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3 October 2016
Does Bluetooth Come Standard in That?
Growth of the vehicle industry is influenced by both manufacturers and owners of the vehicles. Manufacturers develop new technologies for their product while consumers install aftermarket parts to enhance performance and appearance. These new technologies bring high tech features, normally only found in expensive luxury cars, to the average sedan or SUV, while installing aftermarket parts and going to car shows materializes a community of car enthusiasts from around the world Producers and consumers affect the industry’s expansion by improving and customizing cars around the globe.
Various manufacturers work together in an intertwined web of connection. Companies like Infiniti and Nissan develop nearly identical cars, with Infiniti making luxury versions of Nissan vehicles. Honda and Acura have the same sort of relationship with Acura being the luxury developer. One of these companies, Ford, a behemoth in the industry, spends a great deal of resources on improving past models. A prime example is the Ford Escape, first released in 2000. With such a large year gap between the first model and the present day, Ford has had an extensive of time to change the way the Escape performs and appears. Completely overhauled, the new Escape “looks nothing like the old Escape, and if the lack of continuity is its biggest problem, Ford has nothing to worry about” (Evans). Looking nothing alike, the first and last models are totally different underneath as well.
Since the early 2000s, Ford developed a new, more fuel efficient engine, dubbed the “Ecoboost” engine, and promptly began releasing all of its vehicles with this new engine installed. In 2000, the Escape came with four different trim styles: XLS, XLS 4x4, XLT, and XLT 4x4. The XLS models came with a cloth interior, a five speed manual transmission, and basic vehicle functions on the center console and dashboard, like air conditioning and a radio. With the only difference to the XLT model being leather seats, Ford did not have many options for different trims when they first released the car. In the new 2017 model, however, a customer can choose between different engine displacements, drivetrains, interior materials, and other standard features that simply did not exist in 2000. Today’s models come standard with Bluetooth, and a potential buyer can choose whether they want navigation, a sunroof, manual or automatic gearbox, and other standard features. All of these new options are available for customers due to Ford’s effort with developing at a lower cost, allowing more high-tech features to be fit into an average vehicle. Ford, however, isn’t the only manufacturer that works towards improving the technology in its vehicles.
Two other manufacturers by the name of Porsche and Ferrari have a simple task: to create a better performing sports car than the previous model. When Porsche released the 2010 911 GT3, car enthusiasts around the world raved about the improved performance of the new car. Though the appearance changes were very subtle, the newly developed engine and weight reduction technologies give the car its own unique driving style. With an extra one hundred rotations per minute available on the new engine, the 2010 GT3 has the potential to generate more torque in every gear, providing the driver with better acceleration. Using different materials for the engine components, Porsche lowered the weight of the engine by 2.2 pounds when compared to the previous model. Though it may not seem like a huge amount, weight is important to the car’s handling characteristics and acceleration statistics. The “race-derived, 19-inch center lock wheels save a total of 5.5 pounds” (Ioh), and the ceramic brakes that save another ten pounds, create an aggressive handling character, perfect for the average track junkie. Every single vent and grille on the car is specially designed to give the engine more air flow, keeping it cool in high pressure race track conditions. Porsche is not the only supercar manufacturer that works towards developing their vehicles.
Ferrari, a close competitor of Porsche, similarly improved their car line-up with the FF. However, they developed an entirely new technology that they have never attempted before. Ferrari created their own rendition of the all-wheel-drive drivetrain system. This one of a kind system’s “electronic systems divert torque to the front wheels if they detect wheelspin” (Horrell), allowing the car to achieve faster acceleration potential. These new technologies and different strategies that manufacturers use to expand the vehicle industry into the wide range of vehicles that it is today. Electricity is not only being used to achieve better acceleration; it is replacing gasoline powered cars in general.
Electric Vehicles, once a dream of the future, are rising up in the car industry in the present day. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, began producing the Model S in 2013. Totally running on batteries, the original Model S only had about 120 miles of range on a single charge, rendering electric vehicles almost useless for people that lived out in the country. However, in 2016, Tesla released the P100D version of the Model S with a much more efficient battery, allowing the car to travel over 300 miles on a one charge, opening up the ability for nearly everyone to have some sort of use of the car, unlike with the original model. Tesla’s range of vehicles today has grown to the Model X, an SUV, and the Model 3, a cheaper version of the Model S, geared towards people with lesser incomes. Each Tesla vehicle comes equipped with a new and upcoming technology, autopilot. Apple, a company known for their iconic iPhone, “is planning to make a mobile device that will instead carry its users--an electric car” (Upsetting the Apple car; Cars and Technology). However, Apple’s vehicle is still in development with an unknown release date. The growing surplus of electric vehicles lowers their price, making it easier for the average person to afford a car. In turn, this grows the vehicle industry even more. Not only do manufacturers have an influence on the vehicle industry, but so do consumers as well.
