German executive cars: where's the style?
16 January 2012 12:38
Have Audi, BMW and Mercedes lost their design compass again? A few recent concept cars make me worry for the visual future of German's executive powerhouses.
Why German executive car design has gone wrong
If the Mercedes F125 research vehicle does indeed preview the 2019 S-class, then good night mother. If the Audi A2 concept is the true face of generation e-tron, then I´d rather wind the clock back to 1999 when the original A2 was released.
If the frustratingly boring new 1-series hatchback sets the 3D pace for the upcoming two-door models, then this does not bode well for the allegedly dramatically different next 7-series.
In a nutshell, none of the three German premium manufacturers seems to achieve a credible evolution in terms of design, let alone a breakthrough effort.
Design, equipment, DNA... Why bland rules
Sadly, the same applies to the character of most German executive cars. Audi, BMW and Merc all offer an increasingly identical engine choice and an equipment list dictated by the supply industry.
I'm not talking sat-nav, connectivity or sunroofs here. What irks me are the inflationary driver assistance systems, the interchangeable chassis-related trickeries and the much too long list of convenience-related must haves.
The latest breed of more or less up-market glitzmobiles on display at recent motor shows seems to cater for customers who have deep pockets but no hands, feet, eyes, ears and brains.
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