Toyota Engineers and NASA Scientists Working Together: Black Holes and Fecal Matter.
Honestly the title of this post is a little misleading. It very well could’ve been “The Current State of Automotive Design” or “I Fucking hate the grill on any new Lexus vehicle.” Either Way by this point you get the idea.
I hate Lexus’ new grill… so, so much.
Alas, I digress. There is more to this than just Lexus and the current state of copy-catism that has sprung forth amongst automakers. I had a theory back in the late 1990’s, Hyundai had no original thought and that carried down through its ranks to Kia as well. Luckily, or maybe not, it seems the tables have finally turned and now the Japanese are ripping off the Koreans, or each other, or everyone.
And Lexus, well the front end still looks like someone pushed a pound of feces through a black hole. Honestly the only car the hour glass grill design works on is the RC, and I’m excluding the RC-F on that assessment. Chevrolet exercised a similar method of facial graphing back in the early 2000’s. That is how you ended up with a grill meant for a Malibu scaled down – poorly – to fit a Aveo.
Just as the Aveo went out to pasture like so many Korean rebadges brought to us by big daddy GM – think 1980s Pontiac LeMans or well anything made by the Joint Daewoo venture to include the ill-fated Daewoo America expansion of 2001 – we were treated to the styling cues of every other car incorporated into a Hyundai or Kia.
I’m beginning to think the auto industry only has one or two designers they employ to make decisions and everyone else just follows suit. A gross over exaggeration – oh hells to the yeah – but the point is you can Google the interwebs and see hundreds upon thousands of creative designs by people outside the industry… why can’t we bring them in? Instead everyone and their mother is shoving a “floating roofline” onto vehicles that have no business using one. Thanks Nissan.
What makes me an expert on automotive design? Nothing but you’re the one reading this piece and to that I say “ROFL.”
Point is I spend an inappropriate amount of time looking at car and car related things on the internet while I Have car related shows playing on the TV in the background (right meow it’s Smokey and the Bandit) all the while thinking about playing a racing game or just mowing down pedestri… errr… bad guys in Grand Theft Auto V.
I salute those who take risks in the design world especially because it usually results in failure. Charlie Chaplin once said, “It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” I love the VW Thing, Ghia and Beetle. I love the Chevrolet Corvair and Volt, Pontiac Aztek, Toyota Prius, and BMW 5 Series GT too. There I said it and the majority of you will stop reading right now. Go drive your plain vanilla sedan or fake-SUV to Starbucks and suck down a Frappe Mocha Latte Carmel whatever-achino. I’m going to keep embracing the wonky designs whenever I can cause they are getting fewer and further between.
The world needs more Beetles, Minis and Veloster’s. Sure every other import sedan from the East is over styled to the point of obnoxiousness but that doesn’t make it unique or different. Your Hyundai Sonata is the 1998 equivalent of Hot Topic. Non-conformist conformist too the max. Sure it sports a nine speed gearbox but its tied to a 132hp 4-cylinder that is painful going up an ant hill. I both love and loath when a car company develops a design style. It’s fun to think where are they going with this but I fear each car would be either a stretched, lifted or coup’d version of each other.
I much prefer when they own up to distinct elements and work them in different ways. But then again most of them are too busy copying each other.