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The missing ingredient in car designs

I don’t want to sound like a purist, but there’s something missing with modern car designs. The missing element is not obvious either. It doesn’t jump at you, slap you around and tug at your eyeballs. It doesn’t turn you around and kick you in the butt several times. Instead, it tends to hang out at the corner like a wallflower at a junior high school party. It doesn’t talk to anybody, in fact, it tries to shelter inside the interior space’s shade. It seems like it’s really shy and it doesn’t want to be noticed at all, but it’s still there.

The missing ingredient in car designs really is attitude. Unfortunately, a lot of the cars being produced now suck. I’m talking particularly about Hyundai. If you’ve been paying attention to what Hyundai has been doing in the past few years, this should jump out at you. In fact, it should be a scandal.

If Hyundai was an American company, this would be a full blown scandal because American fans would be up in arms. They would not stand for any of that stuff. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the fact that a lot of Hyundai cars designs have been copied and pasted, legally of course, from Italy. A lot of the sleek lines, nice contours, ultra modern looks of KIA’s and Hyundai’s recent lines came straight out of one particular Italian design firm.

I don’t begrudge these Korean company’s power over their money. After all, if I owned an Italian automotive design firm and a Korean company said they would pay me twenty million dollars a year to design really modern looking, sleek, smooth cars, I’d get excited too. Hey, who couldn’t use twenty extra million bucks?

But the problem is that there’s a sleight of hand here. There’s a little bit of cultural disconnect and, if I’m so bold to say, a little bit of lying. When you buy a KIA car, you’re looking for a Korean car. Is that too much to ask for? Similarly, if you’re looking for Hyundai, you’re looking for the Korean experience.

The problem is, when you buy a Korean car with an Italian design, the outside looks Italian, but the inside is Korean. You then suffer from automotive schizophrenia. Sure, a lot of that rubber moldings, plastic infrastructure inside the car is still Italian, but the wiring, performance, handling, transmission, all of that, straight out of Korea.

There’s going to be this disconnect between form and function. That’s why I argue that the missing ingredient in modern car designs is attitude. The attitude can’t be copy and pasted. It can’t be imported in en masse. It is, instead, an organic phenomenon and it really is missing in a lot of cars. It is quite a scandal. It’s like a person missing his soul.

I don’t want to sound dramatic or I’m over reacting, but believe me, if you’re big into cars, you’re going to notice. If you really don’t care about cars and you think that they’re just machines that take you from point A to point B, you probably would be happier than pig in shit.

If you are a person who truly cares because this is part of your artistic and creative experience as a truly spiritual being, this is nothing short of offensive.

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