Why is there so much aggression around us? No, not among us humans, although we’ll get to that too, but look at the cars around you, even the humble Yaris is wearing an angry look. It begs the question, is it really necessary? What could a Yaris possibly intimidate? It is meant to be a utilitarian city car, and the previous generation’s look worked just fine. It was just there, no-one noticed it, but now it’s here screaming “GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!”, probably frustrated by its lack of grunt. Ironic it would relay that message then.
Hang around with a few depressed people and you’ll end up feeling the same after a while. Just look at what Joey did to Mozzarella in The One with the Birthing Video (that is car-related now). I can’t help but conclude that aggressive looking cars are having a psychological effect on motorists around the world. Reporting of road-rage incidents is on the rise, thanks to technology, but there must be a rise in incidents as well, I surely notice it on our lawless roads.
Designers should start looking at vehicles like the E39, the E87 1 Series with its love-it-or-hate-it looks, even the F20 pre-facelift (the facelift has robbed it of character, too universally appealing), even the F430 looks tame from certain angles, while the Veyron set world records while looking sad. What these cars have in common is a certain passive-aggressive look. These vehicles just give hints of the performance they pack, while less-hot versions, where available (120i etc.), can also pull the look off just fine.
Let’s bring back the smiles of the BL Mazda 3 and various MX 5s, leaving aggression to the bigger boys who actually pack a punch.