Monday, October 09, 2006

The real stars of Paris

A different perspective on the “star of the show” election. The Peugeot 908 RC is a fantastic concept car but what about its future? Yes, future, it’s in the title of this joint. It will be present in other car shows, in the wallpaper of many computer screens, will be shot for several magazines but, in 6 months time it will be forgotten and replaced by other concept cars specially made to star in other car shows. But not the Audi R8 or the Alfa Romeo 8C.

These cars were once concept cars but now are real cars. And very important ones. These two cars will be classics in their own time, a very rare feature. In particular, the Audi R8 will be a case study in 10 years time. It will mark another step in the rise of Audi, just as important as the Audi TT once was. A true halo product that will push Audi’s image to the top. The Alfa Romeo could have the same effect but that won’t happen, simply because it will be built in very small numbers: 500 cars. And Alfa Romeo will loose money in every single one. Halo product yes, but too much niche too have a pronounced effect.

The difference with the Audi R8 is that it will be built in big numbers (at least 5000) and sold at an amazing price: near 100K euros. A supercar for the masses? Well, sort off… it certainly is very good value for a Gallardo derived machine, and if you compare with Porsche 911 price the new Audi looks very appealing indeed. So an Audi that is good value then… the result is that, you might find a couple of Alfa Romeo 8C is places like Monaco but that’s it… while you will find Audis R8 in your city, maybe even one in your street (if you live in a nice neighborhood). This kind of proximity is the key for a product to truly have an halo effect.

So both the Audi and the Alfa Romeo are true stars, real cars, future classics and highly influential vehicles. Priska, the other star of the show (see below) is actually quite different from her elegant and sophisticated colleagues at most stands. A bit vulgar then, but place her next to any car in the show and bang, the car disappears.

No comments: