Luxury Cars: Then and Now

Luxury Cars: Then and Now

Dubstepping The History Of Luxury Cars: What Features Changed?

The history of cars is relatively new when put in a human growth perspective. The very first model was built in 1885. As you can see automobiles have not even reached 150 years yet, however, the rate at which cars are evolving is happening at a much more rapid rate. Luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and top auto brands continue to set the bar for what defines luxury. With an ever-changing market, emerging shifts in market demographics, and the constant need to improve upon an existing model template, luxury car makers have had their work cut out for them over the past decades. While cheaper much more mainstreamed brands like Toyota, Honda and Kia are more affordable and sell significantly more cars than luxury brands, the demand for something better has never died down. So what happened to luxury cars?

Regional Influences Decide Luxury

Nowadays, interior features are just as important as the external body. If every brand is striving to improve consistently, what really separates the luxury car brands from the everyday off-the-lot cars? If you’ve ever taken more than a minute to even think about luxury cars, then you immediately know the differences. Most luxury brands use a rear-wheel drivetrain that allows them to incorporate a stronger much more performance-heavy engine, which is harder to achieve with front-wheel drives. However, depending on where you’re located in the world, your exposure to certain luxury brands may be limited. While European cars are main associated with style, luxury and performance, other brands located in different regions may promote something a little different then German-engineered luxury. In the US, between the 1940s-1990s, brands like Cadillac and Lincoln Motors were considered luxury brands, offering more than just standard rides. What really separate luxury from ordinary?

 

Defining What is a Luxury Car?

When you consider a luxury, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Don’t worry; you can take a moment to think if you need. For most, it’s a price tag, but for those of us who understand the concept, it’s more than a name on the car. It is a lifestyle, a feeling of quality; it’s almost like there is something about owning a luxury car that makes you feel like a better person. Technically, a luxury is anything that provides more than the necessity. That seems like a weak sauce definition. You’d be a fool to fall for that line.

The real meaning behind luxury cars is innovation, quality, and superiority to all comparisons. We look for the brand, status, and sense of prestigious that can’t just be accessed by everyone. Does this mean you can only get luxury if you’re driving a Bugatti or Lambo? Certainly not, but those aren’t bad choices, though. In the new age of automation, what defines luxury vehicles now?

 

Technology Has Changed the Auto Industry Forever

While the most obvious topic is automation and the emergence of hybrid or fully electric cars is also making a claim in the auto industry. While we have become much more advanced and automated with our engineering, as a human race, we still enjoy being different, setting ourselves apart in different socioeconomic classes and not always falling in place with everyone else. Luxury cars also take this approach. Each one has their own unique feature that is purposefully put there to make you sign the contract and drive today. Whether it is a fully autonomous ride, a manual drive session to test performance and increase thrills, or just wanting to fit into the Upper Class, luxury car manufacturers continue to redefine luxury each and every year. For instance, BMW’s AR app, lets you get a real feel for the newest i8’s interior capabilities, without ever leaving your parking lot. This is only one example of how luxury car manufacturers are adapting to new technologies and this might become a major reason for someone who seeks to upgrade to a newer, better version of a car. Let’s see how luxury cars have developed over the last 100 years.

 

Innovation Driven By Dedication

When the concept of cars first came into mass production in the early 1900s, features were bare, but so were our needs. We didn’t really require much in the beginning. You know, just the ability to quickly move from one place to another. As technology started to take off, so did the features we put in cars. From implementing cigarette lighters in 1925 to quickly find a way to put a radio in there by 1930, when it comes to needs, we can certainly find a whole handful of things we thought we never needed.

Sure, you could continue to scroll through the many various implementations introduced almost yearly from coil spring suspension in 1934 all the way to the still relevant CD player first installed on public automobiles in 1985, but let’s face it, that is not really leaps and bounds. When someone thinks of evolution, one of the first things he or she will think of is how fast it occurred. Sure for startups, small businesses, global titans, and even everyday people growing are important. Let’s fast forward a few years past 1994 when the first onboard diagnostics made its debut and continue past 1995 when navigational systems or GPS reared up. Now, we arrive at the digital doorstep of the new millennium. This is the beginning of a whole new kind of automobile. Now, instead of gas-guzzling performance beasts, luxury starts to lean toward efficiency and practicality.

In 2000, hybrid cars became all the rave, but they continued to come up short. There were not enough ways to charge them, distances were laughable at best, and the price tags almost mocked you when you looked at the available styles. Fast-forward just over a decade, and now you better believe we’ve found more and more things we need in our cars. Most luxury brands and even smaller entities are pushing toward autonomy and fitting your car needs. And by doing that comes more time for us to do nothing while we ride. Nope, false statement! You know darn right, you’ll need in-car WiFi, USB plugs, climate control, heck you may even bounce the idea of a popcorn maker, and the auto industry is aiming to please. What car features can you simply not live without?