I was looking at a few concept cars today a couple of them caught my eye, one for its sheer beauty and the other for a pure sense of “what the hell?”
Starting with the good stuff, the friendly boys from Sweden (Saab) once again dazzle us with an achingly beautiful concept car. The “PhoeniX” (yes, with the big “X” in the end because of reasons).
The Phoeni-giantX keeps with the trend of environmentally friendly cars and is packed with the long list of gadgets that we’re now accustomed to see in this kind of study, namely hybrid technology, regenerative braking, start/stop functionality etc etc etc… Now, not everyone is applauding the PhoeniX for its environmental skills; Michael Graham Richard, cars and transportation editor for treehugger.com says that compared to stuff like the Leaf and the Volt, Saab’s new baby just doesn’t cut it. Well I say for the style alone, I wouldn’t care if this thing was made to guzzle all the gas on earth in a week and open a brand new hole in the ozone lair (I’m exaggerating for dramatic effect here, please don’t write me an e-mail…), it looks astonishing! It’s like a futuristic interpretation of muscle car/British Grand Tourer/Japanese street racer blend. Simply brilliant. I leave you with a couple of pictures from autogaleria.hu, you can check out some more there.
Now, unfortunately on to a much more disappointing topic. I’ve also had a chance to see the new concept from De Tomaso…they call it the Deauville and the first impression I got was “Haha, awesome joke! Way, not a joke? Is this thing for real? WFT?”
I was thrilled when Mario Rossignolo got a hold of De Tomaso (for all intents and purposes the brand was dead) because I love it to no end. De Tomaso has given us so much joy in the past with masterpieces like the Mangusta and the Pantera. Apparently, and believing the renderings available online, a brand new Pantera is actually being imagined as we speak, and if it’s anything like the project I’ve seen, it will look fantastic.
That’s all fine and good, buet then we get back to this concept…if I wanted too, I could point out over a million different things wrong with it, but for now I’ll try extra hard to focus on the two major flaws. But I’m getting ahead of myself, take a look at it first (pictures from autogaleria.hu).
Not great, huh…? tell me about it…Looks like a Lexus which let itself go on holiday season. But size isn’t the main problem; the fact that this has no personality at all is the big issue here. Come on, take a look at the De Tomaso models from the past, it’s all ferocious attitude and super sexy design…this is a box, a big box with tiny wheels. It actually makes my heart hurt just looking at it.
And “Deauville”…the name of one of my very favorite models from De Tomaso wasted like this. The true Deauville is an exciting and slick luxury sedan with tremendous charisma, not related in any way, shape or form to whatever this SUVish thing is. I loved what was written in the carsuk.net website, I wish the article was signed because the author hit the nail on the head: “It’s a bit like Lamborghini building a new SUV and calling it the Espada. Yes, it’s evocative. But it evokes the wrong memory.” A stupid decision for a stupid concept and I couldn’t be more angry with it if I tried. It’s a slap on the face of history and huge dishonor to the De Tomaso name and legacy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new concepts (more power to the company if the new Pantera does come out) and out of box thinking, but when the “out of the box” only comes up with an actual box, my enthusiasm dies right then and there. Shame on you Signore Rossignolo, shame on you.