the past few years retro inspired one-off concepts and production
models have been showing up thick and fast, more now than ever before.
Unlike most automotive legends which have matured gracefully over
time - cars like the Chevrolet
911 Turbo, BMW
M3 etc. Retro designs are influenced by long dead models, or
model years. The designers have done little original work and have
merely updated the design to suit contemporary tastes and needs,
leeching off past accomplishments and hard work. Sometime this approach
can be partially justified and sometimes it is inexcusable.
Take the Ford
GT, the original GT40 was, and still is, Ford's only real production
supercar. For Ford to create an entirely original supercar for the
21st century which could catch the imagination and rival the GT40's
story of triumph over Ferrari at Le Mans, they would have had to
use far more resources than what was required to develop the new
Ford GT. And although underneath the two cars are quite different,
to the uneducated eye the two cars are almost identical in shape
and form (although the new car is slightly larger to suit modern
tastes and comply with current safety standards). Therefore the
new GT can wallow in the glory from the victory at Le Mans without
having contributed to the result in any way whatsoever. And because
Fords real bread and butter are family cars and pickups, creating
supercars are not their forte, they need all the help they can get.
So in the case of the GT, it is excusable.
Stratos from 1973 was a race ready rally machine which dominated
during 1973 - 1975. When production of the radical, and completely
impractical Ferrari powered Stratos ceased in 1975 with just 500
units built, few people would have thought it would be revived for
public use 30 years later. In 2005 Fenomenon, a British design company
created the Fenomenon
Stratos coupe concept, and a year later they unveiled a Stratos
roadster concept. Lancia have no part in the new Stratos' development,
Fenomenon bought the Stratos name once it had expired. As many small
companies have found, it is exceedingly difficult to break into
the supercar market, and succeed. Often this is down to quite simply,
the name. By acquiring the Stratos name Fenomenon have bypassed
some of the stigma often associated with newcomers, while also getting
some free exposure from the interest raised by the 'new Stratos'.
Although the Fenomenon Stratos has not yet been put into full scale
production, if it does, then the use of the Stratos name, and a
similar design, can only be of benefit to the company.
The original Lamborghini Miura was a car born out of passion. Designed
by Marcello Gandini, who was only 24 at the time, and developed
by a team of young engineers, the first cars, built in 1966, were
beautiful, but flawed. Front end lift at high speed (in part due
to a front mounted fuel tank), spontaneous engine fires, and unpredictable
handling, to name but few. However, as the car matured these problems
were rectified one by one, culminating in the far superior Lamborghini
Miura P400 SV (1971 - 1973). The replacement model for the Miura
was perhaps the most extroverted car of all time, the Lamborghini
Countach, after that came the Diablo,
followed by the Murcielago,
and then the Gallardo.
All cars which spawned, copies, imitations, styling trends and bedroom
posters. And then there was the 2006
Lamborghini Miura concept. Undoubtedly beautiful, but also entirely
un-Lamborghini. Lamborghini are trend setters, that's what they
do. They have the name, they have the technology, and they have
the heritage to create automotive icons which everyone else admires.
For Lamborghini to design a car which looks to the past for inspiration
is like Ferrari's F1 team asking Yugo for performance advice.
What makes a great car
Where do ugly cars come from?
21st Century muscle car race
Green car production facilities
Ascari Race Resort
Related sections of the site:
Diseno-art.com 2005 - 2007