Stealth & Styling



Some saran-wrapped pre-market cars convoy up the PCH. They’re all heavily instrumented — you can see instrument fittings and computers inside. Each has a driver and some kind of tech dude in the passenger seat.

This is interesting to me mostly because of what’s being cloaked. It’s not the broad lines — it might be Porsche in there — but the more subtle style and accents. Overhead at the studio amongst those with automobile design chops are stories about the high-point styling practices that go on in that airy community. This plastic wrap is so blobby that you can’t see any of the curves that the designers probably fussed over forever. And this is the kind of thing that these designers puzzle over — how to get a contour to roll sunlight along the hood, or a unique join between the rear lights and the fender. Whatever. That kind of fetish object styling.

The plastic wrap gives it all away. What they’re protecting is their over-attention to style and fashion and the seduction that lines can create in the appearance of a car. This says a lot about this particular design practice, where style trumps other design principles.