automotive design: going backwards?

With all the technology, flair, and innovation on the side of today’s automotive engineers and designers—how is it that they cannot make classic designs anymore. Once in a while, you get a design like an Alfa Romeo Brera, Audi TT, Audi S5, or Mercedes-Benz CLS come into play. Cars which have character and verve. But in the 60s and early 70s, there were so many amazing designs which were thrown around.

Point in example, one of THE most desirable cars in the world is the Porsche 911. It has been for 40 years now. Why? because it captures imagination, steers clear of in-the-moment design cliches—-and instead aims for a timelessness which is quite valuable and unwavering.

Dodge recently re-introduced a new version of the Challenger for 2009. The original Challenger was a classic—in a time of cheap gas, muscle, and war. Right now, we have expensive gas, muscle, and war. The 2009 Dodge Challenger is a well designed car, albeit a bit contrived. I find it surreal that 30+ years after the original Challenger, you have a similar design looking back on the original. So is it really 1970 again? No, not really. The original Challenger had CHARM—bucketloads of it. The new one does not have charm. The original Challenger was loud, raw, sloppy, and frankly a bit of a design mess—-BUT it came together in a way which felt organic and natural. The new one is perfectly molded, with stiff suspension, 20″ wheels, and organized body parts.

look at the picture down below—-in fact there is NOT that much similar between the two cars at all. The charm of the original is gone! The new one evokes the old one in a slight, sort of alzheimer-ish memory problem type of way.

So what is in the future of the state of cars? I’ll tell ya that CURVES ARE COMING BACK. They’ll be back in the next 5 years. We’ve had enough of the straight-edge-wannabe-modern-look. Curves are modern. Curves are timeless. No one is gonna look back at the Cadillac CTS in 25 years and say—–“oooh that was a classic”!

Oh, and Dodge should fix their new Challenger. Take out those demented 20″ wheels, and make it less ‘thick’ looking.

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13 thoughts on “automotive design: going backwards?

  1. AxeYrCat says:

    Well said… Unfortunately, the same movements that brought us the New Beetle and the TT also brought us the Challenger, the PT Cruiser, and the HHR. Credit to the Charger, though: It makes a much more sinister looking police car than the Crown Vic ever did!

  2. iedei says:

    agreed about the charger. i think the TT was still an original idea though—-it created a NEW car, rather than completely stealing the ideas from the past, like the Challenger does….I dunno if i really dislike the ‘retro’ idea—i don’t think i do. What i do dislike is a watered down example of retroness peeking out the corner…

  3. Kyle says:

    The Dodge Challenger seems very awkwerd. I think its the 20″ rims that destroy it all. I do like the way it looks, but the design isn’t retro. Its more like they cloned the 1970’s Challenger incorrectly, and tried to cover it up with modern ammenidities (like those 20″ abomanations). I can’t say I hate all retro styled cars. The 2008 Mustang just looked great. I don’t know what you guys think about it.

  4. Mike says:

    It’s kind of like the old actors and their botox. They look like they did back 30 years ago but fatter. It wasn’t about the size of the muscle car back then…it was all about what was under the hood and how fast it could go!

  5. […] of the Dodge Challenger, was a blatant style tribute to the original 197o Challenger, although as previously discussed on IEDEI—not an especially accurate or interesting design […]

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  9. Krystian Michałowski says:

    Thick looks good. And in fact there is a lot in common,you would see it if you were me.

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