Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Subtle Grille

Some automobile grilles are glorified mesh -- just a little too open to actually keep bugs off the radiator.

Others are sculptural, of a design intended to give the car identification as a specific make or model. Back in the 1950s the goal of design management for most American car companies was to have a grille that would indicate the make for a viewer half a block or more away.

Put another way, subtlety in a grille's close-up view was of almost no importance. So I was a bit surprised when I finally noticed that certain models of the Lexus RX crossover SUV series possessed grilles with features that could only be appreciated at close range.


Lexus RX330 ca.2005 - photographed in Australia

RX300 grille closeup view

Note the converging vertical bars and the small insets running up to a point about 40 percent of the height of the grille. Subtle and elegant -- fitting for an upscale car line.

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