thug cars for a thug America?

Chrysler 300

Hummer H2

Toyota FJ Cruiser

Cadillac presidential tank

Ford Synus concept*

Brinks truck, thugmobile, or armored personnel carrier? The only accessory that seems to be missing from these and the many other examples (real or teaser) of the offensive, fierce-looking, yet quite silly, fake-macho mounts commanding our roads these days are the gun slots or the gun mounts. America's long love affair with the car has finally turned into fear and loathing, not of the idea of a personal wheeled vehicle, but of the other not invited into our private, luxuriously-equipped mobile panic rooms.

It's probably no coincidence that the last time our frightened man-boys went off the deep end in a neurotic obsession with toys which dramatically represented unrestrained brute power was also during a period dominated by an unnecessary and brutal war fought, and lost, on the other side of the earth. The peak period of the American "muscle car" was 1964-1975, roughly the last decade of the American war in Vietnam.

The whole world would be a much better place if we ever grew up.

the two-year old Ford Sinus is actually a very small vehicle, but an excerpt from one 2005 industry report, perhaps clipping directly from the manufacturer's press release, assures its readers:

But considering that the majority of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2010, the time may have come for the [small-]car market in the US market. The Synus concept explores what such a car might look like, along with a fanciful design theme based around ultimate security.

While Synus may be small, it has been designed to stand up to the rough and tumble of life in the big city, and has been given a look that says it can stand up for itself. Taking its inspiration from bank vaults and armored cars, this concept's exterior design immediately communicates that it takes security seriously. When parked and placed in secure mode, protective shutters are deployed over the windshield and side glass. Small windows on the flanks and roof are non-opening and bullet-resistant. The rear hatch has no window at all.

The Synus concept also signals security through its use of a driver-side dial operated combination lock on the B-pillar. The rear hatch is operated via a vault-style four-spoke spinner. Flat glass in a slightly raked windshield furthers the armored-car look of this concept.

I have no idea whose tongue is in cheek here.

[images from bigtex (Chrysler), Legends (Hummer)cartracker (Toyota), Autoblog (Cadillac), cardesignnews (Ford)

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Published on January 30, 2007 3:22 PM.

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