Gender barely exists. We make it into a big deal, but it barely exists. Ditto race and sexual orientation. Negligible variations all. Engineering a car for any of those groups is therefore borderline absurd. And so any blog post about such efforts runs a high risk of absurdity by proxy, and could even end abruptly when the writer finally throws his hands up and walks away from the keyboard in exasperation.
In hindsight, Model S was too “guy-centric.” Musk said so at a shareholder meeting, vowing to make Model X more gal-centric. Tesla then sought feedback from binders full of women before building Model X to their specs. Apparently their specs mean a slightly taller Model S with a little more storage and better ingress/egress. Done!
Now wait a minute. Here’s the latest list of gender-centric cars. See what the girl cars have in common? Nothing. And here’s another list, which differs from the last one by a big margin. In fact, the guy-centric Model S tops the list. And here’s another list, and so on. Man, this is silly. There’s no such thing as a femme car, unless you’re talking about a caricature, such as a pink Beetle.
Even styling, seemingly the most direct path to a gender, really means nil. If you Google “feminine shapes” you’ll get nothing but ovals. But look at the latest crop of vehicles from Lexus and Nissan. Presumably they’re still pulling in women, yet the products look like something a bored 10-year-old boy might have doodled on his notebook in 1985 after suffering through an episode of Tranzor Z. They make the “guy-centric” Model S look like an ovary.
So let’s cut the crap. You can’t design a car for women any more than you can design one for Hispanics or Indians. If an elevated ride height and E.Z. access to your children and your stuff are womanly concerns, then the American migration toward crossovers and SUVs means we’re going through a hormonal shift. We’re all going to need bras very soon. And very good navigation systems. It’s a scientific fact that women get lost easily until they’re given a shot of testosterone to set them straight. Say, maybe there is something to gender after all.