Both Ford and Hyundai recently rolled out a trio of concept “restomod” EVs (modern rides made to look like retro ones) for everyone to lust after — the former with its F-100 Eluminator, and the latter with its Heritage Series Grandeur and Pony models. The moves reinforce two details about the motor vehicle industry we believe are irrefutable:
- Electric cars are our long-overdue, necessary, inescapable, and very welcome future.
- That future would get here a lot faster if these companies would quit being such cowards and make EVs thicc like automobiles of yesteryear.
For the past decade or so, we have seen an erosion of edges and angles across the board for our cars and trucks. We’re constantly being sold a future that’s all soft curves and slopes, but sorry — you can’t make something cutting edge if you’re only using children’s safety scissors.
The Tesla test case — Just look at that above Tesla. It’s boring as hell. Sorry, but it just is. No matter how Elon Musk tries his huckster best to hawk his EV line to me, there’s no getting around the fact that, objectively speaking, a Tesla looks like a BMW looks like a Mercedes looks like a Lexus.
Car designers rarely seem to truly look to the past for inspiration. Sure, they may toss us a throwback(ish) grille or a bit of mid-century tail light geometry from time to time, but for some reason, there is never an actually retro design offered to consumers.
Carmakers: be truly bold for once, as your advertising loves to claim you are. Give us the chonkiest clunkboi throwbacks you can design, make them eco-friendly, and let’s all drive off into the sunset together, man- and woman-spreading in our sofa-like, door-to-door front seats.
Forgettable goose heads — Take one more look at that Eluminator or Grandeur and tell me you wouldn’t choose those over a similarly priced F-150 Lightning or Ioniq 5. Don’t get me wrong, both the Lightning and the Ioniq look like very amazing rides, particularly when it comes to interior design. But the Ioniq also looks like an android goose head.
Amorphous blob cars are so sleek they flow in and out of your brain within mere moments. Quick, try conjuring up a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E in your mind. Now imagine a “classic” Mustang. Which one came more quickly? More to the point, which one would you be inclined to buy if they cost the exact same with mirrored electric motors underneath their gleaming hoods?
I dream of a chonk future — I recently sold my 2004 Ford Ranger after 11 years of loyal (albeit semi-reliable) service. While I don’t currently require my own vehicle, there’s a good chance I will start scouting for my next ride in the not-so-distant future. I write things like this for a living, so you already know I will be on a budget, and you know what? Fine by me.
Although I’d love to transition to a non-Tesla hybrid or EV, chances are I will be stuck with an older model and make. One day I’ll be able to transition over to a guilt-free EV, maybe even one with an actually interesting, cool design aesthetic that actually references the past while simultaneously moving towards a brighter future. Until then, I’ll keep enjoying my old chonker cars.