2015 LA Auto Show Colour Palette

Consider this post as a kind of reporter’s notebook. This set of colour chips represents the set of colours of the new launches at the 2015 LA Motor show. 

2015 LA Auto show colour palette 1
The colour palette at the 2015 LA Auto Show

What is my analysis of this? It’s that blue is evidently the new black. And here is the inspiration, International Klein Blue from about 1960 (below). There’s still no green. It’s notable how narrowly the colours are focused as well. The reds are very much interchangeable and the two yellows (Porsche and VW) are quite alike though the VW’s is a metallic yellow. Infiniti are the outlier with a dark warm grey or deep brown.

International Klein Blue
International Klein Blue

Author: richard herriott

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

12 thoughts on “2015 LA Auto Show Colour Palette”

  1. Great News. Nogaro Blue is back! That should add £10 to my price when I finally get round to advertising the Audi in Autotrader. I was actually given the ‘secret formula’ for International Klein Blue once …. but I’ve lost it.

    1. Yes, well spotted. White seems down too. These are the launch colours- the rest of the displays might have, must have other hues. That the blue is so uniform is alarming.

    2. Yes, too much uniformity. What I miss completely, are the in-between tones – bluish grey, bluish green, olive, orange-red, to name just a few. The seventies and eighties brought us a lot of these, and it’s about time for them to make a comeback.

  2. It’s not just colours, it would be nice to pay more attention to the names. For instance, just a small selection of colours, sorry colors, from US Ford, Dodge and Plymouth at the end of the Sixties gives us :

    Plum Crazy, Moulin Rouge, Freudian Gilt, Go Mango and There She Blue

    1. Sounds like the names on the nail varnish flasks I find on my wife’s shelf. But I like this. Today’s car industry is so devoid of humour and irony, they should bring some back.

  3. Quite right, Simon. We have neutrals and violent primaries. I suppose they show up clearly in internet images. Wouldn’t orangey-grey be intriguing? Or a mid-green with yellow.

  4. I can’t exactly imagine what you mean by mid-green with yellow. But any green is good, as it’s a long missing part of the automotive colour palette.
    When I visit my parents in my old home town, I often pass a green Audi A3 saloon. As much as I dislike this car, in this colour it looks great to me. It’s a very bright green, not too light, tending probably slightly into yellowish. A mid-green with yellow? Anyway, it’s a very sharp colour, probably even a violent complementary. Together with flat black (instead of chrome) it really looks great for a sporty, not too large car. Why does no one buy this?

    Now with the orangey-grey, you got me completely hooked. It sonds exactly like the colour that could warm my heart. What would it look like? I tried a few shades: lighter with more or less saturation (top row) – or darker, with an orange tint throughout (bottom left) and with orange highlights, but turning to neutral or even bluish in the shadows (bottom right).

    Who will paint / wrap my car in any of these colours?

    1. I liked that colour analysis. Are you thinking of Audi’s mid-metallic green or the yellowy-green metallic they used also on the Mk1 A4?
      The orange-grey: take mid grey with no metallic and add bright orange with some white.

    2. That Audi wasn’t metallic. It’s a plain, but very intense colour. The green of the Mk1 A4, was this the same as seen very often on the first A3? If so, this colour is much less saturated and also a tad yellower than the A3 I’ve seen.

      With the orange-grey, it’s exactly the other way round. Where you thought of non-metallic, my ideas (as seen in the pictures) were on the metallic or even sligthly flip-flop side (or why not matt-metallic? though rather not for a C6). But a non-metallic option sounds very interesting here. I tried several combinations of grey and orange, but found it hard to end up with something that doesn’t have “brown(ish)” as the first association.

      As an example that probably comes close to what we are talking about, only the Fiat 500 springs to my mind:

      Is that about what you had in mind?

    1. I’d stick to grey with a slight addition. This can make very interesting colours; I’m thinking also of other hues. Blue could be nice, for example.
      Whereas orange should be bold and bright, not dulled or pale. But who knows, mybe you find a shade I like nevertheless.

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