Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Chrome Salesman Laughs

by Tom Bozzo

As a coupe-driving malcontent who occasionally contemplates becoming a respectable sedan-driving dad, I am periodically dismayed by the efforts of many automakers to make their cars distinctive sometimes at the cost of being attractive (poster child: the soon to be face-lifted BMW 7-Series).

It's also funny to see carmakers trying to be distinctive but ending up being derivative in all the wrong ways — for instance, the chrome trim strip running between the tail lights and above the license plate surrounds on these cars:

Saturn L300 (U.S. base MSRP $21,995)

Audi A6 (U.S. base MSRP $42,620)

Sure, the Audi's strip is daintier and adorns an overall more attractive tail. But frankly, the upswept lower 'character line' on the new A6 (see here; it's at least as pronounced in person) also says Saturn to me. And to ice the cake, I'm not a fan of the "Nuvolari" grille, either. I'd guess that someone — the runaway designer, the marketer trying to tap someone else's reptilian brain, or maybe both — will get canned for this eventually.
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