I think this is simply product of commoditization. Every product sooner or later hits a wall and improvements become negligible for the users, so people simply compare on price or they look on it as fashion. Physics puts a final limit on things like how efficient the petrol engines could be, what is minimum weight that could be trimmed and what is the local optimum between the car form that both users and aerodynamic resistance accept the best.
Without quantum leap, in the technology or tastes, the category simply becomes mature and everybody competes on fashion. And we all know that quantum leaps are rare. Maybe Tesla will succeed being one, or maybe someone will make it economical to make car from some extra light material, or buyers will grow fond of some other form like https://www.arcimoto.com/
But also the leap might not happen, and we all might be still driving slightly improved cars for a decades to come. That’s not result of the zombie mentality, its normal.