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Car Crop Autumn 2011.

Okay, this is filling up a time window. :) Yes, Autumn is the time when car companies launch their new goodies. But judging by Frankfurt Auto Show new stuff, at least the main stream European one won't bring that much beauty on the roads. Anyway, here's a quick rundown of what caught my attention in the past few weeks when I was clicking my way through the pics.

And what do you think, car geeks?

The Winners of The Ugly

Well, I can't really say where Japanese car design is going, but this illogical, awkward, clumsy design seems to be taking over and for me it's not a really good thing. I think I was complaining about Toyota about a year or two or three ago, now there's more to it. Oh, don't worry, Toyota is still firml on TheUgly throne, now there are also some new additions to the family.

First, a classic case of Toyota's überspielt design, the last version ov (Euro-spec) Avensis. Totally WTF front with lines that just don't communicate, heavy body and small wheels. All that on a top-trip autoshow model. Just imagine the lesser models. And the rest of the lineup isn't much better. They also managed to fuck up once cute Yaris and their SUV line is still a showcase of clumsy.

And now something that's been going down for a while. Subaru. Legacy used to be a beautiful car, Impreza was at least different and interesing inf not exactly the belle of the ball. Latest version of Legacy is angular and not "logical" design wise and this latest product, an entry class SUV called XV could just as well be... Toyota. Fenders, bumpers, a-bug's-life rear light units. Pure blah.

And now something that's actually shocked me and not in a nice way. Okay, Honda cars of the last few years have all but lost their gazelle-like personalities (and the shape as well), but at least the last version of Civic seemed do be a daring, different, bold, interesting car. And what did they do now? They took last generation's shape and made it look like... Toyota. One of the biggest WTF moments of this Car-Autumn. Really really pity. Seriously, those rear lights???

Premium slip-sliding away

Yes, the German three. BWM, Mercedes and Audi. What's to say here? Post-Bangle BMW cars are slowly getting their design soul back. Okay, they migh visually be a but on the heavy side, but at least - to me - their lines and returned classic proportions make sense again. Ok, apart from rather odd new series 1.
Audi... there are some jewels in the lineup (one should follow later) and there's also something disappointing for me. They found a really nice basic limousine shape with the new A4. But then they just inflated the shape and made an A8 out it. And then they decided to shrink A8 a bit into the new A6. Diversity is the key, I guess.
Which brings us to Mercedes, for me visuall the most trouble of the three. Latest E-class, latest CLS, latest ML... all showcases of off, unispiring design, allegedly taking clues from company's glorious past, but the cars just seem oversytled for the sake of it. And the latest "gem". New B-class. In one sentence: probably one of the ugliest small cars on the market.

This might get dangerous

Citroën ventured on a daring path a couple of years ago. The company decided to offer two lines of cars. The first, "ordinary" one, bearing letter C, should offer mainstream cars, also offering new, fresh, appealing design. Upscale line, bringing along the whole new premium philosophy entered the market as the DS line. DS3 and DS4 are already on the market. And it looks like Citroën is taking the dangerous path of its Peugeot sister company; finding an appealing, well accepted design language and then simply taking it too far. Upcoming DS5 seems to be the last step for me, before the DS line design crashes into a plain kitsch. Which would be a pity.

Mainstream and correct

And while some companies seem to try to express too much with their design, others cleverly nurture their shapes. Opel seems to be doing a really good job with not taking it over the edge. Less is more is an approach that seems to work reasonably well in the new Astra. Pictured here is the GTC version, top of the notch sport version and yet you can still look at the car without being confused and wondering what on earth sould all those lines and creases and chrome and bulges and stripes mean. Very nifty.

Facelift of the season

Audi RS5 (and to a slightly lesser extent the whole 5 line). Beautifully updated basic shape and I guess I still love this car because of its sensual, visually almost erotic line. Yes, cars can be like that for me.

Car Pornography

Yes, following two (and the last this time) examples are far, far, far away from any kind of mainstream, but I still have to include them in this Autumn 2011 overview. They embody totally different approach to European exclusive carmaking. Italian heart on one side and German mind on the other. Whereas Ferrari 458 brings a totally pervert spider version Porsche unvelied the new generation of its iconic 911 model. 911 has been one of my dream cars since the 80's probably and this last version just seems to fuel my dreams and desires even more. Old, yet new. Known, yet teasingly different. This is how major designs are born. So, 2011 thumbs up goes to Porsche. No doubt about it.

