There are two ways a design hits me: What the heck is that! And, my eyes love it.
What the heck is that! … To me, many Asian cars are like that. They go to extremes with origami sheet metaling and unbroken lines from front to back, or front grills that look like a Whale Shark at feeding time. I must admit some Asian cars are very interesting. When I come upon them, well, they just look really different. Yet few Asian cars age well – except Toyota’s 2000GT and Datsun/Nissan’s 240 Z – but in general they tend to get dated quickly. They show a styling timeline that will be interesting to see how 2009 and up age. While I have always liked Chrysler’s 300, it has been bitten by Whale Sharks, as has Dodge with their Charger and others.
My eyes love it … The new S60. From the first time I saw it, there was no insulting onslaught of I hope I will learn to like this, more like it just flows from front to back, Scandinavian crafted. Some years ago, one of the big three bought a small European car company. The big car company’s first “joint” project was hearlded as “keeping to the smaller brand’s core values, keeping to its heritage.” The Wall Street Journal said it looked like the small brand from the front but a rental from the back. A company gets that when they design by committee. Bob Lutz once said about design, “It is death by a thousand paper cuts. It’s the same with temptation to carry over from previous models with things like door handle (dj: changes). I have seen nice designs that go through the committees that end up destroying the good work of the designers.”
So the S60. When we first saw it, the feelings were that it was just right, or “Lagom” as the Swedes would say. It pushed our design from one stage to another, and more was changed than door handles. It gave us an evoultionary way of looking at Scandanivan styling that was in harmony with our past yet gave us a future. The 2012 S60 gave us an open door for pushing what is Volvo. I do like the ‘Wolf eyes” headlights. Wonder how that S60 would look in Black with heavy tinted windows … hmm.
Here is another video about what we are working towards: