This just in: Black is back. If you don’t believe it, take a look at some of the 2012-model-year limited-edition new cars and trucks starting to roll into showrooms in North America even as you read this.
From subcompacts to near monster-sized trucks, there hasn’t been this much black going on since Johnny Cash sang Man In Black 40 years ago. But unlike the Vietnam-era Cash, there’s nothing sombre about the black look today. The new black is about celebration, about being cool, classy, mysterious and, of course, bad to the bone.
Fiat Gucci 500
Yes, you read that correctly. With the Fiat 500 barely out of the starting blocks in North America, there’s already a new version of the microcompact that’s funky but chic. The designer-themed Gucci 500 and 500C will be available only in pearlescent black or white, both with Gucci’s green-red-green stripe pattern on the exterior as well as the seatbelts.
Gucci logos and emblems will be just about everywhere on the Fiat, including the alloy wheels, headrests, rear hatch and B-pillars. There will be no mistaking that you’re driving the Gucci-ized Fiat 500 and not the more pedestrian base model.
Chevrolet Corvette Centennial Edition
The yin to the Gucci Fiat’s yang, the Centennial Edition ‘Vette looks like a modern-day Batmobile, available only in a paint colour that Chevrolet calls Carbon Flash Metallic, a.k.a. black. Add bright-red brake calipers and wheel accents and satin-black graphics and this is one seriously mean-looking hot rod.
Interestingly, the Centennial Edition trim package is available on most Corvette levels.
Ford Harley-Davidson F-150
Since teaming up together in 1999, Ford Motor Co. has sold more than 70,000 Harley-Davidson-badged pickup trucks. The new special-edition F-150 will feature snakeskin leather interior accents and aggressive and distinctive bodyside graphics. Under the hood is a 411-horsepower 6.2-litre V-8.
Porsche Cayman S Black Edition
Clearly, black is, well, the new black. Just ask German automaker Porsche, which is rolling out its limited-run 2012 Cayman S Black Edition. Among sports cars, there is none more black than the new Cayman: black body, black-painted 19-inch Boxster Spyder design wheels, black side air intake grilles, black exhaust tailpipes, black interior, even a black script Cayman logo on the back.
Similar to Gucci’s deal with Fiat, Hyundai has a deal with another fashion designer, Prada, for a limited-edition version of the Genesis luxury sedan. But the Prada Genesis — also black — is available only in Korea and China, not in North America.