/Will Cars Ever be “Cool” Again?

Will Cars Ever be “Cool” Again?

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The attitudes of the average 20-something and 30-something are totally different towards cars now than they once were. Americans just don’t have the passion for their car that they once had. Will there be a new wave of cool cars that inspire future generations of enthusiasts? Or has the automobile peaked already?

Young People Don’t Want to Drive Anymore

Why People Have Lost Interest at a Glance:

  • Less Need for Travel
  • Rocky Economy
  • Lack of Models that Inspire

The auto industry needs 18-30 year olds to feel inspired by their models since that’s the trend-setting crowd — but the new trend is actually to avoid the industry entirely. There’s even a new phenomenon of people not even getting their driver’s licenses by choice.

People don’t have as much reason to drive now as they once did — social media, instant streaming, and online shopping has reduced the time millennials spend out and about to practically nil. Many people in this generation are also taking to working from home offices instead of commuting to a cubicle.

Now combine this lack of necessity with a generation that has experienced some of the worst economic times in decades, and the trend setters see cars as a nuisance instead of a reflection of their personality and status like they once did.

Even the popular car show culture is starting to fade as people don’t have any interest in restoration and matching numbers muscle cars like they once did. While certain shows are still very popular, it’s a lot of the same cars over and over again.

That’s not to say that auto enthusiasts will ever get tired of classic muscle cars and first gen Corvettes, but many people are wondering if that culture is going to die when the owners of the those cars decide to retire them from the circuit. If there’s any hope, something fresh is going to have to inspire people to keep the hobby going.

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A Changing Attitude

What people want from a car is changing, and if auto makers would respond to that better, they could rekindle that love between man (or woman) and car — and it seems like they might be modeling new cars to better please the modern driver.

However, inspiring people to feel bonded with their cars, and automobiles becoming “cool” again takes more than pleasing the average driver, or getting the average person to drive to begin with. An auto enthusiast is born when a car inspires them, and a car can’t really be “cool” until that starts happening again.

That’s not to say that there aren’t some pretty awesome cars out there. Models like the 2014 Corvette Stingray might actually represent a shift in attitude by car makers. This car holds all of the classic traits of an enthusiast’s car (power, appeal, etc.), but also delivers impressive gas mileage, has a range of options for driver’s control over the car, and the latest technology throughout. There’s even some chatter about a hybrid powertrain Corvette in development that could make over 700 horsepower from the factory.

Similarly, Toyota is rumored to have plans for the introduction of two new rear wheel drive cars that could pack a lot of power in a technologically advanced, fuel efficient sports car. Not to mention, the highly anticipated Toyota-BMW hybrid sports car, said to be based on the i8 platform — this is starting to sound like an affordable supercar, if such a thing could ever exist.

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Any of the mentioned cars, and a few others, would be reasonable show cars in two decades when they become classics. That might not be everyone’s measure of “cool”, but it’s probably the easiest way to make a judgment about that trait.

It seems like with these models, the market of “fun” cars will be a lot better rounded out. If nothing else, having more selection will lead to more competition and the result could be something magical…something that might even turn a millennial or two into a hardcore auto enthusiast.

This article has been contributed by Jason Lancaster; Jason works with AccurateAutoAdvice.com, a site that helps car owners by offering tips & advice online.

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(CEO / Editor / Journalist) – Bruno is the owner and CEO of Motorward.com; he’s responsible for the entire team, editorial guidelines and publishing. Bruno has many years of experience in the auto industry, both managing automotive websites and contributing to the press.