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"Why do they have to look so weird?!"

2023 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dpeilow
OK, I've often thought this but I find "weird" cars quite appealing, if not pretty.

However recently I've had a few conversations, one just two days ago, when multiple people have said they wished EVs and hybrids just looked "normal". For what it's worth, I totally agree. I don't really like the look of the LEAF, and many others just look "odd", especially from smaller companies.
Why do companies insist on making EVs stand out and look "futuristic" or whatever it is they're trying to do, it just further marginalises them.

Doesn't so much apply to the Ampera and Volt (and Teslas perhaps), but generally... what gives?!

Am I alone here on this?!
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I'm with you on liking vehicles that stand out from the crowd. If anything I think the Leaf is guilty of being a little bit bland. I don't think many would think the Leaf anything other than another family hatchback?
I don't know, the "blue accents" and strange lines make it quite different from most others out there at the moment. The i3 even seems quite divisive, I like it but again I've heard a few stay they think it looks weird.
Everything looks weird when the design is new. Lots of 'normal' cars look weird too when you see them the first time.

As for the i3, people said lots of things about not liking the current generation of 3/5 series design when it first came out. Now everything else on the market seems to have headed in the same direction with creases and folds. I'm quite glad they've done something different and are exploring the design choices given the new materials in use.

You can't deny the Model S is a pretty car, but can you really tell it apart from an Aston Martin or Jaguar? Nice company to be in, but not really pushing any design envelope.
To my eyes, the i3 looks like the result of an Audi A2 & a Smart getting way too friendly. It really is a very ugly thing.The concept version didn't look too bad. But the production version is just plain odd.
Trouble is with BMW and the like, it seems others follow their lead even if they make ugly cars, fashion and trends in automotive design are as predictable as they are plain weird. Wish we had more variety on the streets myself, rather than familiar patterns which start with company x and get adopted by company a,b and c the following model years... same in digital and web design (my field) really though, but I'd want my car to last longer than a current web design.
I really don't consider EVs look "weird". They look different because they are new and have new design criteria some of which is to do with aerodynamics and some to create a feeling of modernity and to create a differentiation from the bland of today's models.

The Leaf nor Ampera look at all unusual to me. Nor the Zoe. The i3 is a bit quirky but not overly so IMO. It will stand out from the crowd and that is a good thing IMO as it shows that the car is completely different and this emphasizes the difference on the inside too.

The Tesla Model S is just bland IMO. I couldn't tell it from a Jaguar XF at a glance and although it has some nice visual features (flush handles etc) it is not an example of good EV visual design IMO. EVs are different. They are the future. I believe their looks should reflect that. I love the Vauxhall XL1. I like the quirkiness of the i3. The Leaf is too "today" for my liking and the Ampera could have gone further on the "futuristic" design IMO too.

I would also like to see the internals and controls broght completely up to date in the same way that aircraft display and control systems became digital in the 80's. Radical I know but I would like to see "fly by wire" side controllers instead of steering wheels. I am sure that without that big circular metal bar in front of the driver it would be a whole lot safer in a crash. The Tesla does it but I'd like to see the display systems all flat-screen and displayed by software instead of individual displays. Even the Leaf does not have that.

We are getting away from 100+ years of fossil fuels. I'd like to see us get away from the old-style designs of yesterday too and have modern-looking cars with futuristic interiors.
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Steering wheel makes most sense for cars I'm sure, and why challenge the status quo for design when you're already blowing people's minds when it comes to the technology. I think the more that EVs look and act like cars (albeit top of the line in terms of ICE) the quicker they will gain acceptance.

I think people still visualise EVs as things like the i-Miev and other quirky concepts, but I know that I think the LEAF isn't pretty and others have commented it's weird! The drag coefficients don't seem massively low either, so not sure about the "wind-tunnel lead" argument I've heard before either?
Fair enough Paul. I know my views on this are not in line with the majority :)
It's not just EVs what about the Nissan Juke or, from a bit longer ago, the Fiat Multipla?

I sometimes think that when the creators of Thunderbirds dreamed up the crazy cars that we would be driving in the future they pretty much got it right.
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Fair enough Paul. I know my views on this are not in line with the majority :)
Mine neither, I wish car design in general would move on, I want the cars of my childhood's future, today!
It's not just EVs what about the Nissan Juke or, from a bit longer ago, the Fiat Multipla?

I sometimes think that when the creators of Thunderbirds dreamed up the crazy cars that we would be driving in the future they pretty much got it right.
The Multipla was kind of different, new, challenging. Then you get something the Fiat 500L, which has just been beaten to death with the ugly stick. ;)
... or the new mini (which is almost as big as a range rover evoque!).
I think its swings and roundabouts. I agree that designs need to move forward but there is also the case for making new tech look and feel familiar for new adopters. I feel this with a couple of areas with the Leaf. I suspect also that for some people the fact that their car is powered by electricity is not really a big deal, where as something like the i3 stands out cars like the e-Golf and upcoming Kit Soul EV blend into what has gone before and are familiar. I hope as time goes on and people get their head around EV tech designs will adapt with the flexibility that the EV drivetrain can provide.
We talked about this topic at length on TMC a few years ago. It's definitely the case that EV design has got a lot better in the past couple of years but far to many of them still shout weirdo at the top of their voices.

I know a lot people think the LEAF is ugly and it certainly has no aerodynamic advantage. Personally it has grown on me to the point where I don't mind it. In black :)

I can't understand people saying the Model S is bland. Perhaps it has been copied a lot since it was first announced in 2009 (Audi have totally ripped off the LED light patterns they did first), and I agree that the alpha version they showed then was prettier, but that's the way concept cars typically go when the realities of production are taken into account.

Personally I don't understand why we have to different models at all. Do we have completely separate designs for diesel?

But given that we do, I'm glad the Ampera looks like it does. Virtually every comment on it has been complementary.
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