This week Lyft is set to start testing a new, upscale SUV service in San Francisco in a clear bid to compete with Uber's more luxurious chauffeuring options. The first half dozen SUV drivers, who've been given white Ford Explorers with custom leather interiors, as TechCrunch reports, and there will soon be more.
The assumption is that Lyft will try to undercut Uber's SUV pricing, which starts with a $15 base fare and $25 minimum fare, while still being able to offer a less Prius-y option that's perfect for larger groups. But Uber has a whole fleet of various black SUVs in different makes and models, including Escalades and the like, and Ford Explorers are, well, Ford Explorers. But white. The new service is likely to be branded Lyft VIP.
But is it VIP or isn't it? There something to this idea that runs counter to Lyft's scrappier, younger appeal, with Uber using that tagline "everyone's private driver" and Lyft using the fistbump thing and the line "Your friend with a car." So, basically, they're feeling the heat from Uber, and here's the first result.
The big question: Will those SUVs have big pink mustaches?
Update: Lyft has now confirmed the launch via TechCrunch, and CEO John Zimmerman promises that they will "modernize the premium transportation experience."