Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ugly face? Depends on the body...

Subaru's have always had a face only a mother could love. Unsurprisingly, the new, bloated Tribeca SUV is no exception. At the heart of Subaru's new look is Andreas Zapatinas' airplane inspired grill. Looking awkward on the Tribeca's large frame, the same grill looks great on the Japanese R1 compact. What I cant' figure out is why? Maybe its the Tribeca's size as compared to the tiny R1. Indeed, the Tribeca looks almost like a caricature of Zapatinas's work. While I appreciate what Subaru is trying to do with the Tribeca, which is expand its traditional market, move upmarket, and create a brand identity, may I suggest a different approach? How about bringing the R1 to the U.S. as Subaru's Mini fighter? Subies are loyal customers and Subaru has enjoyed impressive sales growth over the last decade with a lineup that lacked style and hipness. Sure the WRX was popular, but that was with the Playstation crowd. The R1 is overflowing with style but retains the quirkiness that Subaru loyalists love. It's sure to be a hit.

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