What Happened to Style in Automotive Design?

Until more recent times, I fancied myself ‘above the curve’ when it came to being able to identify different specific models of automobiles at distance. It used to be rather easy. Cars and trucks had a uniqueness to each and every model that could be spotted easily, if not subconsciously, that gave them an identity of their own. Sadly, the perception that style as a point of design has wanned in more recent years.

There has been a noticeable incurrance in the auto design industry of side-lining style to the more perceived importance of fuel-saving shapes that have become in-effect ‘standard’ to automotive design. Though less prevalent with vehicles that tend to stay in the ‘limelight’ such as Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, and other historically favorited cars, this trend is resulting in a myriad of vehicles using very similar (if not identical) shapes and contours to reduce drag to help reduce fuel consumption. Now, of course, there’s nothing wrong with using the science behind aerodynamics and fluid dynamics to increase our ability to enjoy and use our vehicles as much as possible without breaking our wallets at the pump.

Many people are seeing this trend. And, to be fair, there are lots of great looking cars on the road these days – even with those seemingly mandated design notes implemented. The hard part is figuring out what make or model we’re viewing. “Is that a Honda or a Mercedes?” Maybe that’s the point.


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