Unlike ‘groovy’, ‘hip’, ‘sick’ and ‘wicked’, ‘cool’ is a word that will never stop being cool. But it’s also a word that’s difficult to qualify. What makes a car cool, and why are some cars cool and some cars decidedly uncool? These are questions that have plagued marketing experts for generations, and they’re difficult to answer precisely.
If you’re planning a purchase of a car, then the chances are that you’d prefer it to be a cool one. Go Car Credit provides a source of finance, even if you don’t have a stellar credit history. So exactly what should you be looking for? Despite the slipperiness of the term, there are certain practical qualities which go together with coolness. Let’s take a look at a few.
There’s no rule in place to say that slow cars can’t be cool. Just look at the enduring appeal of the VW camper. But the nimbler ones certainly have an advantage, because they’re more inherently desirable. Speed produces a rush of adrenaline, for one thing, but for another it also allows you to avoid frustration, and get to your destination that little bit quicker. Both things are, assuredly, cool. There’s no doubt that power and speed are two primary elements to establish the efficiency of other parts such as when you upgrade the car stereo for clarity and better bass surround. Sound customization on your car enables you to enjoy long drive trips.
Again, there’s no rule which states that something ugly can’t be cool, provided that it isn’t apologetic about its ugliness. But being a thing of beauty certainly helps. Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and what appeals to one motorist might repel another. Some manufacturers, like Fiat, stick relentlessly to their distinctive aesthetic. Taking care of your car is also big thing, proper car washing and waxing to make that aesthetic look supreme.
Belching a thick black cloud from the rear of your vehicle might once have been considered the height of cool – but nowadays, it’s considered quite the opposite. This just goes to demonstrate that what’s cool is linked closely to broader cultural sensibilities. The consequence is that electric vehicles are no longer sneered at, but considered objects of envy.
Some brands have a certain prestige which runs adjacent to coolness. It took Volkswagen several years to shake off the cheap, nasty reputation of the Skoda brand when thy purchased it in 2000 – but the results are there to see. Cultural stereotypes also come into play here – German manufacturers are viewed as efficient and luxurious, Japanese ones are associated with technical wizardry and quirky style.
Any product can become cool simply through association with something else that’s cool. If James Bond drives a car, then, almost by definition, it becomes a cool car. It’s for this reason that so many billions of pounds are flung toward sponsorship deals.
The success of MTV’s ‘Pimp My Ride’ provided proof, if proof were needed, that modifications can have a dramatic impact on the ‘cool’ appeal of a car. Of course, there’s nothing to say that modifications can’t look tacky and cheap – and it would be near-sacrilegious to befoul a classic car in this way. The addition of performance-enhancing modifications, like N2O injection systems, might also affect your premium.