In general, the action of most windshield wipers can be summed up as teamwork. In their most common form as a pair, wipers are mechanically linked to be partners in their job of keeping the windshield clean of droplets, each staking out their half and working in sync. The wipers appear to be a team, happy to be doing their task, together. Well, for most cars, at least. On the Renault Alpine GTA, it’s a different story. This may be the only car I can think of with adversarial wipers.
Windshield wipers don’t always have to move in parallel synchronization (the most common setup, known as the tandem or the double arm parallel system); opposed wipers are a thing, usually pivoting at the edges of the windshield and sweeping facing arcs toward one another.
Those, and monowiper systems make up most of automotive wiper design, as you can see in this illustration from the Applied Mechanisms textbook:
Renault, being both French and French, somehow found an entirely other way to do wipers on the Alpine GTA V6:
So, a pair of wipers, mounted near the center, pivoting towards the center. It’s a decent way to clear a lot of area, with just a little dead zone of droplets in the center. It’s not a bad setup, necessarily, from a windshield coverage perspective, but there is one strange side effect of the Alpine’s wiper setup.
What do you see there? If you, like me, and I suspect most people, unconsciously anthropomorphize those wipers’ motions into ones dictated by emotion, it sure as hell looks like passenger wiper is attempting to attack or bother driver’s side wiper, who is just not having it.
It looks like a repeating dance where passenger-side is waking up and pissing off driver-side who knocks passenger-side back down. And while passenger-side is beaten, it’s never broken, and returns to try again and again, never succeeding, but never quitting.
Man, it really looks like the driver’s side wiper is recoiling in a bit of fear, there. I can’t not see it that way. Would this drive me crazy if I had an Alpine?
Speaking of having Alpines, look how close America almost came to getting these amazing rear-engined cars:
AMC-Renault was planning on selling Alpines at AMC dealerships in America, alongside Renault Alliances and XJ Cherokees, but when Chrysler bought into AMC in 1987, they scuttled the plan. Partially because of the fear of competing with the Chrysler TC by Maserati, of all cars!
If you needed another reason to be pissed at the Chrysler TC by Maserati, there you go.
(As always, thanks Hans!)