• Oct 15th 2009 at 1:57PM
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According to Wired, a trend is emerging from the design studios of some of the world's top automakers, and it may be spreading like wildfire as you read this. We're talking about cars like the recently-unveiled BMW X6, Honda Crosstour and Audi A5 Sportback. Squint a bit and its not too hard to look at the overall shape of these three cars and see the outline of the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.

Of course, there's a big difference between the three aforementioned crossover/wagon thingies and hybrids like the Prius and Insight. While the big wagons are shaped to attract the attention of higher-end luxury buyers, the Prius and the Insight – itself accused of copying the shape of its rival from Toyota on numerous occasions – were styled in the wind tunnel to promote good fuel efficiency at highway speeds.

Regardless of the reason behind their being and whether or not you find them ugly or beautiful, it would seem that we should start getting ourselves accustomed to the sloping rear hatchback look – its now officially a trend.

[Source: Wired]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does this mean that my wife's 2002 Hyundai Elantra GT 5-door hatchback is now officially trendy too? It's got that Kammback look too....
      • 5 Years Ago
      "The shape of things to come?"

      I hope not.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This style isn't such a bad idea, although the execution could improve. My reason: the ever decreasing access to trunk space on the newer sedans. Not so long ago, one could actually use a sedan's trunk for something other than golf clubs and small groceries bags. The current design trend is taking the roof line further and further back so the trunk opening is getting smaller and smaller. The PR verbage touts the acceptance of 4 golf bags. Well that's about all they can get through the opening. A medium sized box - nope; it has to go on the back seat. A recycle bin. Not that either. So, this design trend is actually making available space that new sedans make inaccessible while still providing all the benefits of a sedan. I'm just saying..........
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Kammback body style is a car body style that derives from the research of the German aerodynamicist Wunibald Kamm in the 1930s. Car makers are adopting it because it helps reduce wind resistance which is the largest force impeding forward motion of a vehicle at highway speeds.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the shape looks fine on smaller cars, but it looks horrible on these new crossovers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nothing new as mentioned: it's simply comeback of the liftback in the US( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liftback). You can still find many liftback models in Europe (Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Renault Laguna, ...). Although Toyota and Honda also stopped producing liftbacks in Europe (e.g. Carina/Avensis and Honda Accord 5-door liftback).

      The Mazda liftback was also sold in the US but wasn't a big success so they stopped selling it.

      But neither the BMW nor Audi will be sold in the US. Partially because of the weak dollar but probably also they still think these will sell that much in the US. Too bad imo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "the Prius and the Insight – itself accused of copying the shape of its rival from Toyota on numerous occasions"

      Where do people come up with this?
      Original Insight was a tear-drop shape, the Prius that followed was a tradition sedan shape. The Prius then copied the design of the Insight!

      It's digusting to see how Toyota gets credit for things!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its almost as if people care about performance and efficiency.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Neither the Insight nor the Prius can lay claim to being the first car with this sort of shape. See, for example, the Citroen CX


      and I'm sure someone else can come up with an earlier example
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