Phrases such as ‘best ever’ and ‘sheet innovation’ have made it a very good day for overhyped blurb from the automakers. But will, or do, the products live up to rhetoric? The first phrase belongs to Ford’s announcement that it’s kick off Job 1 production of the ‘best ever’ Falcon FG X and SZ Territory MkII that go on sale 1 December.
Stating what should be the bleeding obvious, Ford’s David Wilkinson says that Ford has a rigorous global quality process that Australia follows to ensure that both vehicles are built to the highest standards. And so it somehow has to follow that the new Falcon and Territory are “without a doubt, the best cars ever made here at Broadmeadows”.
Displaying a keen sense of the rhetorical he went on: “Years of design and development brings us to this point and the whole team have been laser-focused on bringing customers the best ever Falcon, and seeing them come off the production line, ready for owners, is a great moment for all of us here at Ford.”
So it’s no big surprise to learn that the Falcon FG X and SZ Territory MkII feature an array of world class, customer-focused, smart technologies such as ‘customer-assist’ parking sensors, rear camera, etc, and wait for it, twin antennas for improved audio quality.
There’s also an array of the usual things almost all manufacturer now claim such as lighter components, more powerful engines that use less fuel, less emissions, etc. So far it doesn’t sound that exciting but come December we could indeed see the best cars ever made at Broadmeadows, which is perhaps another way of saying that the company has left the best to the last!
And so onto the ‘sheer innovation’ bit! What could this be all about? Believe it, or not, it’s an Audi RS7 racing around the Hockenheim track without a driver. No, he didn’t fall out and the horse ran on without its jockey. It was, according to Audi, a demonstration of the sheer innovation of piloted driving…sort of what BMW, Merc and a host of others have been doing with trucks, buses and a variety of touched up ‘standard’ models for about the last decade.
Still in what seems like an era when auto engineering and design innovation have reached the level of the standard wheelie bin, what better way to divert the punter’s attention than a good old waste of resources such as driverless cars?
However, there could be method in their madness. Just imagine the amount of junk one can add to in-car infotainment, if the so called drivers have nothing better to do than stare at a screen, listen to the radio and use the mobile phone?…so what’s new pussycat.