Chicago, Sept 22, 8pm — Du! It was the Equinox, you thickie!
We’re all so distracted these days, almost no one clued into Chevrolet’s quite obvious hints. Last Thursday night, Global Chevrolet president Alan Batey hosted an unveiling for automotive writers and photographers (which sound so much nicer than bloggers and content producers) beneath the titanic dome in Chicago’s famous neo-classical treasure, the Museum of Science and Industry. It was September 22, the autumn equinox.
At least it was here in the northern hemisphere.
So you can figure out which car was behind the curtain. You’d be among the few, though. I recognized several faces that evening and, like me, most weren’t consciously aware of the day-night-balance thing. What a fun prank for Chevrolet to play; in retrospect it felt almost presciently appropriate for the times.
Meaning? Most of us are so plugged in these days, we’re all clued out. You’re too trumped-out over the latest nose-stretching whoppers dominating the media or too broken up over the breakup of Brangelina to notice to notice that Thursday was exactly as long as Thursday night.
The event was a swish do, too. Even though Ferris didn’t get there on his day off, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry stands out in a city that already boasts the world’s tallest building and many of America’s most beautiful ones. Renting it must’ve cost a fortune.
Why all that fuss for one brand?
The Equinox is Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle after the Silverado, with over two million sold since it launched over a decade ago. Two million! The 2018 model 4.652 meters long. If you plotted two million bumper to bumper (attaching flotation devices where necessary) you could line them from Whitehorse to Teheran.
Choosing such an apparent day for the unveiling of the 2018 Equinox had the desired effect. It made us think about all the factors the manufacturers must balance in this SUV — from price to safety features, hi-tech and bling — to attract modern urban drivers.
So let’s think about those drivers. Demographic stats from Daily XY suggest they may be you and your girlfriend.
You’re probably constantly distracted — but you’re not the only one. Good thing there’s a passel of available advanced safety tech in the balance.
Rear cross traffic alert has become essential in city laneways and parking lots where reverse gear can become a deadly weapon. Low-speed forward automatic braking probably gets used constantly these days thanks to efficient Torontonian “multi-taskers”. And surround vision helps keep you from hitting or being hit by the many wandering Poke-fools in your immediate vicinity.
The most telling feature though — this isn’t a lie — is the new “Rear Seat Reminder”. It’s a pleasant chiming noise that reminds the distracted modern driver to check the backseat when leaving the car, in case he left children there. Yes, children.
The Equinox seats three in the back. So there’s merit to the feature.
But let’s face it. If you’re so distracted that you need to be reminded you have progeny in the car, you’re probably not qualified to be a car owner.
Of course, we’re all pretty distracted these days, trying to balance a busy real-time life with a personal brand that needs constant maintenance. Luckily Chevrolets are easily converted into Wi-Fi hotspots via OnStar. Only apps that produce results within four clicks — from maps to songs to stock prices — will work on Chevrolet CarPlay, thank goodness. Nonetheless, it’s comforting to know there’s also all that safety tech balancing the increased risks associated with fomo.
Speaking of balance, the upcoming Equinox is 10% lighter than the current model. That’s pretty sweet. So you can wrest all the juice from the turbo engines, 1.5L, 2L and, at last, a 1.6L turbo-diesel. Studies suggest that diesels tend to hold their value. They render good fuel efficiency. And their sound is so distinct you’ll immediately know if someone’s jacking your ride from the parking spot in front of your home.
And finally, speaking of Equinox, as we nerdling elf lords all know winter is coming! Canadian versions of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox come standard with heated seats and remote starter. Probably should’ve seen that coming too.