How Far Into the Future is Enough?


Back when I was a younger man the future seemed so much closer. I recall looking forward to the next episode of my favorite television show or next Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings football or L.A. Dodger baseball match-ups, the next month’s edition of my favorite magazine couldn’t arrive quickly enough and when I entered my freshman year, often I would think of what would follow during my sophomore year and so on. The world seemed to progress contiguously with a sort of chronological order. Today that type of thinking, at least in the automotive industry, has seemingly been abandoned.

Future_city_No longer are we content to look forward to “next years” models, today we fantasize two or three and in some cases four years into the future. Our need for more and more content has become insatiable. Automotive designers are continually working at a frantic pace to discover or create that one perfect design that is futuristic enough to capture the attention (and the wallets) of us, the motoring public.

Several years ago when Horsepower for an Hour was a fledgling, automotive manufacturers were only too happy to send us previews of next years models. We would receive packets with engine specifications, gearing information, infotainment system changes and so on. Spence and I would become familiar with the vehicles prior to our test drives which gave us an ability to assess them more thoroughly.
Land Rover 2018Here today in 2016, I just received on my desk, specifications and stats on the upcoming 2018 Land Rover Defender, the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt and believe it or not, Lamborghini N.A. has just sent us paperwork on the 2019 Asterion.

I suppose it’s indicative of the society and culture we live in today, as a community we are departing from traditional thinking in favor of a new “anything goes” type of opinion. We are no longer satisfied with certain predictabilities and the ‘social norms’ seem to change with kaleidoscopic rapidity.

An ornate clock with the words The Future is Now on its face

In some ways, I suppose it keeps the mind focused in the right direction and as Spence is fond of saying, “Always Forward Motion” but there are times when I think we can miss the flavor of the moment as we continually strive for bigger, better, more.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk specification packet beckons our attention…….see ya next time.

Horsepower for an Hour is a nationally syndicated automotive talk radio show heard all across America and in more than 172 Countries world wide

Horsepower for an Hour is a nationally syndicated automotive talk radio show heard all across America and in more than 192 Countries world wide

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About Author

Donny is a Southern California specialty shop owner with primary emphasis on transmission and differential systems. He is an automotive technology graduate with over 30 years of experience. He and his wife own DMC Transmission outside of Los Angeles and were awarded “Shop of the Year” honors in 2010 and 2011.

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