Editorial: Why Build a Supercar?

Featured Posts, Interesting | January 29th, 2010 by 27
BMW M1 homage 01 750x500 Editorial: Why Build a Supercar?

As a toddler, you walked the enormous isles of the toy store, looking up at the shelves as though floors of a skyscraper. Filled with …

the long and winding road 655x436 Editorial: Why Build a Supercar?

As a toddler, you walked the enormous isles of the toy store, looking up at the shelves as though floors of a skyscraper. Filled with wonderment, you contemplated what you would really like to play with and you tried to pick out the perfect toy. Stumbling upon the toy car isle, your little heart raced with excitement. As Mom and Dad promised, you could pick out any one you liked, and bring it home forever. Your eyes finally fell upon the sparkling beauty, and in the days, weeks and months that followed, your new companion inspired dreams.

Unable to put it away, it was responsible for a few late nights spent driving across your pillow. It was responsible for the spilled orange juice from a head on collision. And it was no doubt responsible for your current love of cars.

“…it was responsible for a few late nights spent driving across your pillow.”

This is the case in point: our days spent gawking at passing Porsches and drooling over Ferrari posters are closely linked to our current passions, opinions and purchase decisions. And yes, I still gawk at passing Porsches and the occasional Ferrari poster; if I had the liquid funds, I would put pen to paper in a heartbeat to own one of these cars – because they make my heart beat faster.

What do we have if we don’t have dreams?

At the core of any purchase you will find a measure of passion, gratification, purpose and necessity (Yuckhh, necessity). For the few of us who can afford to ignore the latter two in exchange for copious amounts of the former two, the keys to a supercar are hanging near the door. For the rest of us, we look to find a vehicle that will provide a measure of the first two while still meeting the demands of the last. Enter BMW – few cars in the world are able to exact so much utility and function while never losing sight of the primary goal: ultimate driving pleasure. Even BMW’s ///M cars provide incredible practicality and usability in a blistering quick package.

“I would put pen to paper in a heartbeat to own one of these cars – because they make my heart beat faster.”

But ultimately, those of us who can afford it long for the exclusive car in our garage, the one that no one is allowed to eat in, the one that requires freshly scrubbed shoes prior to admission, the one that leaves the garage for only one purpose: a thrilling Sunday drive or an excursion on the track. Let’s throw in a special night on the town, polished paint glistening in the darkness. Those of us who can’t afford it, equally lust after such a fabled car, and would be proud to own a lesser car that shares its emblem.

BMW M1 homage 01 655x420 Editorial: Why Build a Supercar?

Sexy by association.

Most of us revere the beauty and technology of a supercar, and savor the fact that more than the emblem on our keychain is shared between said supercar, and the car in our driveway. Remembering the passion and gratification of our purchase equation, we may even sign on the dotted line for a car the bears worthy resemblance to the flagship sports car of the company. Technology transfer peaks our interest while scaled down performance and similar craftsmanship secures our satisfaction, our joy. Brand loyalty is won, and a strong relationship is established between car and owner, one that will no doubt extend to later cars. The effective point I’m documenting is that a supercar can go a long way in effective marketing and can build energy and enthusiasm for the brand. It can make great business sense even, perhaps especially, in turbulent economic times.

“Let’s throw in a special night on the town, polished paint glistening in the darkness.”

The last time I checked, Ferrari was not a charitable organization. That’s right, they actually make a great deal of money selling ultra exclusive supercars. While a company like BMW would stand to profit from secondary sales within the brand more than direct sales of a supercar, it still makes excellent business sense. Of greater concern is “image” – what would it look like if the world’s greenest car company, BMW, produced a supercar that kills more trees per second than a forest fire? Those of the tree hugger denomination would not be too happy, and it would stand to contradict BMW’s efficient dynamics strategy. Thank goodness for the Vision Concept – a brilliant sports car that treads lightly on the environment.

With BMW’s extensive F1 experience and supreme sports car building prowess, a dominant supercar is not out of reach for the Bavarian automaker. Let’s distill this to a simple analogy. If BMW doubled the displacement of the Vision Concept diesel, we would have a 3.0 L producing in the neighborhood of 326 hp with total power output reaching 519 hp. The additional engine power would now give the sports car exceptional acceleration, the likes of which only supercars could pace. Let’s go a step further and suppose BMW dropped their superb S63 Twin Turbo V-8 ///M engine behind the driver. Now we would have a collective output of 748 hp and 0-60 times that would cause competitive supercars to sweat under the collar. We now have a plug-in hybrid supercar with staggering performance and less carbon footprint than a 7 series. Tree huggers rejoice, automotive enthusiasts drool, and wealthy enthusiasts open their wallets. The best part of this supposed supercar is that all the existing technology is readily available for production – it’s not a pie-in-the-sky “if we can perfect the nuclear reactor under the seat she’ll fly!”

“Let’s give our kids a worthy supercar to ponder, one with world-class performance and world-friendly emissions.”

The supercars kids dream of tomorrow will not be fitted with conventional internal combustion engines. The world is changing quickly and the automotive world is changing faster. Lets give our kids a worthy supercar to ponder, one with world-class performance and world-friendly emissions.

BMW, on bended knee I implore you: please build a supercar worthy of the roundel.

To all our kids, and to all kids at heart – sweet dreams.

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