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Old 3rd August 2014, 17:53   #136
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by LordSharan View Post
[*]An honorable mention to one of the most beautiful cars on earth- Alpha Romeos, from Fiat Family. Wonder how these never found a mention in this thread. May be because they are not sold in India(?). Alpha Romeo 159 was one of the best looking sedans. Attachment 1269072

--
Abhijeet
Agree the Alfas are one of the brands still worth drooling over. But even then classic Alfas are any day better. Have a look at this one . . . one of my Top 5 favourite car designs. You'll remember the car from the movie 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'.

I have a theory - just as your favourite tunes are the ones you listened to in your teens, your favourite cars are from the time when you first acquired a 'car sense'. . .
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Old 3rd August 2014, 18:07   #137
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

I think this has to do with a common automobile manufacturers attitude, more so lately that atleast every 2-3 years a vehicle has to be tinkered with to boost sales and give an illusion of refreshed appeal.

As recent as 90's the industry was a contrast to what it is today, sales on average was about 10% of today's rate, even lesser considering most people preferred public transport and considered a car purchase and upkeep as avoidable costs. The manufacturers likewise catered strictly to demand, with long waiting periods, lesser running expenses and barebone service aspects. Thus R&D costs were kept to lowest and no model was tinkered with or tweaked unless highly necessary. Basically it was lean and inexpensive.

Around the early 00's the car industry took a 180, with the economy booming and new brands emerging, companies were convinced that there is untapped potential for a sales spike. Processes became extremely complex in manufacturing because the makers realised the only way to keep sales growth up is to tinker with the design. If something is round, square it off or vice versa, if something is great improve it nonetheless. All these are done with little to none customer feedback so more often than not it bites the buyer. Sales has become the single element of survival of a company today, even R&D & customer satisfaction are undertaken to boost numbers.

Of course what I say may not hold true in every situation but for most it does. Cars are facelifted or tweaked with a singular intention of boosting sales, we know this because mostly they feel exactly the same to drive/sit in. I don't like many latest designs myself, they ignore many aspects such as tyre size, regular size spare wheel and practicality and focus on what the eyes can see like creases and lines on body, "different" headlamps and interiors. Bottomline is, bottomline matters and that's the whole reason many popular designs give room to something we may not like.
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Old 3rd August 2014, 18:20   #138
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

If you all are thinking that only our so-called normal cars are deteriorating in terms of good looks, then google up how even exotics with a timeless design like the Maserati Quattroporte have suffered lately.

It had one of the most beautiful rear end and equally superb front end, just look how "Korean"ish they have made the rear now. Many would like the front end more, but I personally like the earlier one.

-Bhargav
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Old 3rd August 2014, 18:26   #139
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

There are plenty of good looking cars out there, its just the sub-four meter category that has made a mockery of some of the cars pretending to be sedans.

Its not like we were driving Cameros or Mustang's in India before. I think from the 800 to the current crop, Indian car market has come leaps and bounds both in terms of car looks and what they offer.
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Old 3rd August 2014, 21:07   #140
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Beemer seemed to have evolved rather fairly. But if you look at the evolution of the 3er and 5er, do you feel something special or something timeless about the 4th generation of both series? or is it just me? I think that was the perfect generation before which the shape was boxier and after which it started getting fluidic-ish.
However unlike some car makers who got lost in the evolution process, BMW seems to be striking some balance with their car designs.

Evolution of 3 Series
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Evolution of 5 Series
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Old 4th August 2014, 00:01   #141
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Originally Posted by aseem View Post
There are plenty of good looking cars out there, its just the sub-four meter category that has made a mockery of some of the cars pretending to be sedans.

Its not like we were driving Cameros or Mustang's in India before. I think from the 800 to the current crop, Indian car market has come leaps and bounds both in terms of car looks and what they offer.
But that's the category which majority can afford, isn't it? That's the category we see most cars of. Give me an 800 over one of these new-fangled designs any day!

I don't buy that sub-4 meter should be necessarily ugly. Especially when it comes to hatchbacks. Even older hatchbacks (Zen, 800, Palio, Indica etc) were all small while providing space, they were quite good-looking.

As for sedans, it is the fact that manufacturers take a hatchback and stick a boot without altering the whole lines of the car to flow into a sedan-like shape. That's what makes these "sedans" ugly. Case in point: the old Esteem was just over 4 meters. I'm sure the length can be slightly reduced without a lot of redesigning. That car was a good example of an end-to-end sedan design. It was not a "Zen with a boot stuck at the end", which I'm sure current designers would have done if they had been employed at Maruti in the 90s.

(I am aware there is a hatchback version of the Esteem that was sold in other countries. But the lines of the car went well with the sedan shape a lot better than say the Swift or the Brio of today).

What I'm saying is, if you want to fit a "sedan" within 4 meters (which itself is a ridiculous idea if you ask me), you have to cut that length from everywhere in the car. A bit from the bonnet, the bumpers, the wheelbase, and a bit from the boot - and keep a nice sedan shape. You can't just take a hatchback, plonk a small boot on it and say "sedan".

Wait.. actually, I am wrong. You can do all that and get away with it apparently. Except maybe with a few overenthusiastic, over-critical cynics .

