Heels on Wheels: Ready for Trendy Tech

Interesting | April 9th, 2013 by 3
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I started drooling over the i8 the moment I saw it. When it had the lighting details on the front I used to dream that I’d get my very tech savvy friends to help me turn them into a equalizer. I thought it would be fun to have it reacting to the music I was playing inside, or even to the motor revving… that would be cool.

But the new clear (or translucent as they will apparently be) doors are fun too – it still looks like it stepped – or drove, I suppose – right out of Tron, and I’m quite okay with that. A futuristic car for a forward thinking girl. The interior looks like it will be as high-tech and futuristic as the exterior, and I am very okay with that too. It even throws in a bit of classy style that goes very much with the look.

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Clearly, I love the idea of a car perfectly crossed with tech. I am very into emerging social technology and ways to stay connected, and I’ve always been thoroughly amused by Hollywood cars like KITT. The idea of having the car do things for you through voice control, for example, makes me swoon. Or something like the LFA’s ability to call up a 24/7 service that will search GPS locations and enter them in for you while you drive.

Or maybe I just like the idea of calling them up for ridiculous requests as Clarkson did in a recent episode. If you’ve got the money to buy that car, you probably have the galls to drive your GPS service crazy.

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I think cars like that are built for people like me, people who do not want to stop moving and who are always on the go. Unlike tools like parking assistance, which assist in driving, these are added things to help you do more wherever you are and wherever you go.

And that’s how I like to be – unless you keep me busy, you’re not going to keep me happy.

The problem is, I don’t want to be like that on the road while my wheels are making quick work of the tarmac disappearing beneath us. When I am driving, I am busy driving. When it’s me and my car, that’s all I want it to be – me and my car.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like using the cutting edge technology. When I’m stopped in the parking lot, I may want to use the social media or make a call, when my James May-like sense of direction kicks in, I’ll pull over to set the GPS and if I’ve had a bad day I will probably put on music to put me in a good mood if the motor isn’t doing the trick on its own.

But when I’m driving, I’m not looking for a computer to play with… I want a big, brilliant piece of engineering mastery that completely and fully envelops the notion of a car and that is responding to my every demand as I ask it to with my hands and feet – probably often making me work for it.

I realize that this notion – a notion I call the ‘Act of Driving’ – is becoming a bizarre concept for the general population. Especially for my gender as softer handling, add-on-heavy cars are being bought by and targeted at them. Technology exists to make life easier, right? So why would I want to go back to the days where driving took effort instead of leaning towards driving being effortless?

For safety, for economical purposes… I can get into those at a later point.

But mostly, for me, it’s for the enjoyment.

I’m a car enthusiast, I like the idea of actually driving. Crazy, huh?

So I would like to say this: i8, darling, you may be filled with all the coolest new things, be the sexiest girl parked in the garage, the perfect accessory to any look and the coolest way to make a big entrance – but if you don’t drive like a real car I will never forgive you.

Luckily for me, as well as others who may share these concerns, recent test drive videos and articles are depicting an image of a car that is very much a driving machine and not just fancy new technology, and this I am happy for. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised… Germans are known to do things for precision and perfection, not necessarily for ease.

Early tests have it keeping up with cars like the M3 or 911 Carrera without using anywhere near the fuel – it seems to be using the brand new ideas on aerodynamics and chassis construction well, and that is the type of new technology the car industry should be leaning towards.

Top Gear’s article on it said that when you pressed down on the ‘loud pedal’ it ‘properly kicked you in the back.’ Sounds like a good time to me. And watching the videos from AutoCar that were posted here earlier, the cornering style looks like an even better time.

But it isn’t just for those who want fun, if you want to go full electric for your short trip to work, go for it. You can putt around at a ‘normal’ speed and use no fuel whatsoever. I like this concept, a sport car when you want it, a rational car when you need it.

But it does sound like a sports car. What a lovely purr.

…This could honestly be another great move into a movement I am eager to see evolve. This is spurred from my negative reaction I had to a certain environmentalist well known in Canada who voiced his opinion against fast and ‘cool’ looking cars.

I am a strong supporter of environmental cars, as well as a car enthusiast – and this IS possible! There is no need to be an alarmist and to claim that cool looking cars which people just enjoy owning are all evil and should be condemned. It is possible to be responsible and have a good time on the road.

Part of the ‘Act of Driving’ is driving responsibly. You will find that driving happy versus angry and driving at the right speeds in certain places will bring down your fuel consumption and also reduce the pain your wallet feels.

And part of environmental support has to be admitting the flaws that they are looking at fixing. The some of the eco boxes have a horrible flaw of not being at all realistic for those who travel outside neighborhood speeds. A Prius driven aggressively is less economical than a smoothly-driven M5 and some eco boxes lose their lovely-sounding numbers once they hit the highway. And I’m not even going to get into how bad the process of making some batteries is on the environment – but let’s just say it’s really dirty.

But one thing we can all do – is convince environment lovers that cool cars can be eco-friendly, and convince car lovers that eco-choices can be fun, fast and amazing to drive.

Cars like the Fisker Karma, or more wallet-friendly, the line of Tesla cars that are emerging.

And soon, I hope the all-too-cool i8 will be showing off a fabulous mix of amazing engineering, technical mastery, prestigious driving experience – all while wiping the smirks off alarmist environmentalists and putting them on the faces of car lovers worldwide.