cornish
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Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:51 pm

Ok it seems to me that the car industry everywhere seems to really be into "in your face styling" - very aggressive bold statements of power and size. Increasingly what were previously sensible brands seem to be turning to styling their cars to appeal to rap artists and footballers and the "bling" generation

The thing is there seems to be very few cars that can truly be called beautiful or elegant any more. Obviously SUV/4x4s and People Carrier/Minivan/Bratbuses are never goning to be beautiful by their very dimensions, but look at BMW's now, the current Rolls Royce, more and more M-Bs, the new Audi grill, Peugeots and so on. Some of them may be impressive designs, but beautiful, elegant - No way !

See the Peugeot 406 Coupe - what a beautiful car. Peugeot replace it with the 407 coupe - lots of presence, very impressive. But beautiful ? I think not.
Ferrari 456 - beautiful. Replaced by 612 - not beautiful.

Thank goodness we have Aston Martin around to prove that it is still possible to design a car that still shouts power and presence while looking utterly beautiful. Their cars are one of a very short list of beautiful or elegant cars:

Any current Aston Martin - particularly the DB9 of course - the most beautiful car on the planet.

Err..... Maserati Quattroporte.

new Alfa Romeo Brera and 159.

And then struggling a bit
Audi A8 - still elegant despite the nasty new Audi grill.
Audi A4 Cabrio - well it was until they grafted the new grill on.

High hopes for the new Jaguar coupe - but thats about it folks.

God I could even throw in the Mazda 6 or Renault Laguna (pre facelift) as good looking family cars - thats how short of ideas i am.

Anyone else agree with me? - and please no 18 year olds telling me how beautiful the current BMW 7 series is - it is Vulgar with a capital V.

Anyone else hoping the next big design direction is for beautiful cars?
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Klaus
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:02 pm

I agree. Aggression can't replace elegance. And it gets old quite fast.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:10 pm

The Noble.

'nuff said. Old school muscle car but doesn't scream it, just nicely tailored.
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cornish
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:14 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 2):
The Noble.

Fair do's - you're right there. but still in a big minority eh?
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jush
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:39 pm

In respect for your very country you're absolutely not allowed to aks this question  Wink .
Your country build the most beautiful cars made today.
Aston Martin DB9 and Vanquish. This is true beauty.
As we all know Americans don't even know how to build proper cars (they only now how to build rubbish BIG)
German cars get worse and worse nowadays. BMW 5 is ok but the rest.
Mercedes is doing rubbish as well with the A and B class destoying its reputation.
I don't even start with VW cause they're complete rubbish.

Disagree on the audi grill. That is marvellous.

Regds

Jush
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cornish
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:45 pm

Quoting Jush (Reply 4):
Disagree on the audi grill. That is marvellous.

Ah that Audi grill.... Well I'm an Audi owner and i have moments when i quite like it and moments when i don't. But with the exception of the A8 i wouldn't say it looks particularly beautiful - this being my point. Certainly the A4 cabrio doesn't look better with it on. Its more following the fashion for more glitz/bling.

Having said that it'll be interesting to see how it fits on to some of the replacements ofr existing modesl that will have been designed with it from the outset.

I have the current model A3 - pre new grill. Is the new grill an improvement - I'm not so sure.
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dazultra
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:07 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 5):
Ah that Audi grill.... Well I'm an Audi owner and i have moments when i quite like it and moments when i don't. But with the exception of the A8 i wouldn't say it looks particularly beautiful

I think it looks quite good on the new A6 aswell, like the front end has been designed around the grill, whereas the A4 and A3 it looks like it has just been slapped on as an after thought.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:10 pm

General Motors make the two best looking cars around these days for more ordinary use. The Astra and Zafira came from the Opel CTC Geneve concept car and are way in front of the models they replaced. For the volume market they must be the best lookers.

The other gorgeous one is (argh) Australian, the Vauxhall Monaro built by Holden. Powerful, classic lines and pretty with it. Bit like me..

