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Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

The Life Aquatic: the trend in fish-faced cars

Is it just me or are we starting to see more and more of Nemo’s mates find their way onto dry land?

First, there was Nissan’s Grouper/Leaf:

Then there was Lexus’ Fangtooth/LF-A:

Now Mazda’s in on the game with the Devil Ray/Mazda5:

Who have we got to thank for this? Probably Mercedes-Benz and their Box Fish/Bionic Concept from 2005, which broadcast the idea that aquadynamic shapes were better for aerodynamics than… ah… aerodynamic ones.

If our current delight in eking out aerodynamic efficiencies continues, I wouldn’t be surprised if more fish faces start appearing on our roads. Sadly, however, on the aesthetic front the idiom like a fish out of water has never rung truer.

Category: Design

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5 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    I’m not sure what Big Headlights (I blame PSA) say, but I’m pretty sure people have settled on “upright but grille-less” meaning “efficient”.

    I have no idea what Big Taillights mean, though I again blame PSA.

  2. Drew says:

    I’m sure we could draw a link between simian posteriors and PSA’s tail lamps. In fact, I’m certain we could…

  3. Joe Simpson says:

    Lol – glad you actually did this, so that now we’ve got something to point people at when we’re discussing the topic. One small thing though – I’ve always thought of the Leaf as a “Guppy” with its vacant ‘eyes’ and gaping mouth, and now you’ve ruined it for me, cos you’re right – the Grouper’s a much better resemblance (!) I never realised you had such good acuatic knowledge Mr Smith 😉

  4. Massimo says:

    That car design has always taken inspiration by animals is an evident true.

    But what kind animals: bats, eagles, raptor, bulls, feline, catlike, etc…

    Now here we are with fishes, but why not taking Manta ray, Shark, Marlin, catfish, goat-fish…

    rather than Grouper and all the horrible etc..

    Simple, because the auto industry is in its most insipid, dullness, flatness (like fishes), and rather ugly era…

    But still could be worst;
    at least nobody (yet) in a studio did wake up by taking inspiration from a
    fish-finger…

  5. Michael says:

    Nice one, Drew. Leave it to an Australian to pair up all these fish with their automotive matches.

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.