Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shock New Crossover Coupe Has Only Two Doors! (I need that new sarcasm glyph)


C H O P — In a retro move sure to shock the automotive audience right out of their Eames lounge chairs, the newest Teutonic crossover coupes come with, wait, drumroll please, only 2 doors. In the States, three drivetrain choices will be available, including a turbo 4 at the bottom, a full hybrid all-wheel drive mid-ranger, and a twin turbo DI 6 at the top—the new X4/t4, X4/h and X4/t6.

The rear hatch is powered and opens in a unique manner: the rear glass slides up and over the roof, and the painted portion of the tailgate powers down and inside the body, resting totally out of the way, leaving a wide open aperture for luggage. Kudos to anyone that remembers the full sized 1971-76 GM wagons' clamshell tailgates. In those cars, the rear window was powered in all versions, with the tailgate manually lowered unless optionally power assisted. I can't think of an earlier powered rear hatch/tailgate on a production vehicle. The idea wouldn't become popular for another 20 years. In the case of this X4 however, the rear glass slides over the roof, not inside it. Chop based on X6 of course!


B T W :
I N F L U E N C E S — These two Bimmer chops use 'floating' backgrounds. I grew up looking at car brochures, probably the earliest reading material of mine. It was a big thing in my family, every September, to go see the unveiling of the new cars. The brochure art of the sixties was at a zenith I'd say. My '64 Tbird catalog is large format, heavy stock and features not only onion paper in the front, it has a cloth-type art paper cover evocative of the Landau vinyl roof. The interior photography is all highly stylized and saturated with colors. Pontiac was still using artists to paint their new car advertising, Buick used illustrated interior art. Oldsmobile, later in the decade, placed cars on plain backgrounds and feathered in a setting to suggest how many activities and good times could be had with a new car. I guess I was pretty influenced by the artwork in those PR pieces, and I'd say my chops reflect that aesthetic much of the time.

A more obvious use of this sixties feathered/floating motif is in this early chop of mine, the Chevelle Camino, a shortening of Chevelle El Camino of course.

Can't you just hear the opening theme for Hawaii Five-O right now?

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