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Re: AoA has ruined the new A6

In a message dated 97-09-10 03:01:14 EDT, eliot@u.washington.edu (Eliot Lim)

<< there's a picture of the new A6 as it would look in US
 showrooms.  aaaarrgh!!!!  i can't believe how much changing the color of
 the bottom piece of the front bumper has ruined the striking beauty of the
 original design. 
 having a huge monochromatic lump in the front makes the car look like it's
 got a bad case of mumps!  the two tone color scheme is an essential
 element of the car's futuristic styling.  it serves to effectively break
 up the visual mass at the front.  without it it makes the front bumper
 look oversized and hideous.  what an outrage!  >>

Interestingly, I just got back to the hotel after day 2 at the IAA (Frankfurt
Auto Show).  The first A6s from the big-name tuning firms are starting to
show up and guess what at least half of them seem to be doing?  Painting the
lower bumpers in body color.  I'm not saying it's right, but I have seen U.S.
versions of the A6, the standard German cars with the black underbellies and
the cars from the tuners (usually also lowered substantially).  Bottom line
(for me) is that it's a matter of taste and also highly dependent on the
color of the car.

It's also very much the case that U.S. market research done by and for a
number of the high-dollar European imports shows great customer resistance to
black (or charcoal) lower bumpers.  Most customers say it smacks of the
low-line trim level on an economy car.  That probably explains why both M-B
and BMW started painting all of their bumper aprons in body color, or a
complimentary color, in the last several years (remember the first of the
current 3-series? Ugly and cheap looking w/o body color bumpers, IMHO).  The
situation is much different in parts of Europe, including Germany.  Here, a
large share of the public appreciates the ease of repair of a scuffed black
bumper. All-body-color bumpers have gotten a reputation for higher repair
(and ultimately, insurance) costs.

My $0.02 says that AoA made the right move for the vast majority of the U.S.
A6 audience.