It’s hard to figure out if there’s a current trend in car styling. There doesn’t seem to be a particular trend across the industry aside, perhaps, from the brands that have nailed a language sticking carefully to a so-far successful formula.
Cadillac’s edgy ‘Art and Science’ look has been consistent for a decade now and BMW has settled into a subtle and classy post-Bangle calm. VW’s look - which gives the impression of thick steel plate that has been stamped as very hard - is now bordering on the relentless.
I was quite tempted to run onto the stand with my hands up shouting ‘OK, OK, so you make quality cars. Just loosen up a bit.’ Audi is, though, promising to break out of its current, highly successful, formula and develop a different look for the different model lines. Judging by what was on display at Detroit, that big grille is set to get even bigger.
It’s when a brand is feeling its way into the future that things can get a little out of shape. Chevrolet’s Code 130R is a curious hybrid of – at the rear - BMW 1-series coupe and R32-series Skyline with generic Chevy at the front.
I’m not sure that the 130R is a convincing interpretation of a baby muscle car for the Millennial generation. But hats off to Chevy for trying.