Design Essay: Surprise & delight, the importance of detail design

Bentley tees off new Golf collection (4)

What makes people fall in love with cars? Aidan Walsh argues that small details in design cement long-term love affairs with vehicles

“All the small things, true care, truth brings.” So proclaimed everyone’s favourite spike-haired pop-punk band back in 1999, handily reminding us of an age-old truism; that it’s often the little things in a relationship (and in life) which touch us most deeply.

And so, in automotive design too, it’s often those thoughtful little details which make us really fall for a car. Sure, we might initially be seduced by sleek proportions or a throbbing V8 soundtrack, and our heads might by turned by an imposing chrome facade or sprawling infotainment display, but it’s the pop-out umbrella, built-in ice scraper or soothing blue facia backlighting which ultimately cement a long-term love affair.

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