COPY MA­CHINES

Automobile - - Best & Worst -

ONE OF THE most an­noy­ing things about car styling is the ten­dency to­ward mind­less ap­pro­pri­a­tion of (usu­ally non­func­tional) dec­o­ra­tive fea­tures, whether it does any­thing for the aes­thet­ics of the car to which it is ap­plied or not. Case in point: the pro­lif­er­a­tion of lit­tle trape­zoidal fins—some­times point­ing up, some­times down—stuck to the lower body sides of many sedans and coupes. The in­spi­ra­tion comes from For­mula 1 cars, where the de­vices serve as air­flow de­flec­tors. On most road cars, let alone SUVs, they are mean­ing­less em­bel­lish­ment. An­other fea­ture that has shown up widely this past year is the split-level roof, in which there is a phys­i­cal or color break part­way up the C- or D-pil­lar on sedans, wag­ons, and—again—SUVs. It can be a cool de­tail but not when it’s ap­plied for the nth time.

Ve­lar is Range Rover’s all-new model, which slots in be­tween Evoque and Sport. While it’s hand­some, many styling cues are well worn.

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