Some manufacturers today use a large plastic moulding as a front mask that includes bumper as well as radiator grille. A solution I appreciate for its simplicity and which can be pleasing to look at – but beware the pitfalls!
Not long ago, we discussed an odd triangle, trapped between shutlines, panel folds and functional elements. The object in question was the 2014 Lexus IS’s rear door. I was reminded of this discussion when I saw a short article in my local newspaper about the new Jaguar XF. There it was again – between headlight, bonnet shutline and radiator bulge. What the above Jaguar press photo (!) also shows: it’s not easy to align large plastic and metal pieces. There is a visible offset between the bonnet and the front mask above the left headlight (as seen in the picture), and the shutline itself varies in thickness.
Another front mask example came to my mind. This one has bothered me since its appearance: the current BMW 3-series (F30).
First of all, the line between bonnet and front mask is too straight. It just doesn’t want to fit in with the very curved and dynamic shapes of the car. From the top, it looks as if the side and front line of the bonnet form a square shape that was accidentally cut off by the headlight. Add to this the line between the bumper and the wing which again seems to be unrelated to the other lines. At least they didn’t leave us with any unresolved triangles.