Our generation considers a wider definition of luxury, despite the obvious price connotation of it. Rolls-Royce and Bentley may just be touchstones in terms of luxury, but even their pricing might be not enough compared to the likes of Bugatti, Pagani and a few new Ferraris and Lamborghinis. While a few hundred thousand dollars opens the door to a Rolls-Royce Wraith or Bentley Mulsanne, luxury is also measured by rarity of product and extreme levels of performance.
Of course, the story always changes. The ebb and flow of the luxury car business saw non-American brands take over the marketplace once ruled by Cadillac and Lincoln. While the former “standard of the world” began chasing the Germans with its international interpretation of their iconic design, Lincoln stuck its guns by continuing to be an American luxury car brand.
Honda struck pay dirt with the original CR-V back in 1997. It appeared that they found a good vehicle to lead the SUV charge for the brand. It is not to discredit the rebadged Isuzu Rodeo known as the Passport, but the original CR-V was the result of learning how to produce one that attracted the right customer with its capabilities and overall design.
There is some truth to this. Consider how the first generation RX-7 became an icon by focusing their rotary engine development towards performance to engage with enthusiasts looking for something different in the marketplace. One could argue that the 626 had a sporty demeanor that could be seen as a 3-Series fighter – sort of.