Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cars, Again

As I posted a few days ago, I was thinking about automotive design. I was also kind of thinking about “futurists,” or arrogant jackasses who think they know how the world works. I'm a real playa' hayta' when it comes to futurists. Futurists love to talk about cars and if one of them opens their mouths you can rest pretty well-assured that they're wrong.

I wrote about how we need to re-boot design, and the auto industry is a good microcosm to discuss a lack of innovation in industry on the whole. The New York Times has a good slide show on “visions of the automotive future-ture-ture-ture!” and showcases all these hot (literally, they're all quite attractive), young designers and their concept cars as though these cars will ever be made. These are a facade to make people think that real design is taking place. As though real innovations are happening. Ha. A lie, I say!

None of these cars will be made. None. The only one that stands a chance is the Toyota A-BAT because it's quite obviously a sad rip-off of the Honda Ridgeline. There is very little innovation in its sad, pathetic lines. The Dodge Zeo not only stands little chance of being made, there's a good chance Dodge itself won't be around for much longer.

We've been waiting for the cars of the future for sixty years. Every car show, every magazine, every company PR release discusses the future and how “we're working towards it with you!” Bah. It's all shit. The words and the designs. Cars have been nothing more than a constant and measured evolution. Go back 15 years, a round number, and the “future” cars are just as futuristic and unfulfilled now as they were then. They say the concepts tell you where they are “going” with their designs. Too bad they never get there.

Look at the Mustang Mach III concept in the above photo. AMAZING car. Now look at the sad shadow of itself that it presaged for the 1994 model year. They have nothing more than a passing similarity. We need a car company either ballsy enough or desperate enough to really try something new. To actually push the envelope, as opposed to simply using cliched phrases in the brochure to convince you that this family sedan is practically the Enterprise. Do that, and I'll buy! And if you do it, and it's just a half-baked piece of crap, don't blame it on being ahead of its time. Just blame your own sad lack of skills.

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