A world without sports cars! Is that even a possibility? As the times are changing, we are seeing a definite shift in focus: from speed and agility to less dependency on fossil fuels and driverless cars. BMW sales chief Ian Robertson confirmed the phenomena about the future of sports cars in a recent interview to Bloomberg. According to him, the sports car market has pretty much collapsed if post 2008 sales figures are anything to go by. Despite an onslaught of super cars like Audi TT, Mercedes SLK and BMW Z4, sports car sales have halved over the last decade.
The Definition of High Performance is Set to Change
As the future draws closer, vehicles are becoming safer, and sensations of high speed are starting to take a back seat. There is also a greater balance between future car technologies and consumer needs. The reducing demand for sports car comes coupled with needs for a safe, sound and stress-free drive.
This has lead to fool-proof autonomous i.e. self-driving vehicles.
Another issue is that of fuel efficiency. Sports cars are traditionally fuel guzzling mean machines that run on fossil fuels. This doesn’t sit very well with today’s environment conscious car buyers. Modern green cars are the answer to this problem. These cars feature fuel-saving powertrains, and are capable of delivering a great driving experience albeit a little slower than the traditional sports cars.
The future isn’t necessarily boring! The new technology has made it safer than ever to drive these vehicles, without taking out any of the fun.
Prestigious names like Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Bugatti have traditionally been known for performance and luxury for the best part of a century. However, like all things their reign seems to be coming to an end. It is now more fashionable to show up in Tesla X or Nissan Leaf than any run-of-the-mill sports cars. Green cars enable owners to make a powerful lifestyle statement that sports cars can’t inspire.
Will The Fast Cars Be Replaced Entirely?
Ferrari’s sales orders are going strong and they are not likely to diminish. They are still putting out super sports cars that deliver high performance and need real people to drive them.
Some people believe that self-driving cars will take over sports cars, which in turn will be locked away in basements and garages like prized art possessions. This does seem a very viable possibility. Comfortable leather seats and unadulterated horsepower aren’t as revered as it used to be. And it is quite evident that baby boomers have outgrown the need for sports cars. Yet they still seem to have some utility as objects of sentimental value for car enthusiasts.
The Only Way Out: A Marriage of Speed and Energy Efficiency
As clean energies develop and car manufacturers better understand the gains to be had in efficiency, we are already looking forward to the next wave of performance vehicles. Electric superchargers are becoming increasingly standardized. This has enhanced the possibility of having small four-cylinder engines spin big turbos and create quite a lot of power while also operating in fuel-saving mode as the EPA watches on. The new technology wave can significantly downsize a sports cars assembly, save on weight and reduce idling consumption.
Furthermore, an electrically-boosted engine would work very well with a CVT. Imagine a car that has both a turbocharger and an automatic transmission that perfectly complement each other so one is at work when the other is not. It might not be natural to think of a four-hundred-horsepower one-liter engine that can achieve epic levels of power using multiple power generation methods. It doesn’t sound possible, but that future is closer than you may think.
Let’s also factor in 3-D printing and advanced scanning technologies. It is becoming increasingly possible to build whatever engine you’d like, for the cost of materials, right inside your home.
Whether you want a Mazda triple-rotor or your own V-16, turn on those assembly machines and it will be done before you know it.
The Future is Now!
Makers of top-end cars in the sports segment must come up with interesting new technologies and services to keep attracting car aficionados. It is only natural for car buyers to move onto the next big thing. It remains to be seen how traditional sports cars deal with the onslaught of new technologies and better incorporate them.
As we continue to move towards an exciting new future of sports cars, manufacturers will need to focus on emotion and utility right along with speed and driving pleasure.
As the market segment for cars such as the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger is far smaller today than ever, keeping these cars fresh has never been more important.