Strange that GM build tatty shitpiles in their US plants and good cars elsewhere.
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cornish
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:22 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 7):
The other gorgeous one is (argh) Australian, the Vauxhall Monaro built by Holden.

Sadly I think they've just stopped making them - or at least importing them to the UK - that's a shame as it was something a bit different in the market.

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 7):
Powerful, classic lines and pretty with it. Bit like me..

So who's the imposter in the photo on your profile then?  Wink
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solnabo
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:48 pm

All the beautiful cars is made in Germany. Lexus is another great looking car.

 twocents 

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Superfly
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:31 am

Cornish:
I agree with you. Imagination and style is a thing of the past.
30 years ago, every car across the board had distinctive styling.
Even a little Pontiac Sunbird and AMC Pacer had seat styling details such as stitching on the door panels, woodgrain instrument panel, vinyl roofs, etc.
All cars today are bubbles with very little styling differences.
The British has always and still do made very beautiful cars.
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NoUFO
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:59 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
I agree. Aggression can't replace elegance. And it gets old quite fast.

Absolutely. That's why I like Volvo's new C70: No too much of a forward-tilted wedge form, not too much chrome, relaxed understatement instead of offending lines.

Quoting Cornish (Thread starter):
particularly the DB9 of course - the most beautiful car on the planet.

I'd say that's Maserati's Coupe. More understatement and a less agressive looking grill. And I still like Land Rover's Defender, which is a true classic.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:03 am

While most of those "minivans" tend to be ugly, many medium-class cars are between nice and beautiful. There of course are many with a really aggressive styling, but I would NOT generalize. There have been relatively ugly cars in the past like the FIAT Panda or the Opel Kadett or the Citroen 2CV etc .
-
I for instance quite love the styling of my FIAT Marea Weekend .
 
CPH757
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:06 am

I do agree with you. Especially on the German cars, which use to be so stylish.

The last series of BMW's has been a disaster.

I still think that the Audis are great though. The new A4 is a great looking car!

Mercedes has kept up, until the recent launch of the Jaguar alike design. It's really ugly.

VW still make decent looking small cars. The new Golf is beatiful. However, the new Passat is a disaster. I really liked the old one. So simple and stylish. The new one is a refined edition of a Toyota Avensis or Mazda 6, which is absolutely ugly cars...
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Aleksandar
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:24 am

Quoting Cornish (Thread starter):
See the Peugeot 406 Coupe - what a beautiful car

I remember first seeing it at Belgrade Car Show and I was stunned.  eyepopping  I stood there and watched it for an hour or so.
Yes, new cars are not that nice anymore. Of course, there are few luxury sport cars that look great, but I doubt I'll ever own one, so I won't mention them.

Personally, I'm more interested in more affordable cars and there are some that look really nice like:
Mini
Lancia Ypsilon
Fiat Panda
Peugeot 206
Peugeot 407 (yes, Peugeot is my favorite brand and I had one)
Peugeot 307 (new one looks better)
Golf V
most of the Citroens

But still, they all miss something old cars had and none of the modern cars look as good as Peugeot 205GTi.

When I allow myself to fantasize a bit and dream of my ideal car, I dream Jaguar.  wink 
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:50 am

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 14):
dream of my ideal car

suggest you get a look at www.lamborghini.com and then you will see a really nice styling !
 
RobertNL070
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:04 am

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 14):
Peugeot 206
Peugeot 407 (yes, Peugeot is my favorite brand and I had one)
Peugeot 307 (new one looks better)

Totally agree with you there. The 206 will be succeeded by the 207 in March 2006. I'm hoping that Peugeot will have a good clearout at the beginning of next year. Then I hope to be able to get my hands on a (cheaper) 206 SW 'Quicksilver'. The French are turning out some very fine looking cars: the Peugeot 407 SW and the Renault Laguna Grand Tour for example.

I also need a car that can transport five 40 litre bales of topsoil plus other gardening accoutriments from the local garden centre. I'm afraid your Lamborghini won't help me there ME AVN FAN.

