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Making Waves

Advancement Of The Automobile

Ross

By Ross Kentner

Automotive design has been trapped in ultra-conservatism for over a decade.  Ironically, we're in the midst of dramatic technological advancement of the automobile.  Cars can now correct your driving errors and keep you safe as long as you keep them upright!  But cars continue to grow taller and narrower as they mimic sport utility vehicles.  And, every make is in the same tame shape.  

Once car designers strived to be different and it's true they got carried away, especially in the 1950s and '60s.  But today, we have a boring parade of lookalikes.  This year, in an attempt to relieve the tedium, a grotesque excess.  They are plastering the front of every new model with chrome as if these tacky add-ons have anything to do with design.  Chrome has been wisely eschewed by most car makers through this design drought.  Sticking it willy nilly on the front of every vehicle is just simply bad taste.    

There really hasn't been an innovative auto design since 1992 when Chrysler maximized front wheel drive with their "cab forward" design.  In my view, the  crisp Hyundai Sonata model unveiled in 2005, launched this conservative design age.  Some of the most discreet Audis are scaled on that 12-year-old design.  But surely it's time for the next new thing in car design.

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