Features which, in the past, were only found on premium models are now available on entry level models. From leather to feature rich infotainment systems, it is surprising what one can get while still being fairly thrifty.
This leaves auto companies with a problem, however: car makers are running out of ways to sell luxury cars. What can Mercedes possibly put in its upcoming CLA, for example, to differentiate it from slightly less expensive models, if so many features are no longer exclusive to premium segments? There are a number of possibilities, but the one which I find most interesting is also one of the most simple: more power.
Car companies are simply producing cars with more and more power. Cadillac, for example, recently announced that its new XTS will get a massively powerful V6 engine, producing 410 horsepower. Even more surprising, the XTS isn’t even Cadillac’s performance model. The company simply believes that a more powerful engine will sell the car. Brands have also noticed that the median incomes of people buying performance cars, such as BMW’s M// brand, are likely to be higher than for the normal models.
How this strategy fits into the trend of lighter and more efficient vehicles remains to be seen, but the outlook doesn’t appear to be good.