KEITH CRAIN

A contradiction or a cornucopia?

COMMENTARY
Keith Crain is editor-in-chief of Automotive News
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I am told that Bugatti may add a vehicle to its lineup with something like 1,500 hp, and, I am sure, a purchase price to match.

Meanwhile, some other European companies are prospering by making small, frugal vehicles that drive the price of ownership down and fuel economy up.

All at the same time, on the same planet.

Ferrari, on the heels of introducing its LaFerrari supercar, has plans to increase horsepower and cut emissions on all future cars.

Ford has launched a new three-cylinder engine that offers diesel-like fuel economy.

Super luxury cars are having a great year.

All this, while governments around the world are squeezing manufacturers to move fuel economy ever higher and emissions ever lower.

This has to be the best time for consumers. Whatever you want, a car company is more than ready to sell you a vehicle to fulfill your wishes.

If you want a diesel, there are plenty from which to choose -- or perhaps an electric or a hybrid or a hydrogen vehicle.

If you want to accelerate very fast and maybe even break the sound barrier in the process, plenty of companies want to meet you.

If you to want to win an economy fuel run, there's a huge fleet of potential entries.

The scope and breadth of vehicle choices have never been greater and at every price point imaginable.

We can thank a lot of very talented engineers, along with some extremely powerful computers that operate vehicles at optimum efficiency.

And if all these exciting possibilities seem overwhelming, hang on. Because you ain't seen nothing yet.

In less than a decade, you'll be able to hop in your favorite vehicle, bark out a command and without touching anything, sit back and read your paper or tablet as you are whisked off to your destination quickly, efficiently and safely.

As safety advocates have said for decades, if we want to create a safer environment, we have to get the driver out of the car. It looks like that is about to happen.

It's an exciting time. More important, the choices are so broad and far-reaching that everybody can be happy.

And that's a good thing.

You can reach Keith Crain at kcrain@crain.com.


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