I am very aware of the dangers of cultural tourism. Thus I present this item in as factual and neutral manner as I can.
Simon, our editor, has pressed me to produce something, anything on our theme of the month. I consulted Mr Google by using ‘romantic car’ as a search term. I’d hoped to find some inspiration but not quite of this kind. The image is attached to an article (undated) which is entitled “These 7 cars will make your romantic rendezvous memorable and sweep your date off your feet.” It’s a listicle and it’s as random as our notorious Top Fifty Best Ever Cars Ever feature which has been running for a while now.
The introduction to the article informs us that some of the cars are designed for Indian roads. The others are pretty much what you’d expect any show-off to drive to impress his date. Thus we have a collision of vehicular values. Here’s that list: Jaguar F-type V8, Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio, Bentley Continental GT V8, And then: Marutui Swift Dzire, Chevrolet Beat, Honda City and the car above, the Honda Amaze.
Notice that the Chevrolet Beat is positioned right before the Bentley for maximum contrast. This is how they report the Beat: “The Chevrolet Beat 2014 with its enticing new design boasts of several additional features and assures an extraordinary drive with your loved ones”. And this is how the report the Bentley: “The stylish cobra-head seats with unified headrests of the Bentley Continental GT V8 makes its riders wish for the journey to never get over!”
I understand that the article is probably some form of paid feature. What is not clear is why they had to place the Hondas and Chevrolet up against the V8s. They could conceivably have written the article with the British sports cars and the sporty Abarth and left the others for another listicle.
Last on the list is the Amaze: “Another ‘romantic car’ from the house of Honda, the Honda Amaze with its convenient interiors and an integrated music system, creates the ambience for a perfect date.” Is Honda a romantic brand? Did they pay extra to get two cars into the same feature?
The Honda Amaze is a good lesson in how not to turn a hatch into a saloon, something discussed at length recently here. That said, the hatch front end seems to be horrible all on its own. I know Indian drivers have different expectations but is this really what they want? I’m sure many want exactly the same quality of design as customers in W Europe do. Honda’s Thailand design centre came up with the Amaze. Unsupervised, it seems.
I have failed to be factual and neutral.
9 thoughts on “Theme: Romance – Something Incomprehensible From India”
Oh God, my eyes!
Sometimes I’m really glad we don’t get some cars here in Switzerland.
Does the Honda Mobilio (the 2013 one, not the one SV posted here some days ago) come from the same studio as the … ahem, “thing” on top of this article?
Give the Amaze full size wheels and it would look kind-of ok I think. Or maybe I’m just feeling magnanimous because it’s Friday…
Laurent! We drop a comma and you jump down our throats. Honda put an E-Class Merc through Photoshop’s distort filter and you think it’s OK? Magnanimous doesn’t cover it.
I expect only the best from you guys, and will do my bit to get you there. Honda on the other hand…
The Amaze has the characteristics of a design by a very young designer to which the usual engineering and development processes have been applied. Diagnosis: poor judgement by the studio manager and local design boss.
Thank you, Sam: knowing your eagle eyes are scrutinising everything keeps us alert. The debate on plastic wood has even informed my teaching.
I have a theory that all the good designers at Honda are working on motorcycles, scooters, mobility aids and robots. Every so often they post one of these designers to the four-wheeler division and a nice car comes along. Otherwise, it’s Peugeot & Ssangyong refugees and kids from sub-par design schools. Here’s the Honda Design Tokyo Motorshow concept page (in Japanese, sorry) which proudly highlights everything but the cars http://www.honda.co.jp/design/TMS2015/
That’s a very accurately described observation. Honda cars have been hit and miss. You can find a car for every category of achivement: straightforward, futuristic, classical, unorthodox, dull, beautiful. They have done it all. Perhaps they can’t tell which is which.