2015 Frankfurt IAA Colour Palette

DTW has been out sampling the colours of the important new cars shown at Frankfurt so far. 
2015 Frankfurt colour IAA
…and none of the ones I looked at were green. That anti-green trend is continuing then. Obviously Bugatti’s car was going to be Bugatti blue. Ford went with an interesting orange metallic (as did Seat). Bentley made a choice for a paler version of gold with which to dress the Bentayga. Say what you like about the rest of the car, the colour is very nice indeed, not a million miles away from Volvo’s Maya Gold from some years back.

Alfa Romeo, Nissan and Mazda chose very similar metallic reds. This colour is getting tired. Where are the blue and green equivalents? If Alfa must use red then there are alternatives. Alfa can lay some claim to flat red, for example, but instead chose a mildly warmed up metallic Bordeaux that would suit some old-school Rover and Buick just as well.

Renault picked a truly dull, entry-level, base-model, rental car metallic grey for their important new Megane (it’s too dreary to show here). They broke no new ground with this car and that includes the exterior colour. Even the blue chosen for the RS version is very familiar. I suppose it’s a branding thing. Isn’t branding very constraining. With the logic of branding using another colour for an RS vR would confuse customers, as if the product needs recognition in the same way a pack of cigarettes might. Finally VW chose white for the Golf GTI clubsport, a

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia in a surprising and difficult to name shade: Autobild.de
2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia in a surprising and difficult to name shade: Autobild.de

concept car I wasn’t expecting. Almost finally, Audi used electric blue for their E-tron, and Jaguar´s F-Pace had a not-unrelated hue. Only Citroen showed a bit of daring by opting to omit the metallic flakes and leave their Mehari-inspired concept car a striking aquamarine.

Infiniti opted for a rich metallic brown for their Q30. We have seen a resurgence of brown metallic in use by a variety of manufacturers such as BMW, Kia, Volvo; Mercedes and now Infiniti. Nothing about the rest of the Infiniti is in any way appealing but I must congratulate them for choosing this warm and cosy shade.

2016 Infiniti Q30
2016 Infiniti Q30. No people about. Must have been cold the day they went to do the photoshoot: Automotive News

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

13 thoughts on “2015 Frankfurt IAA Colour Palette”

  1. We live in a relatively unadventurous time for colours. On my morning commute I noticed a 2014 plate Vauxhall Astra that stood out in an unusual shade of muted gold. A quick trip to the online configurator revealed the colour to be “Soft Bronze”. And you know what Richard, they also offer dark green! That was news to me, having not seen one in that colour on the road.

    1. We had a visitor to our house and she admired the yellow walls. “I like these colours”, she said, “….in other people´s houses. Our house is white inside.”

    2. It takes a bold spirit to be adventurous with colour. After protracted negotiations about what colour to paint our lounge, I was comprehensively overruled and we ended up with taupe.

    3. “It takes a bold spirit…”
      Yes, it does. But in my opinion, it pays. I’ve bought some bright orange shoes lately (and I mean bright), and I got a lot of compliments. (Not that I’d wear them for the opera, though)
      Same goes for my car in a not so bold, but very unusual combination. And this one, I’d not be ashamed to park right in front of the opera house.

    4. The problem with a predominantly bright colour is it leaves no room for accents. You can wear orange trainers as an accent, but an orange jumpsuit will make you look a pillock (or a Guantanamo escapee).

      Laurens van den Acker understands this, both in footwear and car design (see his trainers and the coloured inserts on the latest Clio). Conversely (there’s a trainer pun for you), my silver car is pepped up to just the right degree with yellow fillets in the black seats. I also intend to have the brake calipers painted yellow (they’re red at the moment, the third colour offending me).

    5. I’m aware of the main colour / accent topic. For example, while I like the orange shoes, I feel I’m past the age for orange trousers or jackets (although I have an orange jacket for cycling – with black accents which make all the difference, now what do you say about that, Chris?)

  2. I think there was a yellow Lamborghini Huracan Spyder in one of the show photo galleries if that helps.

    Infiniti need to borrow an iron from Wolfsburg and press some of those creases out of the Q30. It looks awfully rumpled as it is.

    1. It´s not impressive. It´s what you do when all the good ideas have been used up. Car design is scraping the barrel at the moment. Classicism still works but modernism is really having a hard time. Perhaps it is a mistake to think there are lots of good ideas outside the obvious ones. There are some but not as many as we´d like.

    2. It’s not that bad. Invert the shape of the grille, paint it red and you’d have the new CX-whatever. Trouble is, Mazda have been there multiple times already, and done it better.

  3. About colour: surely an accent is a relative thing? If you have a bright orange as the main colour you could have green accents or metallic (neutral) accents. I think in clothes choosing a strident colour is a bit of risk if you don´t work on television. For a product, the body could be bright yellow and the buttons or smaller parts lime green or orange.

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