Monday, 7 April 2008

Does Retro work?

Looking at the past is something I have no problem with - so long as it's true to the SPIRIT of the original.

For example, the oh-so-gorgeous Jag XF is a car that captures the spirit of the MK2: An up-to-the-minute, cool, posh motor. The S-Type got it wrong.

The Rover 75 works as a retro car because whilst it looks like the P6, it captures the spirit of the Princess IMO perfectly - a soft, biggish, British saloon car.

The little Fiat captures the spirit of the 500 perfectly. The Panda, that is. A little car, that looks lovely, and was designed to be cheap. The 500's fine, but it's just a good car in a fancy frock. Not true to the original 500 ethos.

However, the Volkswagen Beetle fails on a number of fronts. It is a front engined, left wing, style icon, the polar opposite of the original Kraft durch Freude Wagen. That was a Nazi, rear engined, hateful, practical car that is still popular because of it's reliability.

And finally, the BINI. I would have no problem with this car had it been launched as, and styled similarly to, the Triumph Herald/Vitesse. A small car from a company known for it's driver's cars. That would have been fine, and I'd probably have bought one. I object to it because it is a big car with a small interior. NOT a Mini, and Issigonis would be turning in his grave.

To move on now to the Volkswagen Scirocco, I suspect that my response here will surprise a few. Yeah, Ray Charles designed the grille, but other than that it's a reasonably attractive car. And considering it's gonna be cheaper than the identical Golf GTi, you'd be mad to spend the extra money on the hatch. It suffers from the same affliction as the S-TYPE, the Vanden Plas 1500, and the Ford Scorpio. It's looks are an acquired taste. And with the exception of the Coke-sniffing Jag, I like all of 'em. I'm sure the Golf's a great car, but given the choice between a Golf, a Scirocco, and, say, a Focus ST, I'd take the coupe every time.

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