For a few decades after the invention of the motorcar, it was essentially used as little more than a luxury plaything. The sole preserve of the landed classes, the car was a toy to be taken out for the occasional jolly. The practical considerations of the car weren’t seriously considered. After all, this was the steam age and no one could really see past the train as the best form of mass or long distance travel. Then, gradually, things started to change.
The engineering improved and cars became more reliable, more economical and more comfortable. A ride in an early motorcar may have been something akin to riding on the back of a particularly upset bucking bronco but with improved roads and suspension, driving was soon to become a real alternative to taking the train.
How style and comfort were sacrificed
However, in many cases, as the evolution of the car continued, the need for economy or affordability meant that many of these comfort features were sacrificed. Cars became little more than a means to an end, a functional tool for getting from A to B. The actual experience of the driver was more or less forgotten about. That is, by all except a couple of manufacturers.
There were some who realised that driving was more than just about getting from A to B. They understood that it was about the journey as much as it was the destination. Car manufacturers like Lexus decided that they weren’t going to sacrifice driver comfort and style for pure function. These things mattered. They were as much part of the driving experience as the engine or the mileage (that’s not to say that these weren’t exemplary too, of course).
Sticking with tradition
Luxury cars followed the tradition of some of the very best early motorcars, in that they were expressly built to allow the driver to enjoy the experience. The focus was on making the drive smooth, quiet, comfortable and stylish. Luxury cars were also fitted with the latest technology, often pioneering features that would later end up as standard on most other cars.
The emphasis on style, which you can quite clearly see just by looking at the Lexus LF-CC, means that luxury cars retain their desirability. Unlike the latest hatchbacks or economy saloons, they don’t depreciate rapidly in the first few years. These are cars that are built to last both in terms of engineering and style - future classics that will always be in demand.
Luxury cars are for those of us who enjoy the finer things in life. For people who appreciate style for the sake of style but who also want to enjoy the journey and arrive as fresh as when they left. There will always be people who want these things, so thankfully there’ll always be luxury cars.