Flipping goodness (exclamation mark). The interior has now been revealed. I had some thoughts about the exterior though.Here is the car in side view. Seen from a distance I get the impression the body and wings are separating.
Approximately 17 years ago, a car in the corresponding sector looked like this, very minimal and clear.
The C-HR is a hybrid and it will be on sale next year. The amazingly astonishingly amazing fact about this car is that it will be parked on the side of roads as if that’s a normal, typical thing. People will walk past it and ignore it. These days people don’t notice this kind of thing, do they?
At this point it’s too early to say if the C-HR is actually any good. I am learning to wait about five years and sometimes up to 25 years before offering conclusive decisions on car designs. There’s not much hope for Citroen C5 Mk 1 (I still think it’s dreadful). I don’t want to get caught out like people did with the Fiat Multipla and simply declare the CHE a failure (note that I approved of the Multipla at the time).
I have shown the interior with and without its major formal innovation.
The CH-R is the product of a company who are very confident about their ability to sell cars. It’s a hard design to parse: there is so much going on. Again, I am forced to refer readers to the late stages of Rococo furniture or perhaps late Baroque architecture. The Honda is classicism and the C-HR is the very end of autoBaroque . Can any more forms be piled on top of these forms? Rather unfairly, all this design exuberance will not really be noticed, as I said. When the DS appeared it seemed to not only break with the past but also summed up the essence of a passenger car. This design doesn’t do that.
Let’s be clear, this is a remarkably bold product. It’s also not summing up anything but adding even more. We’re at a stage not too dissimilar to 1959 in American cars. And the difference is that you can also buy something like this:
Such is the state of things that I am offering this (above) as a plain design. Can you name it? (The answer is at the end of the article). Below is the Land Rover Discovery:
And here’s the Lynk&Co launched recently:
This what the back of the C-HR looks like:
So, we have here a design where the major formal elements are erupting from the car. The lamps and even the panel of the liftgate are standing proud of the adjoining parts. And they did much the same thing at the front but you can Google that yourself.
In their own way the cars Toyota did in the middle 80’s such as the Crown also appeared complex compared to their European peers. Is this car the equivalent of a fussily chamfered 1986 Camry? What I think I have been trying to do with this text is only to begin to work out what is going on with this car, and I finish only with a set of half-articulated thought burps.
Brave were the design directors who approved this and their managers showed a lot of trust too. Can you imagine this happening at BMW, Audi, Ford or Opel? They do good work but I get the feeling that if ideas this wild are ever conceived of there, they would never get past the filters.