There's still no excuse for making the WagonR that ugly, man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaypjayaraj View Post
Beemer seemed to have evolved rather fairly. But if you look at the evolution of the 3er and 5er, do you feel something special or something timeless about the 4th generation of both series? or is it just me? I think that was the perfect generation before which the shape was boxier and after which it started getting fluidic-ish.
However unlike some car makers who got lost in the evolution process, BMW seems to be striking some balance with their car designs.

Evolution of 3 Series
I personally agree. I think all the generations of the 3 series are beautiful. I didn't care much for the previous-gen 5 series or any generation of X6 or the current 7 series, but besides these I think all their cars are strikingly good-looking.

Last edited by Stratos : 4th August 2014 at 14:47.
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Old 4th August 2014, 10:06   #142
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Two cars which I really wanted to buy back in the day when I couldn't afford them were the Baleno and the City (1st gen). Moving on in life, I did buy both, but in their new avatars, i.e. the SX4 and the 4th gen City. Would have been really good if the classical looks would have been retained along with the fresher interiors. Another car I wanted to buy back in the day was the Accord so let's see what happens to that by the time I can buy it!

But I feel that when it comes to admiring cars, the old ones are definitely better. However in terms of today's requirements, the bloated designs some seem more "practical" and that seems to be the common selling theme for most manufacturers.
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Old 4th August 2014, 10:19   #143
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Yankee butch seems to have become the fashion of the day.
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Old 4th August 2014, 10:23   #144
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (Well, except Scarlett Johansson. If you don't find her beautiful, you don't need your eyes anymore. )

Personally, I love slightly boxy cars rather than completely "fluidic" cars (kill me for making that a verb) Hence, the Vento over the Verna at home. The Figo vs. the i20 at home.

I also think the clamor for interior space and luxuries have forced manufacturers to do a bit of everything rather than specialize. Especially in a market like ours. We may go ooh and aah over a really fast, well-mannered car, but then we also want to fit in half our wardrobe, a stroller (and an annoying aunt) if possible. Practically, current day design takes all these considerations and then produces a blueprint that compromises almost all of it. There are no more pure race cars, family sedans or hot hatches. Look up the adverts for almost any of them nowadays. "Goes 0-60 in 6 seconds. With your wife and your kid secure with six airbags. Watching Frozen on 7" multimedia screens. And your fridge in the trunk. Buy now!" Yep.
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Old 4th August 2014, 13:16   #145
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

I would like to bring one more car onto the discussion table.

Chevrolet Optra. Would limit my post to it's front-end look.

Earlier known as Daewoo Lacetti, 3 Part grill between headlamps used to look just awesome. Sadly, Chevy changed the design of it's grill, bumpers & Headlamp assembly after they took over Daewoo.

It's true that 3 part grill design had resemblence with Daewoo's corporate logo, but IMHO Chevy could have done something better in terms of design.
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Old 4th August 2014, 14:45   #146
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

We had some really good looking cars even with hatches stuck with boots. The Corsa and Petra are examples. Again, Esteem was a Swift with a boot and Ikon was a Fiesta with a boot. None of them were offensive.

The era of weird looking boot-jobs started with the "Dolphin" Honda City. Many, including me, thought that it is going to flop, but the eventual success emboldened many a manufacturer to dish out contraptions with no form or proportion.

I would attribute the weirdness of these sedans to the cab-forward design of the donor hatchbacks. In cab forward design since the A-pillar is moved forward, they had to make the waistline moving upwards rather than horizontal (as in normal cars) to align itself with the bonnet of the car.

Now, when these cars were given boots, they had a problem aligning the top of the boot with the waistline. None of the boot-job designers got it right. Even the beautiful Linea looks weird from some angles. The Fiesta's boot job is a disaster even with the new rear. Honda City (3rd gen) got away since they redesigned the entire body.

The only sedan that is standing up with its head held high is the Vento/Rapid and that is because, the Polo did not fall into the cab-forward mania.
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Old 4th August 2014, 14:53   #147
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Just returned to the US today, nice to see ugly cars so rare (but they still exist):
You really liked that Aztec ??!!!
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Old 4th August 2014, 15:45   #148
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

I guess there still is room for the Indian car market to stoop to lower levels. Attached is a pic of FIAT Multipla.

As Quoted on Top Gear, the Multipla does look like it has some kind of disease
Attached Thumbnails
What happened to good looking cars?!-fiatmultipla02.jpg  

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Old 4th August 2014, 16:17   #149
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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As Quoted on Top Gear, the Multipla does look like it has some kind of disease
Wikipedia (click here for the article) says that it was Simon Cowell who said that when he was on the show. And guess what. The Multipla actually won Top Gear's Car of the Year award in 1999.
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Old 5th August 2014, 09:27   #150
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
The Toyota Innova went from a nice looking MUV to this
IMO the 3rd version of the Innova looked the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
You can't just take a hatchback, plonk a small boot on it and say "sedan".
Yes you can. Some examples of such executions done tastefully:
- Fiat Palio / Petra
- Opel Astra Sedan / Hatch (Europe)
- Opel Corsa / Corsa Sail
- Suzuki Swift Hatch / Sedan (Esteem)
- Fiat Uno / Premio
- VW Polo / Vento
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