As cars become driverless, new designs are making automobiles look more and more like human beings.
Give it another million years of evolution and automobiles will shed their hatchbacks and start walking around on two hind legs. In the old days, when they designed cars, they got a box and attached four tyres onto it. These days, they take a finalist of the Miss Universe pageant, install an internal combustion engine on her, attach four T-bone McPherson struts with titanium torsion bars and smart hydraulics.
This is why you may have noticed that cars these days look like fashion models on wheels. Some have grinning radiator grilles, others put on false eyelashes. There are cars with flawless skin and body-coloured waistline moulding; some cars have cleverly concealed double chins. Newer models greet you and obey voice commands with a purr, or are passive-aggressive and sulk unless you tickle them behind their lithium ion batteries.
Today’s anthropomorphic car designs strive to endow their creations with human attributes. So much so that some cars even have sex. No, they don’t do it in the garage. I meant there are cars that are definitely male, there are cars that are definitely female, and there are cars that are definitely both.
Take the new Toyota Lexus UX subcompact crossover, for instance. With its protuberant Y-front crushable bonnet, this is an unmistakably masculine machine packed with testosterone that likes to run around in its undies. On the other hand, the sleek curves, well-proportioned chassis and slanting eyes of the new 2019 Mazda 3 make it most assuredly a car that belongs on the catwalk.
Besides looks, a car’s name also contributes to its overall personality. Many car names end in ‘o’, like Terrano, Scorpio, Sumo or the one made for us digital hacks, the electric Journo. Given that Daihatsu calls its latest model the Scat, it is obvious automakers are running out of car names, so here are some ideas for the cars of tomorrow:
Hydra H20: The first climate-friendly, hydrogen fuelled car, which will fail police emission tests in Nepal because soot content in the exhausts are below permissible limits.
Libido SX: Ideal car for lovebirds. The 16-valve, multi-point fuel injection system gives it more power and faster pick-up.
Idiota 1200L: The only car in its class especially built for Nepal’s roads, with brick-proof teflon windscreens, armoured turret with forward-mounted 7.5 mm cannon, and side-firing rocket launchers to blast one’s way through traffic jams. Wheels optional.
The Ass: This car is behind the times and has a posterior motive. Its extra 30cm of trunk width is accessed via a redesigned liftgate which, in hindsight, has a striking resemblance to a rear view of Donald Trump.