Regards, Robert  bouncy 
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Aleksandar
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Sat Nov 19, 2005 7:50 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 15):
then you will see a really nice styling !

I know that, but I will never have one  cry 

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 16):
The French are turning out some very fine looking cars

They definitely do. Here, in Serbia, German cars have always been the most popular ones, but I still love French and some Italian cars can also be nice (I named few), but there is always a problem with reliability. As for Germans, Mercedes-Benz SLK would be nice, too.

Personally, if I could buy a new car, I would go for something smaller like 206 or new 207 with more powerfull engine. Something that can help me move around in the city and easily park it. What I don't want is some kind of 4X4. Somehow, I feel too "tall" in them and they give that false sense that I'm stronger than the rest on the road.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:21 am

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 17):
I will never have one cry

Neither will I ! definitely above my possibilities  cry 
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:23 am

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 16):
your Lamborghini won't help me

so that I would rather recommend my FIAT Marea Weekend ! a beautiful and fine and spacious car which I really can recommend to anyone. Had a beautiful Tempra Station Liberty before which I loved but this one is better .
 
RedDragon
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:44 am

Argh, a Cornish-started car design thread and I only just noticed it?

Diving in...

Re. WhiteHatter: I wouldn't describe any of the Noble M12, Vauxhall Astra and Zafira and Holden Monaro as beautiful - the word of the thread. To my eyes the M12 is a brutish kit-caralike, the Astra and, to a slightly lesser extent, Zafira good-looking for the class and the times, but not beautiful, and the Monaro just bland in the details and dated in the execution. The Omega from which the Monaro owes its life could have stood a good chance of being a beautiful (okay, elegant) car of 1994, but Vauxhall/Opel's astonishingly ham-fisted mid-life facelift saw to that.

Re. NoUFO: In a similar (but vastly more cultured) way to the M12, I don't consider Maserati's Coupé (née 3200) beautiful. It was in its initial form, but plain Jane and out-of-place rear lights and, in its latest permutation, a new bodykit/mesh grille set and that pearlescent white paint spoiled things. Hmmm. The Volvo C70, on the other hand, is, I think, as much of a contender to beautiful as most of the cars we've come up with (apart from the best designs in the thread starter). It's clean, unfussy and elegant - although the nose arrangement probably stops it a bit too short of the b-word.

Re. ME AVN FAN: Your Marea Weekend? While I don't want to diss your pride and joy, and while I do want to say that, for its time, it was indeed a pretty small estate... it's not exactly up there with the Maserati Quattroporte is it? Big grin

In terms of real-world cars, the pre-facelift Mazda 6 and Renault Laguna are pretty sharp, as are the Citroën C4, aforementioned Astra, Mazda 5 (a people carrier? Really?) and... I've run out of ideas. The new Punto looks pretty nifty, although not quite beautiful. Audis, always a dead cert for beauty, are becoming over-styled and over-blinged in place of their elegant and subtle forebears.

As to the Land Rover Defender, I think this is actually possibly one of the most beautiful cars suggested - in terms of fitness-for-purpose. It's rugged, utilitarian and objectively ugly - but it does the job, and no more. Its simplicity of lines have been brought bang-up-to-date in the startlingly "architectural" form of the Discovery 3. (Shame the latter weighs well over two tonnes and is so sluggish and environment-killing...)

It's probably easy to point towards packaging requirements and pedestrian impact regulations as major drivers to cars becoming heavier, more bloated, more upright, longer-nosed and so on - but surely that's not an innate barrier to automotive beauty?

So, truly modern beautiful cars? I'd go with the Alfa 156 (more Sportwagon than saloon), Maserati Quattroporte, the gorgeous DB9, and... hmm. I'm not sure. Does the Goddess count as "modern"?

