Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We Are Far Too Spoiled to Even Realize It

Considering that Jaguar has spent over 2.5 billion on the XE you might almost feel a little bad for the brand given the somewhat lukewarm meh reaction outside of the British media. Looking at the elements at play in the XE it's clear that the automotive industry has all of us just a little bit spoiled and it's becoming harder than ever to impress us. The forthcoming high performance variant of the XE will likely match the power output of the famed Jaguar XJ220 super car that was once the fastest car in the world. Much like the XJ220, the XE features plenty of aluminum and is poised to lead a growing group of aluminum intensive cars at increasingly more reasonable prices. While the design is not unexpected, the XE does take the best of the XF while skipping the strangeness of the XJ. Impressively it does so with an aerodynamic coefficient of just .26 without looking like a Prius or a jellybean. Not to mention it's light years ahead of the awkward turtle X-Type it replaces. The XE is an excellent start to take a look at the state of the auto industry in the Fall of 2014 and how we take it for granted at times.

Full size luxury sedans are breaking into the 3s to 60 all while delivering 30 mpg on the highway. As impressive as that go is, the stop might be even more so as there are 5,000+ pounds SUVs that will outbreak a Lamborghini Murcielago. And if you forget to brake on your own many new cars will do so for you. If all else fails though you are better off than ever, the IIHS had to invent a new test to keep itself relevant and not hand out a gold star to every model. The older models looked bad at first against a very solid barrier but it didn't take long for newer models designed with the test in mind to pass with flying colors. Sure it's an element of test beating but so is the entire US education system and there should be tangible real world benefits as well. While Dr. Evil might never get his wish of sharks with laser beams your car might soon if the government cooperates and lets through technology that allows you to see twice as far as before without blinding anyone on the other side of the road. If that isn't impressive enough there is also a brand out there on every other brand's radar offering a very stylish and very quick car with a very usable electric range. Sure, the auto industry feels slow compared to monthly app updates and yearly new phone releases but there is also no option for a restart at 85 in the fast lane.

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