We all talk about how we would design a car given the chance. We all prattle on about all-wheel-drive diesel station wagons with manual transmissions, or try to figure out just the right blend of Miata and Corvette, or whatever. It goes with being an enthusiast.

But that's not the way they see it. Yes, them. Those people, the product planners, the ones who do that for a living ‚ÄĒ and who are probably in their souls a lot like us but have to deal with a reality of betting billions of dollars worth of time and materials on something intended for a market that doesn't know a balaclava from baklava.

I feel for product planners, the ones probably going nuts right now in show season. That cannot be a comfortable job. All that research, all those focus groups, everything that squeezes out the enthusiasm and forces a mainstream middlebrow effort. Because that's what it said in that study.

Or, in the case of the Elantra Coupe, that questionnaire that somehow got intercepted by BrtStlnd on the way to a meeting:

Hyundai Elantra Coupe Buyer's Checklist:

1. Do I hate 2 of my friends?
2. Do I ever have to put anything in my car larger than my stack of People magazines?
3. Do I describe my car as having 'good pickup'?
4. Do I care that a guy in my numismatist club already has a Sonata?
5. Is my first radio preset button set to 'Delilah after Dark'?


Photo Credit: GTCS