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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

June 25, 2009

Fiat’n Caveat

The Fiat grande Punto is visible across Hoardings in Indian cities marking its entry on Indian roads. For someone like me the name Fiat brings in nostalgia, for a generation that grew on a steady diet of Fiats & Ambassadors and nothing much else, it evokes reaction. As a kid I used to always wonder about these ugly country cousins that we were used to owning while one got to see exotic cars only in the dark confines of Cinema Halls shows English films. First look at the Punto reinforces that nostalgic emotion, but with a twist. Here’s a fourth or probably fifth generation car that has all the trappings of premium hatchback but just take a close look at its Front Grill ; it sits on its front visage as some old appendage reminiscent of the car expressions of 1950’s or probably 60’s. Everything else has changed, the aerodynamic body contouring with its smooth edges, bright headlights that wrap around nicely and the rest of the paraphernalia. But the Front Grill, its upper half being prominent, just sits there in the front with a grimace or shall I say dreary look. It almost reminds me one of the smug emoticon on Instant messenger.

Now what baffles me is that the car has been designed by the famous ‘Fiat style centre’ & is a product of its chief designer Giorgetto Giugiaro . Traditionally every Car maker leaves his genetic imprint on his/her finished product. It could be a certain style of designing the body shell especially in the front or back, engine (including its placement), or chassis design (especially that concerning its clearance from the ground) etc. This list also includes front grill that more often than not bears the hallmark of its maker. Car designers , like others of their ilk in the design fraternity have a vocabulary that describes or explain their design. I wonder what Fiat’s designers had to say while designing the grille? Hope they are aware that when another Car maker planned to launch a model in India, they had to give considerable facelift to their front grill after extensive pre-launch consumer surveys & feedback showed that Indian’s dint like a Car with a frowning look. I am not sure whether Fiat’s choices of Grill design was driven by some ambitious plan to breakout from the current clutter and bring out its strong cult like image & following that it had in India of the past. That the car packs a strong emotional punch & ownership desire is in little doubt but this bit of grill trivia makes it doubly interesting.
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