When Lee Victorian was looking for an upscale car to complement his wife’s BMW last year, he was leaning toward an Audi A6 — a sedan whose acceleration, refinement and dazzling array of advanced technologies, like automatic braking and radar-based cruise control, he found alluring.
But, according to a New York Times report, what he drove off the lot was an entirely different kind of premium vehicle, and one more luxury buyers are choosing: a pickup truck.
Victorian, a retired Michigan state trooper, bought a Raptor version of the Ford F-150. The Raptor is a truck with the soul of a racecar: It has a 450-horsepower engine, a 10-speed transmission, electronic ride settings for seven different road surfaces, big chrome wheels, a power tailgate, cameras at all four corners and an adaptive cruise control system similar to the Audi’s. With all those options, the sticker price came to about $80,000.
“Man, this truck is so slick,” Victorian said. “I stop at a light and people give me the thumbs up and take pictures of it. The truck is the celebrity.”
For the last few years, the auto industry has been roiled by a significant shift in consumer tastes. In droves, Americans are turning their backs on family sedans and small cars and flocking to bigger, roomier models like sport utility vehicles and trucks. In January, two of every three new vehicles sold were classified as trucks, including SUV’s, pickups, minivans and the lighter cousins of S.U.V.s known as crossovers.
For the full story click here.