What has happened to car design in modern times?
I’ve been flipping through images of the cars from the Shanghai Motor Show over the weekend, and I have to say, I’m left mostly unimpressed. Where are the cars that drop jaws, increase heart rates and draw humans to them like moths to a flame? Where are the cars that create an obsession at first glance?
Granted, it’s Shanghai, a show known for a certain amount of epic weirdness. Among the cars no one outside of China will ever see outside of gallery pictures on a blog, a few stood out as well-designed vehicles that can be described as sleek, snarling and sexy.
But what about seductive? What about all-out awe inspiring? For that, I had to simply walk through the valet section of a hometown hotel.
The valet garage of this hotel is nearly as elegant as the lobby. A giant Italian fountain sits in the middle and is typically surrounded by your general luxury fare. Lexus, Land Rover, you know the drill. The general public can walk through the garage before entering the hotel, which is what I did this weekend. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a familiar grille, though rarely seen in these parts. A second glance confirmed my suspicion. A gorgeous Jaguar E-Type lurked in the shadows.
Other than a few modern-day supercars, very few vehicles impress me enough to approach them and take the time to fully admire. And photograph. From multiple angles. That’s especially true when drinks with a pretty lady are in my immediate future. This E-Type cast a spell on me, though, and I spent untold minutes circling around its perfectly graceful shape and wondering what it would be like to sit in the driver’s seat and look down that majestic 7-foot-long hood.
As I walked away from the car and toward the hotel lounge, I thought about what car today could have the same effect on me. A 458 Italia, probably. An Aventador, perhaps. I’d certainly take a second look at any Aston. But nothing would have the effect of that classically elegant E-Type.
Cars just aren’t designed like that anymore.
What car would capture your attention if you saw it in a parking garage?