A micropost on the reverberations of certain design themes across decades and between brands and a reflection on their meaning.
One of our readers has asked for further clarification on the meaning of the “CX line” with respect to the 2008 Renault Laguna. The first photo shows the 1976 Citroen CX, designed by Robert Opron. The second photo shows a Series 1 Renault Laguna from 2009. The CX line is partially obscured by the cut-out of the headlamps and, of course, is set within a more complex environment than the corresponding line on the 1976 car.
I think this means that someone in Renault, under Patrick le Quement as design director, was keeping the Citroen CX in mind when designing the Laguna. The lamp cleverly hides the reference but the underlying forms are visible once you know to look for them. Citroen forms have been very influential; for a long time they were the designer’s car.
Can that be said of even the great names like Lancia and Alfa Romeo? While Mercedes have devised some excellent vehicles, their forms are seldom inspirational. Designers might say “I want this to be as good as a Mercedes W124 but not look like a Mercedes W-124”. Citroen’s motifs have affected many firms while Mercedes have inspired (though their ribbed rear lamp covers did get copied a few times here and there).