Owners like to customize their vehicles with aftermarket parts to improve the performance, and change the appearance of their automobiles. These activities create communities of car enthusiasts, starting up various car shows and car meets around the country. The general goal of owners that modify their cars is to “provide a more stable platform, improve vehicle handling, and deliver more power to the ground on the road and at the track” (Camaro Product Showcase). Modifying one’s vehicle brings it more life and character, while allowing the expression of personality in the form of metal parts, sounds, and tire screeches.
Some parts manufacturers, though they do not develop cars, create new and improved parts for owners to install onto their vehicles. Companies like Cobb, MBRP, West, PerformaBuilt, and many others, specialize in various parts that greatly improve the way a car looks, handles, and performs. Cobb and MBRP develop parts that complement the engine, like intercoolers, exhausts, and motor mounts. West is purely an appearance part company, making wild body kits that can completely change the look of a vehicle. PerformaBuilt is known for its custom transmission make for Chevrolet vehicles. With the way it was developed, the transmission can “hold over 1,000 horsepower in most Chevy cars” (Parker). It may seem like an unbelievably and unnecessarily large amount of horsepower for a car, but having such a large amount of power is what greatly improves a car’s acceleration and top speed. Owners take pride in their vehicles, taking them to shows and meet-ups whenever they have the chance.
When taken to different shows and meets, these ridiculous custom creations strike inspiration in children, or other people that are simply enjoying the show. Big shows, like the GReddyFest, bring together hundreds of car enthusiasts, and non-car enthusiasts, to communicate with one another, while showing off their prized possession on four wheels. Chuck T. took his time to go to GRreddyFest, and he was “impressed with the hundreds of people and cars that showed up. [He] spent the whole day taking pictures, checking out cars, [and] hanging out with people” (T.). Not only does this fest bring together people, but GReddy sells the parts that they develop to the people there, allowing more and more owners to modify their vehicles.
Overall, producers help grow the vehicle industry by developing more high tech features at a lower price, making them standard on today’s cars and allowing the average person to own an impressive car for a lower price. Consumers customize their vehicles in order to revive their cars for their own enjoyment, and to inspire others to do the same with their cars. Both producers and consumers have the chance to grow the industry, easing the stress about purchasing a car while inspiring owners to put some pizzazz into their cars.
"Camaro Product Showcase." Chevy High Performance Nov. 2016: 50+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.
Evans, Scott. "Escaping the past: meet the new car--nothing like the old car." Motor Trend July 2012: 74+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.URL
Horrell, Paul. "First look: Ferrari FF: meet the car that's pushing traditional Ferrari boundaries." Motor Trend Apr. 2011: 14+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.URL
Ioh, Edward. "The antidote: forget turbos and AWD: meet the great organic sports car." Motor Trend July 2009: 64+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.URL
Parker, Scott. "Geared up: an all-out 4L60E built to hold 1,000 hp with performance-friendly gear ratios." Chevy High Performance Oct. 2016: 60+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.URL
T., Chuck. "GReddyFest 2: the car show-meet-open house-garage sale-extravaganza." Super Street Jan. 2011: 30. Student Resources in Context. Web. 27 Aug. 2016.
"Upsetting the Apple car; Cars and technology." The Economist 21 Feb. 2015: 61(US). Global Issues in Context. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.<http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA402233166&v=2.1&u=cant50470&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w&asid=ca900a36b4250fdd0ff6ee581df6c95f>
Bilyy 1rove the performance, and change the appearance of their automobiles. These activities create communities of car enthusiasts, starting up various car shows and car meets around the country. The general goal of owners that modify their cars is to “provide a more stable platform, improve vehicle handling, and deliver more power to the ground on the road and at the track” (Camaro Product Showcase). Modifying one’s vehicle brings it more life and character, while allowing the expression of personality in the form of metal parts, sounds, and tire screeches.
When taken to different shows and meets, these ridiculous custom creations strike inspiration in children, or other people that are simply enjoying the show. Big shows, like the GReddyFest, bring together hundreds of car enthusiasts, and non-car enthusiasts, to communicate with one anoth