When someone mentions you have your father’s nose, chances are this shared nose is a prominent one. Nothing says we are family like a big schnoz.
And it seems to me that the automakers have taken an interest in exploring what the big schnoz can do for their respective branding initiatives.
Vehicle “faces” have become quite bold and prominent — a sure fire way of making sure you know which “family” a vehicle belongs to, and about the only way to stand apart from the crowd.
I don’t know which came first, the desire to have bold front-end designs, or the ability to make bold front-end designs. Either way, new lighting technology has literally paved the way for designers to shake things up.
Headlamps no longer have to be big and round and placed in specific spots, and LED lighting can now be used for signal lights, parking lights, accent lights, and taillights.
Check out the headlights on the Nissan Leaf — they’re long, streamlined, and seem to be pointing not forward, but “up.”
In a lot of cases, these bold front-end styling treatments are about embracing the big, glorious radiator grilles of yore. The new Lexus LFA supercar features a grille area that looks to be made of black chain-link fence, a mean and purposeful look that embraces racing culture.
Other luxury makes endow their massive grilles with fantastic, sparkling finishes, to simultaneously convey an upscale ambience and a purposeful mechanical vibe. The Bentley Mulsanne and Jaguar XJ both have such treatments, and the new Chrysler 300’s front end is not too shabby, either.
And this trend is not restricted to upscale makes. Check out the aggressive frontal area of Chevrolet Sonic, which will be the automaker’s smallest-ever offering.
All these new productions cars will be at the Toronto auto show, which starts this weekend, so be sure to check them out. And while you’re at it, have a peak at the Nissan Allure concept car, which signals what the next Altima might look like.
The Allure’s bold grille is shaped to resemble a kashimono, which is the angular vest sported by Japanese samurai warriors.
So if you like, fine, but if you don’t, I wouldn’t mention it — to its face.