There was a time when the future of the automobile was exhibited to the public as a "concept." A concept vehicle was truly a vision of the future for which a few components would be present in new models within a few years later. Others were just straight out of science fiction with none of the concept's ideas brought to market at all.
I know that you cringe over hybrid gas-electric driven automobiles. It is easy to blame Toyota and the popular acceptance of the Prius during its second generation. That particular vehicle was the darling of Hollywood at the time. How many of your favorite celebrities owned a second-generation Prius?
Think about the idea of intention and purpose. A designer, an engineer, and an executive – oh, yes, let's not forget the folks in accounting – are all involved in the process of creating a vehicle. Once everyone signs off on it, they have to campaign for its success. Even the marketing folks have to be on board with selling it to everyone – dealerships, the communications folks, and, ultimately, the consumer.
Consider what other vehicles were considered for this road trip story. Actually, I have forgotten most of the choices, except for a 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited. It does have the same driveline as the ES 300h – the 2.5-liter gas-electric powerplant with a continuously variable transmission – but with the addition of all-wheel-drive. However, I thought about the impact on fuel economy, as SUVs and crossovers tend to yield less than their sedan counterparts.