In the 1950s and ’60s, two-tone paint schemes were a common sight on everything from family station wagons to muscle cars. According to a report by Automotive News, that trend is on its way back to the mainstream.

Newer cars with a two-tone paint scheme will often have a different colored roof in contrast to the body. Even nice European crossovers like the Range Rover Velar and Volvo XC40 are going this route.


Around 20 others are now following this trend with more product lines coming out soon. Even the Toyota Camry will sport a two-tone paint job in 2018.

“It’s incredible how people react to the bitone colors. If you give them two colors to assemble, immediately the car has different personalities. Red with a white roof is a little bit sporty; cream with a black roof is a little more solid and tough. One in pastel with a white roof could be a little more feminine.” - Alexandre Malval, Citroen’s Head of Design


16 years ago, the launch of the new Mini brand seemed to kickstart two-tone paint schemes from a long absents in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Automotive News states that quite a few car brands have now started offering bitone paint choices on several models. The contrasting paint colors can change the whole visual outline of the car.

Automotive News says that new two tone paint schemes often add to the MSRP of a vehicle due to manufacturing practices that often involve the car running through the paint line multiple times. Many car designers add that it’s worth it to the consumer because a simple color change can transform their opinion of a car.


While a few existing models have started offering two-tone paints, some have always been planned to go this way. The VP of design at Volvo, Robin Page, told Automotive News that the new Volvo XC40 always had bi-tone paint in its design process, for example.

The new trend is all about giving the customer a choice to have a vehicle that fits their sense of style and its a welcome practice. With several new models on the horizon, multi-colored cars are here to stay for at least a few years.


I don’t see it as a bad thing, personally. We have complained about new cars being more and more boring and the death of interesting design for some time now. If adding another paint color keeps ordinary cars spicy, why not?

Lance Tedford spends his energies working on his 1985 Chrysler LeBaron. He is extremely tall and can never die.

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