To the Editor:
As I scanned the Sept. 12 Design section, a Ford Taurus stopped in front of me, and I held up Page 20. Was that indeed the same grille as on the new Jaguar XK? Most assuredly, I thought.
I kept looking up as I flipped the pages, hoping that I'd see something drive by that would make me think design is still alive and well. My wish was not granted. A Honda Civic coupe pulled in beside an S-class Mercedes. The cars' taillights are nearly identical.
I discussed the sad state of sameness in auto design with the fellow sitting next to me as we observed that the brand new Hyundai Sonata looked not dissimilar to a 2-year-old Honda Accord.
Discovering that we both were children of the 1950s, I commented that cars in the 1950s and 1960s were not only exceptional designs (both good and bad) but true works of art. A late 1950s Chrysler Imperial motored into the parking lot, and our speculations were confirmed.
There are precious few clever, beautiful, unique, creative or stunning designs in current autodom. Have the bean counters, play-it-safe marketing managers and save-a-few-tenths-of-a-mile-per-gallon engineers destroyed design innovation?
Cars like the Pontiac Solstice, Mazda RX-8, Corvette C6 and even Bangle-ized BMWs give me a bit of hope that design consciousness still exists out there somewhere.
Please, may we have some more?
The new Jaguar XK: A letter writer says he knows that grille.