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You are in... Forums > General > Design > Double-takes and lookalikes
As someone else pointed out elsewhere, the Bentley's design isn't too bad looking in the official sketches. I actually rather like the large DLO, which goes against the trend of increasing the glass percentage to a point when cars' interiors begin representing caves. That said, I like this treatment in theory - translating the sketches into a three-dimensional form (which I admittedly could only see in two dimensions) has lead to disastrous results. Isn't it astonishing how the Brunaian (Brunaiese? Brunoise?) Range Rover-based special could look so much more coherent than an official concept car with all-new sheetmetal? Marek Reichman has probably already invited Dirk van Braekel to a stiff drink.
Regarding the new SL, I for one am in agreement Mr. Cumberford, no matter how acerbic is vitriol. I've said it before and I'll say it again: M-B's styling department, and the dubious Mr. Wagener in particular, are exhibiting shocking levels of sheer incompetence. I was no fan of Peter Pfeiffer's reign at Untertürkheim, during which much of the brand's image of solidity and class has been abandoned, but history is mild to a man when his direct successor ditches modish blandness in favour of crass negligence of basic aesthetic values (without the merits the better Bangle designs garnered from a similar modus operandi). The new SLK is a shocking showcase of this design ineptitude and the SL promises to be not one whiff better.
@kubrick: 'as somone else pointed out elsewhere...' That'd be me. And I agree that the Bentley as in the sketch would look very impractical. But what's a show car for, than being dramatic and showcasing one's brand image, no matter how absurd the proportions? Some of my favorite concepts in recent times - BMW ConnectDrive, Cadillac Ciel, Lamborghini Sesto Elemento (actually, not the Lambo since they're usually not meant to see out of) - have had atrocious practicality and outrageous looks. Sod production reality, concepts are meant for designers to have a little fun and experiment. The Bentley's biggest failing, I think, is that it has attempted to translate the Mulsanne (itself a low-roofed thing) into an SUV and that is why the low roofline in the sketches worked, and the raised DLO in the actual concept looked awkward.
[This Reply has been modified by the Author]
@areader: Robert Cumberford is known for his exceptional criticism. If he finds any object of design not to his satisfaction then rest assured he will dissect his dislike to the most exquisite detail and mention every single surface development or design jewellery that caught his ire. In a way (and you'll forgive me, sir) he reminds me of bertandnairobi, at least in his detailed design commentary. What I'm saying is when one goes into such detail in analyzing a vehicle it's easy to forget its inherent advantages. The SL will never be a stylish, classy cruiser but it will be a very capable one, and certainly a fast, refined and efficient car. Similary that Bentley, which we deplore so may well be a masterclass in luxury and cosseting ride quality and comfort. It's all about looking beneath the veil created by our dislike to try and find the true car underneath.
Upon further reflection:
The SL may be being well received by most as it has the presence, proportions and size of a potentially beautiful car even if the surfaces, lines and details are not that good. Meanwhile, the EXP 9 F has the misfortune of being a bling SUV (that most hated of creatures as far as us car fans are concerned) so appears to most to be worse than it really is. I've decided I like the EXP 9 F better than the Bentley cars because there is no excuse for making cars like this look so bad, while the ugliness suits the truck better. Anyway, none of this matters as I don't think taste is on the list of requirements of potential customers for vehicles of this type, as in today's world it is rather bad taste to be spending so much money on a vehicle - on sooooooo many levels.......
Now for something bland and offensively unoffensive:
2003 Ford Windstar + 2003 Kia Sedona (or should that be Sedated?)
and now for a couple of recent sightings: the current Honda Insight is a are sight where I live, but I saw one the other day and it's aero shape reminded me of the 1998 Dodge Intrepid - from the days when the big Chryslers were pushing the aero boundaries before becoming the more boxy 300s of today. A bit of reverse evolution going on?
saw these two parked close to each other: the roofline and DLOs are very similar:
Pontiac G6 Coupe + 2012 Honda Civic Coupe
and that reminded me of a previous time that Honda had seemed to borrow from another coupe:
1998 Mercury Cougar + 2001 Honda Accord Coupe
Areader: quite a cache!
yes varunjk - it's never ending!
from the front:
2012 Mercedes S-class + 2012 Hyundai Equus
and from the back.....
20+ years ago, Toyota created Lexus to enter the executive market. The target was Mercedes (beat Benz was internal mantra). At that time, Mercedes had a relatively tight product range - C, E, S, SL and SEC classes. Since then Mercedes has brought out a slew of new products, many of which are smaller such as the A-class. So now, twenty years later, when it came time for Hyundai to enter the luxury market, they apparently felt no need to go to the trouble and expense of creating a luxury brand. If Mercedes could cover the whole playing field with a single brand - so could Hyundai. The Koreans are very confindent and brave - and why not? - they make great cars.
Hyundai's cars look a lot like today's Mercedes designs. Sometimes I think the Hyundai's look better!
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