Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fussy Styling: Lutz and I Agree

Loyal Readers have probably noticed that I fairly often grumble about the current fashion of baroque or rococo styling.  But it's comforting to have one's ideas reinforced by respected persons.

It seems that the latest Road & Track magazine (June 2015) features some remarks by famed Car Guy Bob Lutz on the matter.  It's on his end-of-the-book page "Go Lutz Yourself" where a Portland, Oregon reader asks "Why do so many cars seem overstyled these days?"

To which Lutz replied: "'Not a surface left untouched' seems to be a design tendency today.  I also find it deplorable.  The Lexus LF-SA concept at the Geneva auto show looked like an origami swan done by a waiter in a Japanese restaurant.  I think it's seen as visual excitement, but usually, it's just awful and superimposed on cars that are so wrong in basic proportion, the result is about as attractive as a 400-pound woman in a Mardi Gras costume."

That said, here are some examples.

Gallery

2015 Lexus LF-SA concept car
This is Lutz's bête noire.

2012 Hyundai Veloster

2011 Nissan Juke

2014 BMW i3

Note that all the examples shown above are small cars, which are indeed the worst offenders.  A large car offers a broader canvas for sculptural and ornamentation overkill, whereas a small car with the same frills content serves to concentrate and exaggerate the resulting mess.

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