All through the '70s and '80s, American auto enthusiasts had to hang their heads in shame. After we had given the world the cheap and plentiful private auto, our government regulators were doing their best to screw it up for everyone. Starting in the late '60s, American laws began to demand cars be festooned with reflectors, side marker lights, gynormous bumpers worthy of a harbor tug, catalytic converters and all manner of other horsepower-sapping devices. Since the US market was the 800-lb gorilla of the global auto industry, this had a bit of a trickle-down effect on most every maker's cars, at least if they intended to offer them for sale in the 'States.
Fast forward to the present. Notice anything unusual happening to automotive styling? Maybe, oh, I don't know... like the "grille" making a comeback? What's up with that? I mean, for the last twenty years, engineers in search of aerodynamics had been smooshing the front end of cars down further and further until the last '90s iterations of the Ford Taurus and Dodge Intrepid had lower, snarkier front ends than a 1970's Ferrari; heck, even Hondas were sporting doorstop silhouettes, and now all of a sudden... bam! The radiator grille is back. Cars are rolling around sporting Cliffs-Of-Dover front end treatments, from the moderately exaggerated chrome bars on current Ford offerings to the almost cartoonish distortions of late-model Chrysler sedans. Ford even abandoned aerodynamics for the retro-60's look of a near-vertical front end in its latest Mustang .Why the sudden change?
It's not our fault. Not this time around. It's the Europeans this time 'round. That's right, the same people who carped and moaned when the Jaguar XKE was disfigured by 5 mph bumpers and the Countach's smooth flanks were tarted up with enough lights and reflectors to make it look like a disco ball are now responsible for BMW's that look like Toyotas and Ford 500s that look like bricks. All because the EU wants nerf cars that can hit a pedestrian and not kill them...
If they asked my advice, I'd say make the hoodlines low and sprinkle them liberally with spikes. That'd cut down on jaywalking; or at least the recidivism rate.