Rich
 
stirling
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:29 pm

This list came out some time ago.
Channel 4's list of 100 Greatest Cars:
http://www.channel4.com/4car/100-greatest/

As for beautiful cars? It's a subjective question. Hard to value beauty when in the US the market is dominated by SUVs and in Europe by cars having to be economical and able to fit within the infrastructure.
These factors don't allow much room for stylistic expression.

All in all, there are plenty of nice looking cars out there....different from the models of the past, but no less pleasing to the eye. We're in a design shift...a notch in a cycle...no different than any other. I remember in the 80's my dad lamenting the lack of the big luxo-boxes of the 70's, and in the 70's, my uncle saying the same for the cars of the 60's, and so on, and so on.
It's like Music....people say the exact same things, they don't make cars, or write songs like they used to. In ten years they'll say, "Man, they sure don't design cars like they did in 2005!"

With that being said, My list, current models only:

The Mercedes S-Class.

Anything Aston Martin (and to think they are owned by boring Ford)

Alfa Romeo 166

BMW 6-Series

Pontiac Solstice

Chevrolet Corvette

Jaguar XJ
Jaguar XK

Acura RL

Renault Laguna

This all I can think of off the top 'o my head.
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Amy
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:45 pm

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 14):
Mini

Why won't anyone listen? The mini is a pile of crap. It's an overly retro bug-eyed cramped overexpensive german knock off of a great british classic. I don't care how well the Germans have made it handle and the brushed aluminium that's vomited over the dashboard. It's just a pile of pants. Pure marketing getting in the way of innovation and creating product that says to people that you're sad enough to wnt a brand new BMW but you're too poor to buy a decent one.

I hate the new mini. I really really hate it.

Rant over... back to the topic.

It;s true, cars are getting more ugly. F360 vs F348? I'd have the 348. 612 over 456GT? 456 every time.

TVR makes some beautiful looking cars. Whilst the Sagaris and Tuscan R look like an automotive axe-murderer, the Tamora and T350C are both stunning to behold. The Alpha Brera is a good recent effort, but most cars these days are...




shit.
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:54 pm

There are very few "new" beautiful cars I agree my list:

The Mercedes Cabriolets
Golf V R32
Lambo Gallardo
Porsche Carrera GT
Lotus Elise

thats it !!!
Now I hope Peugeot doesnt ruin the 206 with the new 207.
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atco2b
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:41 pm

Quoting Cornish (Thread starter):
See the Peugeot 406 Coupe - what a beautiful car. Peugeot replace it with the 407 coupe - lots of presence, very impressive. But beautiful ? I think not.
Ferrari 456 - beautiful. Replaced by 612 - not beautiful

I agree with the Ferrari 100%, maybe not so much with the 406... Big grin

Quoting Cornish (Thread starter):
Anyone else agree with me? - and please no 18 year olds telling me how beautiful the current BMW 7 series

I prefer the 5-series  Wink
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:47 pm

Quoting RedDragon (Reply 20):
. it's not exactly up there with the Maserati Quattroporte is it? Big grin

NOT really, no. Not "up there with the Maserati Quattroporte", but in a nice (beautiful) price-range ! and NOT "small" in Europe but medium
-
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Aleksandar
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:04 am

Quoting Amy (Reply 22):
The mini is a pile of crap.

Hmm, I guess I never mentioned new Mini. OF COURSE, old classic one is much nicer even today after so many years.

Quoting Amy (Reply 22):
I hate the new mini.

I can't say I hate it. It doesn't look that bad, but I still prefer "good-old" Mini. Anyway, I still think new Mini is nicer than new VW Beetle, but it is just my personal opinion.

Speaking of cool cars both modern and old, none of us mentioned the legendary Citroen 2CV.
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cornish
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:16 am

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 16):
The 206 will be succeeded by the 207 in March 2006. I'm hoping that Peugeot will have a good clearout at the beginning of next year. Then I hope to be able to get my hands on a (cheaper) 206 SW 'Quicksilver'. The French are turning out some very fine looking cars: the Peugeot 407 SW and the Renault Laguna Grand Tour for example.

