Does the car still make people dream?

Is the younger generation still interested in cars? Do today’s children still dream of becoming a race car driver? Do they still turn around when a supercar passes? On the contrary, has today’s society succeeded in making the car the number one enemy of the people? Let’s see if we can answer all these questions.

For once, I will speak from my own experience today. When I was young (and I’m only 27), the car was not perceived the same way as it is now. Things were very different, both in substance and form. The 80s and 90s saw the emergence of the first supercars, those that laid the foundation that their descendants still use. These cars, some of which are still some of the most successful cars ever created, were the ultimate holy grail, the ultimate in all car production at the time. It was also during this period that the first small GTIs came with the Golf GTI, the mythical 205 GTI and yet another Renault 5 Turbo. At this point, the rally was at its peak with the legendary Group B, and the Formula 1 World Championship was followed by a myriad of people. But above all, the car industry had free rein and the car was not considered a taboo. The car could not have dreamed of a better showcase. All of this contributed to the fantasies of thousands of children who, like me, hung posters of Ferrari F40s and Lamborghini Countachs in their bedrooms, watched the Formula 1 Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon next to their fathers and spent hours on Need For Speed ​​Underground Driving Nissan GT-R R34 and Honda S2000. What a beautiful time … But things have changed a lot.

Here we are in 2022, in the situation we know. The car is in the eyes of the state and environmentalists (hi Greta), who has also made it the most important scapegoat for everything directly or indirectly related to the climate. If you pay a fine today on a Golf or a Peugeot 308, it’s them thanks to you. But do not worry, you can still make 12 round trips from Paris to New York a year, it is allowed. That said, the indecent taxation to which the car is subject is not solely responsible for the current situation. The design of the car has changed, electronics have taken up more and more space, so much so that today the driver has almost nothing to do. And this is just the beginning, and the ultimate goal is to completely delegate drive to processors. It is for sure that the joy of driving has taken a big hit … Not to mention the SUVs, which after killing the cars are in the process of getting the skin of sedans and station wagons.

But how do you explain this change? I think society got what it wanted. With large strokes of safety and environmental standards, manufacturers dare much less. With huge blows of taxes and fines, people got into their heads that having a car was like shooting oneself in the foot (or more precisely in the wallet). It should come as no surprise that kids these days prefer to spend their days on Fortnite and have posters with sneakers patched in their bedrooms. I remember in 2013, when I was finally old enough to take my driver’s license, all my friends and I could not wait to be able to drive. Now, permission is no longer the dream of a handful of teens.

Fortunately, the automotive world has already proven its persistence. Look at the number of Youtube channels, TV shows and car magazines that have appeared in recent years! And the success is there! This is proof that the car keeps making people dream, and not just adults. You will be amazed at the average age of the audience gathered in front of the two biggest TV shows on Sunday morning.

So yes, between the programmed death of the internal combustion engine and the arrival of the electric car, a side is turning. But there is always hope. Some brands are more persistent than others, and continue to release exciting new models. And for those who definitely miss the old days when the only place to find processors was a computer, you still have the youngtimer market, which is filled with grains of gold just waiting to stretch the wheels. On the motorsport side, if the rally no longer has its former popularity, Formula 1 continues to gather fans every Sunday. And there are still incredible drivers coming from all disciplines (Loeb, Ogier, Hamilton, etc.) to show the young generation that the car with a great “V” still has something to say.

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