All pictures borrowed from http://www.siol.net/avtomoto.aspx



( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
something is wrong with my lj, I see no naked pics of you, just cars. Weird.

Oct. 4th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
My my and I was trying so hard. LOL
Oct. 5th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
hard? no, I still only see cars. damn broken lj!!!
Oct. 5th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
We should write a letter to someone :)
Sep. 29th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Just give me one of each of the last four cars please.I'm pro German when it comes to cars seeing as I did work for a M.Benz dealership for ten yrs 1993-2003..just give me a SLK and I"ll be fine :-)

Well I wouldn't mind the Red Ferrari -)

Edited at 2011-09-29 04:08 pm (UTC)
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind it either. LOL
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
oh I forgot... all this is new. :)
Sep. 29th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
Most of the ugly cars above look like they were designed at first to be Transformers (Autobots etc) and only later they worked backwards to the car-version. The first one looks like a decepticon, no ?
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
It looks like WTF and then Forget-About-It. :)
Sep. 30th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
My take:

Avensis: Well, it is better than our US-version Camry....little comparable with that for pure fugly.
I do like that shade of blue, though....

Subaru: I'll reserve judgement until I see it in a different shade than the orange show car. Whatever, it will probably sell very well in North America. They sell every Forester then can pack on the boats over here.
Plus, this segment is hot right now and this looks like a serious competitor for what we know here as the Nissan Rogue. (Those wheels on the show car - a direct rip off from those of the SE sport-trim Ford Focus sold here)

Civic: At least you get the hatch. We get really boring sedans and goofy coupes. Too bad about the Civic. I had a few myself - 1989 and 1995. Fabulous class-leaders then. Now, not so much...

B-Class: I do like the blue :)

Citroen: Something that might chase after you in a nightmare. Maybe for production some of that garishness will be toned down? We can hope.

Opel Astra: I like it. Too bad the marketing arm GM had to sell it here has died. That would've been Saturn....

Audi A5: Gaw-jess.... not a bad line on the thing. I think those LED daytime running lights are getting a bit trite now....

Ferrair 458: Of course it's lovely. And looks good in red. It's a Ferrari after all. Only detail I don't like on current models: that silly set of round tail lamps. Looks too much like our Corvettes (and some Buicks and Chevrolet models) from the 50's and 60's...

Porsche: Bra-voh! Porsche have accomplished this update perfectly if you ask me.

Edited at 2011-09-30 12:33 am (UTC)
Sep. 30th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
BTW... I went to the Toyota Slovenia website. The wagon/kombi/variant version of the Avensis isn't that bad, at least in the rear-quarter view. A front restyle would do wonders....
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
or a chop off and re-do job. LOL
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
Avensis: Front treatment is still odd.

Subaru: too awkward.

Civic: they can easily take them all from the market. LOL

B-Class: well, don't blame me. hihihihi

Citroen: that's... production version.

Astra: yes, I know about that Saturn fate. it would've made a pretty one though

A5: poetry, yes. :) and lights... oh well, let's wait for lasers.

458: they had to make some difference, I guess.

911: yes, poetry! :)
Sep. 30th, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
I am a big fan of the A5/S5. It is a beautiful looking car.
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
Really on of the best looking "normal" cars.
Sep. 30th, 2011 05:11 am (UTC)
Would you believe it if I told you that Consumer Reports, a respected consumer testing mag has a not recommended on our US spec Civic for 2012? Yes! It is apparently, not compelling enough!

That said, I have to agree with Dan on the Euro Toyota, MUCH more stylish than what is offered here. Now if it'll just drive less like an appliance though.

The Subaru, not bad, but I think another color would do it justice.

I like the Merc B Class, very classy (I love hatchbacks)

The Opal, not bad looking.

I've heard mixed opinions of the current motor in the Porsche, it's not as capable to reach 800HP as its older variant was able to to do in performance mods.

Also, some iterations of the waterboxer have been less than robust when fitted with a turbo from some reports I've read recently. Otherwise, I've always loved that basic 911 shape for decades.
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
But 911 is still my favourite car of all times, methinks. :)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 4th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
Well, since it's you.... okay. :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )