These are driven, focused and ferocious times we live in. With unspeakable crimes happening all over the globe, folk taking forcefully what is not rightfully theirs to take, and incidents of road rage not uncommon, it seems that there is more aggression in the air.
Have car manufacturers picked up on society’s vibe and tailored their offerings to meet our increasingly threatening nature as humans, or is it the other way round? As cars have taken on a more aggressive look year on year, chiseled and menacing themselves, have they conditioned us into being so?
Look at this lovely little friendly Frog Eye Sprite from yesteryear, and then look at the poised for a fight, aggressively stance on the Audi, the epitome of a much more modern design.
I know which ones looks scarier to me. I know which one I would feel compelled to move over for on a motorway. I also know which one would suit a road rage scene better.
The wonderful round lines of the Sprite are inviting, charming and cute. The sharp, angled, elongated lines of the Audi are tough. Do we live in a day and age where cute is good? I am not so sure cute is good for survival. Friendly looking cars may be seen as weaker, boring, less thoroughbred. Sophisticated with an air of aggression and capability seems to be the norm these days.
However, picture a man getting out of that little Frog Eye with a baseball bat. Or the little Sprite appearing in your rear view mirror and flashing you out of the way.The sheer mismatch of the conflicting senses portrayed by these scenarios is enough to confuse anybody into a state of fear.
Chromework and quaint lighting units set against strong, bright pastel colours laid upon a curvy body seem to be a thing of the past. Sharply styled, flush fitting panels and lights, dressed in monochrome, matt or pearlescent finishes surround us today. New cars certainly don’t look friendly.
And yet some protest to be friendly. Environmentally friendly.