Modern car design is bumming me out

Favorites lately are the Volvo XC90 - it whispers ‘scandinavian’ with the combination of the right linear details and restraint - the little Jag coupe, and that Mazda 6 or the SUV variant. Best executed surfacing on the freeway today, among the mass-market offerings.

Audi has lost its way with the current lineup. Remains to be seen if their new design chief can reinvigorate their look.

Being in Seattle its a felony to crap on Subaru, but god-d*** every time I look at an Outback I imagine one designer being responsible for the side view, and another for the rear.

The M-B sedan that was shown at Shanghai was notable for its lack of ‘creases’ (their words). Still has a good stance for a little car.

Right with you there. All of the new slew of Volvos starting with the XC90 are gorgeous (a V90 Cross Country would probably be my “what if money was no option” choice these days.) Seeing the recent not-quite-production concepts from Audi (E-Tron, Q4, Q8) I’ve pretty much lost all faith in them. One or two generations ago they were a paragon of bold simplicity. Now they’re jumping on the lines-all-over-the-place bandwagon, too. And Subaru…yeah. It turns out it’s possible for something to be simultaneously a mess and boring as hell.

That New MB feels like a Jr designer got his hand on some Sub-D modeling software and said “look heres a car”. Bleh - not that the current CLA isn’t also a frumpy weird thing also. With that said the AMG GT doesn’t have a hard line on it, and it’s phenomenal.

Seeing the couple new gorgeous MB photos here reminds me that the darkest hour precedes the dawn.

Afterward, there should be a war crimes tribunal for the designers responsible for the atrocities of the past decade.

I think Mercedes caught the next trend early. They are on it. I think they passes Audi and BMW by with the latest line up. The new C class is very nice, the new S class coupe is fantastic, the AMG GT I would give my left arm for (not the right, I need that to draw)…

How exactly do you define this “trend”? I agree that they’re beautiful vehicles, but I don’t really see how they’re all that different from the overly complex design being criticized in this thread.

Really? They are much softer and more simple. Compare that AMG GT to any Lexus… or even Audi. The concave form that trails off the front wheel well caries nicely on the A class, B Class, CLA, GLA, C Class, E Class, and S Class… thought the new concept A doesn’t have it nor does the GT.

In general I would characterize the shift in their design language as having fewer lines and the lines flow longer from front to back vs the choppy start stops that characterize the current trend. I think they are doing it well enough, and consistently enough that they are pushing the industry back the other way the way Audi did in the late 90’s early 2000’s, not as dramatically Bauhaus of course, but more in a flowing sculptural way.

i think it would be hard for me to buy the brand, just because the associations I have with it as a 40 something, but I could see that changing in the next few years for me, especially if Audi doesn’t rebound their design language.


Also, I would drive this concept A sedan. Other than the headlight details, I love it.



Designers said the same thing about this in the late 90s:
26412050008_large.jpg

Ok, I do agree with you there. I see the simplification and softening, but it’s only an incremental change, in my opinion. Is that just the nature of automotive design trends?j

To me it looks like Audi and Lexus aren’t that far off from MB:

Leave the G-Wagen alone and all will be well.
I followed a C-class coupe (?) this afternoon with temporary plates, and made an effort to catch up and see the badge. It was bulging in the right places, with rear exit/diffuser details like the AMG GT, and a pinner set of tail lights. There is a sum of elements that are all working for M-B in this zeitgeist. BMW by comparison seems to be milking the last of Bangle, and Audi, the last of Da Silva.

This weekend, I was looking at a Honda Civic HB and threw up a little in my mouth. Soichiro Honda must be rolling in his pagoda. I think Lexus and Honda are the two worst offenders right now.

I think Audi is a little lost right now. Overall, the cars are simple, but they have weird hard edge detailing. They are like a square Lexus. BMW is OK. I think when they took the Bangle out, they sucked the life out of their designs too. They need to find a way to make them fresh and well detailed, not just well detailed.

When I saw the latest MB C class, I was ready to go the dealer. Too bad there is no RWD version in Canada :frowning: AWD is just too innefficient.

I agree with Ditullo’s comments though, everyone was rushing towards many small details and flame surfaces, etc. MB said, ‘let’s step back, sculpt an incredible form and then just hit the details we need to.’ It’s retro in approach, rather than execution. And whenever you zig when others are zagging, it has the potential to put you in the lead.

The B5 and all of the Audi’s from the late 90’s-early 2K’s were all very basic, but I’d say so was just about everything else at that time that wasn’t a supercar. To be fair, the original B5 came out in 1994, which means it probably started development in ~92? It stuck around for a while but I’d argue it was probably softer and cleaner than the Mid 90’s BMW’s which were the struggling transition point between the 80’s and the perfectly proportioned E39/E46.

I like the new MB stuff a lot. Saw a new C43 coupe last night on the road, and for the price point that thing has one of the nicest butts shy of a 911. MB has an old man stigma but I’m willing to admit that my VW rides too harsh and sign up for one. :laughing:

That’s the one I saw. Sad to see it go, but love to watch it leave. Maybe we should use the term ‘aft-section’. :blush:

I think Fords are great right now. VW is non-offense, but good. Cadillac ATS is great. I think they took a step back with the new CTS. Not all is bad.