Question of the Day

Why does the VW ID concept have to look more styled than a VW Golf?

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The ID concept is claimed to have a 371 mile range (compared to the 248 miles of a Renault Zoe). At present Chevrolet’s Bolt promises around 230 or so (and Car and Driver have confirmed this). I’m more interested in the visual semantics of electric cars though. Tesla have chosen to make their cars look quite conventional (less so with the X). BMW have opted for po-mo design while the Zoe could conceivably be an ordinary modernist car: not Tesla’s classicism and nor either obviously outré. Continue reading “Question of the Day”

2017 Land Rover Discovery

It’s all change at Land Rover, as Archie Vicar might say. I have prepared this visual analysis of the car so as to show you what’s being offered.

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The new car looks longer and lower and has lost a few degrees of rectilinearity. It has also lost the hard, industrial character which made the last Disovery so appealing and indeed distinct from the Range Rover above it. The residual roof bump might make sense in a design board meeting (“We’ve refenced the step in the roof, Bob, but made it more dynamic…”) but in reality it is now pure styling. The base of the A-pillar is visually very unsettling, a hard corner amidst a mass of radii. The previous model handled this area nicely. Notice the lamps are now horizonally accented and not vertical. They resemble a Ford S-Max and the stepped feature offers nothing functional. The BOF construction has gone as well as the square looks.

Verdict: the Discovery now looks like many other mid-size SUVs.

Image sources: 2017 Discovery and 2009 Discovery.

Micropost: the 1998-2004 Opel Astra Comfort

Not another Astra, Richard. Yes: it’s the rare 3-door with full Comfort spec.

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That means green-grey velour, rear headrestraints and rear centre armrests plus a/c. Did any Focus or Golf three door have such luxurious trim? If it wasn’t such an unusual trim-body combination I would not have tried to photograph it.  Generally, three door versions of the cars used to be priced lower than the five doors and were more budget-orientated. Opel offered another path to top-level trim so you could avoid the five door if you wanted.