But is the gaping fish front end on the new Peugeots beautiful ? I don't think so - impressive like so many of the dramatic front ends to be found on a lot of cars now - but beautiful?

As distinctive as the 206 is amongst superminis, is it really a prettier design than for example a 205Gti. My brother has a black one in perfect condition and it still looks so perfect for a small car. Remember i'm not talking just good design here, more elegance.

If I was talking pure design here then top of the pile would almost certainly be the Audi TT. I don't really like the way it looks, but I can't deny I admire it as a design statement. Although familiarity perhaps dulls things, you have to remember that it is instantly recognisable and confused with nothing else, and a huge sales hit, despite looking so different. More than that, if they launched it today everyone would be saying how modern, fresh and different it looks. For a car that is getting on in years now, thats quite an achievement.

But I'm not talking design here, I'm talking beauty, so its not on my list !
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Kay
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:18 am

http://www.seriouswheels.com/pics-def/Ferrari-288-GT0-Red-st.jpg

And now a nice eye-candy. Yep, and it is an eye candy not least because a 20 year-old Ferrari is on the foreground, while contemporary ones lay miserably far at the back, but even that distance isn't enough to hide their ugliness in comparison.


But Ferrari may be coming around. The rest of the car industry? F.O.R.G.E.T I.T. And what's with the new S-Class's wheel arches?

Kay
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:28 am

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 26):
legendary Citroen 2CV

UGLY in a legendary way. Nick-named "the ugly duck" !
 
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TR763
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:33 am

Quoting Cornish (Thread starter):
Obviously SUV/4x4s and People Carrier/Minivan/Bratbuses are never goning to be beautiful

Oh I disagree when talking about SUV's! Some people just hate the volvo design, but I simply love the XC 90 look. What about the new Audi Q7?

Quoting Jush (Reply 4):
I don't even start with VW cause they're complete rubbish.

Again I disagree. The Passat has always been a beautiful car IMO, and the new one is not different. I think that a good job was done with the new Golf and Jetta either.

Quoting Jush (Reply 4):
Mercedes is doing rubbish as well with the A and B class destoying its reputation.

What about the CLS and the new S series? They're awesome IMO!

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 9):
All the beautiful cars is made in Germany

Couldn't agree more!

Just my Opinion...

Rgs!
TR763
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Kay
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:44 am

Quoting TR763 (Reply 30):
What about the CLS and the new S series? They're awesome IMO!

The new S series???????????????????????????????? Ok THAT's why these cars are popular!! because there are humans who like them!!!! Is it possible?

Kay  Wink


PS: Once those wheel arches are chainsawed, I'll take a look at the design of the new S-Class. What a shame, after the graceful previous model.
 
Aleksandar
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:02 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 29):
UGLY in a legendary way.

It definitely is, but it still brings a smile on my face when I see one  smile 
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cornish
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:19 am

Quoting Kay (Reply 31):

PS: Once those wheel arches are chainsawed, I'll take a look at the design of the new S-Class. What a shame, after the graceful previous model

Exactly. The new S-Class has been designed by seemingly taking the worst of the design elements from the current BMW 7 series. Not a good starting point if you ask me as the 7 series is currently one of the ugliest cars in current production.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
RedDragon
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RE: Where Have All The Beautiful Cars Gone? :-(

Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:03 am

Quoting TR763 (Reply 30):
What about the new Audi Q7?

It's a bloated, fussy-yet-bland example of the poor application of individual Audi styling cues to a landbarge. Need I say more?  Smile

Okay, what idiots mentioned the 5- and 6-series...?

Re. the new S-class, you'd think Mercedes would have realised that adapting Mercedes rear lights for the Maybach was a bad idea - and now they've carted them as-is onto their own-brand flagship? Add the flying bootlid (why oh why?) and Focus wheelarches and you have an object lesson in how to make a mess of a design that, in its previous iteration, disguised its bulk astonishingly well and was even debatably elegant on its own merits.

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