to showcase what they COULD make if they had the balls.  Instead we are given cars that better "suit the market" and that are designed to sell.  I know the almighty dollar is the bottom line, let's face it, green makes the world go 'round, but what automakers should do (listen up Toyota) is actually build something worth-while.  The aim for the rest of their line-up can still be on selling as many cars as possible, but they still need to put something out that gets people excited regardless of how many are actually sold.

Toyota was once a credible performance powerhouse with the Supra, MR2 turbo, and the All-Trac Celica, but nowadays, they simply set their sights on selling more cars.  Although very successful at taking over the market (see Camry) and other branches doing well (Scion), there is something missing.  Their success has come at the cost of some of the best sport compacts ever built.  Not enough people were buying Supras so they were killed off.  You can't build a car like the Supra, or this GTI hypothetically, and expect to appeal to the masses and sell tons of cars.  

It just seems like every automaker is dulling down all of their models just to move more units.  Take a look at the 2008 WRX.  The main reason behind most of the new changes is to appeal to a larger market, but in the process, they killed a niche car with a cult-like following.  Sure, using plastic intake manifolds and intercooler end tanks cuts down on costs, but allows for less tunability.  Even though performance from the new STI shouldn't disappoint, the styling just kills it.  Cars like Porsches and other high ends keep getting better while the cars we can afford are blending in to the masses more and more.  I guess the gap between the affordable sport compact and high performance, high dollar machine is widening.  Oh well, time to start saving for the new GT-R, I guess, or just hang on to my STI.  Who knows, with the way things are going, maybe it'll be a collector's item some day.

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