Change is in the air. Less is more. Up is down. It's true, I read it somewhere on the Internet. Americans are actually buying smaller cars. Car makers are making engines with two cylinders and not 12. And in some cases, no cylinders, merely batteries that weigh hundreds of pounds, kilos or stones. All in an effort to defeat the oil companies (not happening) and make the world a better place.
To quote Principal Skinner on the Simpsons, the times they are not what they used to be.
As I said in a very recent blog post, what's cool and brag-worthy in the automotive world is not the number of cylinders in your vehicle's engine, or the horsepower rating, or the mysterious and sensually alluring value known as torque, rather it's how clean, green and not mean your car is.
Our vocabulary regarding performance will eventually change to where power might refer to how many apps your car has and not how well it can lay a patch on the tarmac to impress that frizzy-haired trollop with your manly V-8.
And what will also change is how cars will be marketed and advertised to us consumers. And I think I just saw the future. It's on the iPhone with the iAd. Advertising on your phone, but not in the crass "Crazy Eddie buy a car or I'll eat my foot" way of yore. It's about being clean, mobile, always on, always hooked up to the latest, greatest app, ad or what have you.
I think this iAd for the Nissan Leaf is really cool. Maybe even cooler than the car itself. It's not advertising as we're used to it. It lets you play with the virtual car, it's alive and gets you involved and makes you want to explore. Will it sell more Leafs (or Leaves)? Can it make a boring commuter car a true cult wagon? Too early to say, but check out the ad below and tell me if you think it's very slick. I do.