We get the slide rule out on Renault’s mid-80’s midliner.
To finish the French part of this discussion, here is the 1986 Renault 21. While there is some room for interpretation in the exact angle of these lines, the overall theme is clear. Parallel lines govern the bodyside. They are almost equally spaced too. The apex of the triangle formed by the windscreen and rear window is almost symmetrically located. Both of these characters indicate a lack of underlying dynamism in this car. Notice a faint nod to aerodynamism in the partly covered rear wheel arch.
It’s not un-coincidental that there are very few side profiles of this car and the Google images search quickly runs dry. In comparison both the 405 and BX have a vibrant net presence. The message here is that Renault’s design is severe without any noticeable accent. That’s rationalism taken too far: it is off-putting and uninteresting while the 405, BX and 80 continued to fascinate.
Does this car remind anyone of the Nissan Sunny estate we discussed in November? I think it may be irrational to be solely rational: people like a bit of emotion.