Saturday, June 1, 2013

Car crush

206 - image from
WRC 206 - image from
My background in Industrial Design has given me a real appreciation for automotive design and the importance of proportion, aerodynamics, performance and good looks. After spending some time in Europe in 2000, I returned home lusting after the Peugeot 206 - a very apparent new model. Attending a French car show at the University of Queensland after my return, and seeing a 206 CC merely cemented my desire. 

The 206, in it's time was a very smart design. The fact that the 206 won so many car rallies made it universally appealing: the first small car to really appeal to males. I love this commercial for the 206. After some investigation, I found a show room model for sale: a new car without the new car price tag. Woohoo. Breaking a 5+ year car drought, I had my own 206! One happy girl with her zippy 5 speed manual. I loved this car. It cornered brilliantly and was super fun to drive. A brilliant choice for inner city living. I even had a number of male friends eager to test drive my car. During one long drive, I was pulled over for a random inspection - the police officer just wanted to ask questions about the car!

Recently, Paul has been making suggestions about getting a larger car. The idea of a mini van sends me into apoplectic spasms. Seriously - I am NOT that kind of girl. SUVs *look* like they might be an option with 7 seats (ideal for catering for visitors), but with far less storage space than our Jetta. Four-wheel and All-wheel drive vehicles are a bonus for driving through snow. Having lived an inner city existence for many years, I can't abide really big vehicles: waste of space, waste of gas. An interest in hybrid and electric cars has altered my search criteria.... leading me to my latest car crush. A Tesla Model X
Model X - images from
Paul has been intrigued by the Tesla Roadster and has been following it with interest for some years. It is not a family car - and I don't think it has great street appeal - but with it, Tesla has been paving the way for the development and advancement of electric car technology. As a California start-up, Tesla is providing the expertise through partnerships with many established car companies (e.g. Mercedes, Toyota) to assist the development of electric cars and long life batteries. The Model S has recently been labeled the 'best car ever tested' by Consumer Reports. The Model X is not yet available and the expected price tag is way too steep, but this car really serves multiple criteria: seating for 7 adults, heaps of storage space, all-wheel drive, great-looking... and it can be plugged in at home! 

Bravo for Tesla motors - not only for their innovation, but for also achieving street cred and desirability all while beginning to turn a profit (largely through selling credits at this point), great investment potential and mass-production within their sights

My friend Andrew noted that if he were a child, he would like to grow up to be Elon Musk - a 'real-life Tony Stark'. Musk is the CEO of Tesla, a serial-entrepreneur and visionary. Musk was interviewed a few days ago - you can see this interview here or read it here

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