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Comment Of The Day: Supersonic Bionic Robot Voodoo Power Edition

Illustration for article titled Comment Of The Day: Supersonic Bionic Robot Voodoo Power Edition

What are words? Or better, what is car design?

In recent years, auto styling seems to have been on a maximalist swing, with as many creases and folds and wiggles and woggles scoops flares seams and vents as physically possible.

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These styling tricks aim to trick the light, trick the eye, disguise the bulk and sameness of today’s increasingly aerodynamic, regulated, and standardized cars.

Except, as reader Turbolence88 noted, for the new Volvo S90:

Holy shit, a flat beltline and a greenhouse that doesn’t pinch up in the back in the pursuit of “elegancious dynaminimalistic vehicumotion design” or some other buzzword bullshit. Love the profile.

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Indeed, what are the words that can describe today’s Hyundai-esque overstyled norm?

Maybe we need to go to Kool Keith-levels of vocabulisticiousness to adequately capture it.

Either way, Dr. Octagon is good.

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Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

These styling tricks aim to trick the light, trick the eye, disguise the bulk and sameness of today’s increasingly aerodynamic, regulated, and standardized cars.

Please stop regurgitating the myth that aerodynamics make for ugly cars.

That lovely little thing from the fifties had a CD of 0.14. Slightly more than half of current ‘champions of aerodynamics’. From which you can conclude two things:

  • Aerodynamic cars don’t need to be ugly
  • Current cars aren’t that aerodynamics

The only reason for ugly cars is bad designers. Aerodynamicists have very little to do with exterior design. Underbody, wheel wells and perhaps a spoiler is where the car aerodynamicists can ply their trade. The bodywork at large is firmly in hand of the artsy fartsy designers.

Aerodynamically efficient shapes are inherently beautiful. That’s why good planes are frequently very good looking planes as well. Properly aerodynamic cars look good. The Fiat Turbina is an example. As is the

Nuna 5

Tatra T77

Olds Aerotech

Schlörwagen

(I refuse to include the XL1 as VW sacrificied aerodynamic efficiency to give it the VW corporate face, ruining the purity of the design).

So please. Stop blaming aerodynamicists for ugly cars. Start firing the artsyfartsy dicks responsible and give the aerodynamicists the freedom they deserve. Your cars will be more efficient, faster, better looking and finally will look like you are living in the future you were promised 50 years ago.