Optitron and Other Oddly Named New Car Features

Don't know your Optitron from your Openometer? You'd be excused if you haven't been keeping up with the latest doodads in your car. Thankfully, Jim Gorzelany of Forbes' Automotive Intelligentsia is here to help:

To help car shoppers cut through the clutter we’ve compiled a list of 10 contemporary new-car features carrying oddball names that could well have been taken from a 1930’s edition of Popular Science. They range from MINI’s sci-fi sounding “Openometer,” to Mercedes-Benz’s nature defying “Magic Sky Control” and BMW’s provocative “Gentleman Function.” See if you can guess what each of them actually do before reading the descriptions.

By the way, that's the Optitron above. No, it's not a Transformer robot, rather it's the 3D-looking backlit instrument panel gauges in Lexus cars.


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@Miss Celina, the thing about modern cars is that they don't break like user serviceable cars did. A lot of people find this hard to believe, but it's true. Breakdowns in modern cars are so much more rare than they were a quarter of a century ago. And in real terms dealer servicing is cheaper than it was back then. Not only that, but servicing is a lot less frequent to boot. And those features mentioned in this article are mostly computer implemented which break even less often than the old fashioned mechanical bits, like valves and stuff.

The thing that shocked me about this article is that they still build the Toyota Camry. Really? Who knew?
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Just more things that can malfunction that you have to have repaired at the dealer. I would like to go back to cars that the owner can fix, or at least the shade tree mechanic down the road.
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