Monday, January 12, 2009

Uh, Guys?



Don't get me wrong -- I am very glad that Toyota has revamped the Prius (photo source) and that Honda has answered with a re-launch of the Insight (photo source). Gas prices should be expected to remain reasonable for about another 10 minutes, after which the demand for such practical, fuel efficient, and actually-for-sale cars will be strong. Or so I expect.

But guys, was it necessary to make the cars look almost exactly alike?

OK, OK, there are subtle differences, but -- I say this as a happy Prius owner -- was the look of the Prius the look to imitate?

1 comment:

Brad said...

You'll probably see a lot of autos with similarly-designed hoods in the future, thanks to a 2003 European Community mandate meant to reduce the harm to pedestrians when they are hit by cars. The lower-end manufacturers (non-luxury) are using the wedge design that make these two models look so similar, whereas the high-end lines (Mercedes, for example) will use a normal-pitched hood with special sensors and "pyrotechnics" to lift the rear of the hood once a collision is detected.

http://www.unece.org/trans/doc/2002/wp29grsp/inf-gr-ps-12e.pdf

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090105/ANE03/901039993/1181 (registration required)


I've become accustomed to the look of the current Prius (I live in a neighborhood with a high incidence of Pruis ownership), and since the two cars in your article look so similar I don't think anyone will notice the Prius much anymore by sight alone. Which is probably a bad thing, in the end, since every time I see a Prius I momentarily think of conservation.