Some things are at the fringe because they belong there. The tastes are too peculiar, the style too strange for the masses. But once in a while something emerges from the fringe into the mainstream because it deserves to be, because people learn to like it. Like matte paint finishes.
Long the purview of aftermarket tuners rejecting the glitz of the gloss, matte finishes are slowly finding their way onto automakers' show stands and into dealership showrooms. Hyundai broke new ground at the Detroit Auto Show this week in announcing the availability of the new Veloster Turbo in flat grey, but the Korean automaker isn't the only one offering the anti-shine treatment direct from the factory and displaying it on the floor of Cobo Hall.
Through its Designo program – a range of over-and-above options provided by AMG – Mercedes-Benz offers a selection of matte finishes for some of its higher-end (though not necessarily AMG-tuned) models. The palette currently includes white (like the CL63 in the gallery below), flat silver (like the CLS550 pictured above), dark grey and black, but is being expanded to include additional colors (and wider availability), starting with brown and hopefully extending to some of the shades Maserati and its sister brands have been displaying lately.
The results may not be to everyone's liking – and may not be well suited to every car – so don't expect them to replace the go-to metallic paintjobs typically selected for such vehicles, but we're glad to see this particular trend coming in out of the cold and into the showroom.