QOTD: Looking for a Legacy?

qotd looking for a legacy

No, this question has nothing to do with a certain Subaru; rather, it’s a call to gaze into the past while still keeping an eye on the present.

Retro styling cues, little design nods to a model’s heritage, are common in the auto industry, but the practice normally takes a one-size-fits-all approach. In other words, a storied nameplate dons a retro or near-retro design encompassing the entire body. Think Mustang, Challenger, or the upcoming Bronco.

Alternatively, an automaker can go the sneaky route, slipping in a single cue from the past to keep that tenuous link intact. What’s your favourite example of this… or can you even think of one?

This week, France’s PSA Group revealed a flagship plug-in hybrid sedan. It’s called the DS 9, and it’s the latest vehicle from an upscale brand that started off as a famous model. A Citroën model.

Hmmm. This fairly attractive front-drive four-door looks pretty contemporary, doesn’t it? Where does the heritage Easter egg come in?

Look at the rear turn signals.

Yes, in a nod to the famous Citroën DS of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, PSA opted to mount those amber blinkers near the top of the C-pillar. It’s subtle, but it’s there. Despite the automaker’s modern and often funky lineup, PSA hasn’t forgotten its roots; like late French president Charles de Gaulle, it certainly owes a great debt to the 1955 Déesse.

What other modern cars or trucks can you think of that incorporate not a buffet of heritage/retro cues, but just a single one?

[Image: PSA Group]

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Feb 27, 2020

    My Fiesta ST mentions the Contour SVT in the owners manual supplement which I thought was odd and cool. Most stuff with any retro goes all in though it seems nowadays...hard to pick vehicles with just a single element. Not factory, but someone near me has a Toyota 86 with rear window louvers that look good on it. My favorite was how the Corvettes through the C6 all kept the 2 rear taillight set up. Way nicer IMHO than the C7/8 rear end.

  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Mar 04, 2020

    Around 2003(?) when Ford celebrated its 100 years, they brought back the "Art Deco" V8 badge on Explorers so equipped. I liked that a lot, even if I didn't love the vehicle it was attached to. Acknowledging heritage or place in pop culture is one thing (i.e Bullitt Mustangs). Totally cashing in on nostalgia is weird and with mixed results, like the PT Cruiser (which led to Chevy HHR) and the last Thunderbird for just two examples. I know the PT was a pretty good success for Chrysler, but by the end of the run, who was buying them? See also the VW Beetle.

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