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Geek Alert! Überspielt car design.

Well, I am a kind of a car freak, especially when it comes to design. And I must say that some late (or not so late) arrivals to the European car markets have not really sent (pleasant) shivers up and down my spine. I don't really know what some graphic, strong, often overplayed design clues are trying to tell. Welcome to the 80's? Let me make you blind? Your taste is crap, let me tell you? Don't know really. Some protruding design elements, like rear lights, tend to be very *insert a random LJ enthusiastic word of the day here* now. And they look out od place.

So, some examples of oddity than can be seen on the market. Or might be seen soon. Hopefully not, though.

Two examples of completely unnecessary installation of "A Bug's Life" rear lights, upcoming Mazda 3 and existing Toyota Land Cruiser.


Mercedes-Benz should seriously consider sacking (if not killing) his entire design team. They seem to have perfected redoing annoyingly boxy 80's style- Here are two samples: GLK SUV and CLC coupé and it looks like the upcoming E series will just carry on the flag...


BMW can really be lucky that it produces technically superb cars. If the company had to attract buyers solely with its cars' desing, that it could've easily go under water. After years of experimenting of BMW's design chief Chris Bangle and after seeing current Series 3 and Series 7 there was some hope that harmonious lines will return to the lineup. Enter BMW X1 Concept and it all went down.
Another example of severe lack of proportions comes from Seat, spanish factory that's part of Volkswagen group. I present you Seat Altea Freetrack - a wannabe SUV just stretched out (with a lot of force apparently) from a family monospace.


A company that used to amaze, if not shock me for years, was certainly Ssangyong. Let the pictures tell the tale: the first is of probably the ugliest car alive - Rodius - and the second one is their current gem - Actyon.


And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the current European king of überspielt car design: Peugeot 308 SW. I just don't know what design team at Peugeot was thinking. It seems to me they just had a design proposal and I can imagine someone saying: "Oh, let's twist and turn and pinch and absurdise (can that be a verb, pretty please?) every single line. Let's make it totally Flash-Gordon-like." And here's the result. Could anybody, please, tell those people that sometimes, just sometimes less is more?



On the upside. You see, it's not all that bad. There are cars on the market that are really (as Billy exiledfromtribe often says) IMHO fine specimen of car desing, where very single line really counts and where designers just weren't pushing it too hard to achieve the drooling effect. Here are some examples. You might notice that three of the cars are Italian and one is German - but designed by an Italian. Go figure. :)

Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione - Maserati disguised as Alfa. Audi S5 - Walter da Silva said it was the most beautiful car he'd ever designed. I agree. Wholeheartedly.


Fiat 500 - probably the most perfect revival on the market. Lancia Delta - old name in a new, extravagant dress.


Ok, I am happy now and this is not even a happy post. =P



( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
OMG, The Actyon is the ULTIMATE gem! LMAO

You don't need a happy post to be happy! :P
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, Acyton is surely something better there is. :)
Dec. 14th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
BMW 7 Series fanatic here!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
He'll have to find that out himself. :)
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC)
You've got expensive taste. :)
Dec. 14th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
The 8C Competizione models are just reaching the U.S. now. I'm going to need a few minutes of "private time" when I first see one in person.

I think that someone at BMW has realized that people do not like to buy a car, then have to explain to their friends and neighbors why it is not ugly. The 2009 (2010 here) 7-series is stunning. And have you seen the new 2010 BMW Z4? HUGE improvement. Check out this site:


Do you want to know my complaint with current car design? I hope you said "yes" with tons of enthusiasm. It's cars with smiley faces. I don't mind the new Mazda 3's rear. It's the giant smiley face on the front air-dam that kills me.

We'll have to agree to disagree on the new Mercedes-Benz styling (at least for the US models - you can keep that CLC on your side of the pond). I'm not crazy about the GLK for the same reasons you mentioned. But I kind of enjoy their new direction. I'm biased, as we have two in the garage now - a 2008 C350 and a 2007 ML 320 CDI. MB cars have always treated me well. I love BMWs, but every time I've owned one, the electrical gremlins just drove me insane - but yes, they drive SO well.
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
8C surely is sexy, can't deny it. :) And yes, I need to agree, that with new 7 and new Z4 BMW surely seems to be back on track. But X1........ And it's also sort of smiling, noticed? :)

Yes, you are partial when it comes to MB and I still can't like GLK and CLC and even 2009 E Class offers no hope.
Dec. 15th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
I drove a Fiat 500 the other week, I was very impressed. Much better than the Punto I currently drive.
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
And it's a sexy little car, agreed? :)
Dec. 15th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
It's rather good, yes.
Dec. 15th, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Enthusiasm isallowed, you know. :)
Dec. 15th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
The Alfa Romeo is definitely giving me a "hard-on" and the Audi has nice lines too. The Fiat 500 is just damned cute as was the original. Pugeot seems to have been working with renault - its like pugeot front and renaul back - schitsophrenic!As for the rest - well I think you have already summed them up perfectly!
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
Alfa Romeo giving you a "hard-on"! :)))) Now that's an image. It really made me chuckle. And Peugeost is just losing it.

Unfortunately, for the company has seen better times.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
"Designed over the phone" - quite of the day. :)))))))))))))

And Nissan. Oh, apart from 350Z (370Z)... they produce cars? Hardly ever noticed.....
Dec. 15th, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
I think I may have seen the Audi (or a close US equivalent model) a couple of days ago.

It's exciting to see the Fiat 500 - my flatmate had one in Glasgow in the early 80s, and half the time I and the other flatmate had to push the thing to get it started!
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
And you'll able to see some pretty and ugly European stuff soon. :)
Dec. 15th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
I just like shiny things so they're all really pretty to me.
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're easy. :)
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Funny thing... that's what your Daddy said to me last night... ;-)
Dec. 15th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Did he not. :)
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC)
There's a very fortunate dog in Italy who I am sure is very grateful to the "smiley face" front grill of current Peugeots:


Oh, and since you don't know me and since this is my first comment on your journal, I'll hope you don't mind if I butt in. I found you through snowboardjoe . He's an neighbour of mine over here in North Carolina USA. I've been enjoying your entries for a while now.

Slovenia is on my list of places I must visit before I die thanks to you.

Dec. 16th, 2008 10:28 am (UTC)
Yes, big mouth always helps. :)))) That's quite a story. And some of the latter Peugeot cars could easily "swallow" at least a ship. Talk about subtle design. :)

And of course you're more than welcome on my LJ and - do I need to extra mention that? - also in Slovenia.

Here's to new friends! :)

Dec. 16th, 2008 02:06 pm (UTC)
Why there is no LEXUS car like IS 250 or SC 430?? :P
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
As pretty or as ugly example? :)
Dec. 18th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC)
I wanna hear about your thoughts. :P

What do you think??
Dec. 18th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
Oh a weird side sometimes.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Ugly French cars.... I actually liked the idea behind Avantime. And Velsatis... they should've lowered that car's roof for some 20 cm, update other dimensions accordingly and it would be a great looking car. not the Tottenwagen it is now. :)
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )