Monday, March 24, 2014

New 2015 Subaru Legacy Singapore

  In a world where the consumer is bombarded by product after product, manufacturers and marketing gurus strive to make their products stand out much as possible. If it’s a wallflower, then the chances are that it will be left off the buyer’s radar.  

 When it comes to the car industry, then the situation is not as clear; you have products that rely on brand loyalty, which sell in record numbers whilst others utilise expressive design to no avail. Brand perception is most important.  However, there is no reason why carmakers can’t employ stronger design ethos, while retaining key attributes like practicality, drivability, safety and packaging. Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord are two top-selling candidates in need of visual wizardry; their safe styling could cure anyone’s insomnia issues.  

Toyota, to their credit, have recently come out and said they acknowledge the cardigan theme isn’t the most desirable; admitting that the Camry needs an injection of youthfulness come redesign time.  Another company stuck in the land of beige, Subaru, has had a real head-banger with the new 2015 Legacy, a car with very little design imagination.  

Whoever penned the production-ready version must have been stuck in 2008; the frumpy glass-house looks to be inspired by the Acura TL or previous Mazda6, with an awkward piece of chrome trim extending into the C-pillars. I know there are constraints with the ease of rear-door entry and headroom, however subtle changes to the chrome-work could have worked wonders for a concept-like resemblance.  Generic design has also tainted the front-end, with a grille that could have been nicked from Ford’s Taurus. Headlight inspiration? (insert any manufacturer here).

Same goes for surfacing language - cover up that rally-bred badge and you could have any Honda, Hyundai or Toyota.  Things don’t get any more interesting at the rear either; at a glance you can envisage Kia’s Optima or a hint of Audi in the tail-lights. Did you like the 3-dimensional trunk-lid from the Legacy Concept? Sorry, you cannot see it here, you can, however, get a visual serving of vanilla beige.  One may say that Subaru are on a sales high of recent - so why all the fuss? Well, I’d ague that for a new product, the Legacy barely progresses at all. Compared to the Ford Fusion and new Mazda6, it’s visual wallflower.

Brand perception will ultimately sell this car - Symmetrical AWD, Boxer engines, safety and reliability will help the Japanese brand maintain progress in the sales charts.  As mentioned before, Subaru aren’t the only ones guilty of standing still. My call to automotive design studios of this world: forge past those bean counters, design-diluting focus groups and stodgy middle-management suits. Bring some flare to the masses and remember - good design sells.  In the meantime, I’ve cobbled up something far more palatable - a new take on the 2015 Legacy GT-B.

Article from
By Josh Byrnes

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