Eric Mayne's Blog

The Mayne Objective


PT Cruiser interior.

The cynic in me is flush with adrenaline after learning Land Rover will seek styling advice from ex-popster/uber-celeb Victoria 'Posh' Beckham.

The joke potential is off the chart. Just consider her last hit single with the Spice Girls: Who Do You Think You Are?

But I choose instead to give the benefit of doubt to Mrs. Becks. The paparazzi images, alone, suggest she has flair.

And critics might do well to remember Land Rover design guru Gerry McGovern is no Wannabe. (Spice Girls, 1996)

* * *

Further demonstrating the axiom, "It's not what you know, but who you know," are Lotus Cars and Volvo Cars. Albeit on a different level.

Despite their well-defined reputations, each faces an identity crisis because of ownership. Lotus has sputtered under Proton, while Volvo is confronted by the great unknown of China-based Geely.

The answer? If you are Lotus, link yourself with Bob Lutz and/or Tom Purves. If you're Volvo, court Stefan Jacoby.

* * *

Time to say goodbye to the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

On July 9, the Pentastar brand's overachieving CUV goes out of production in Toluca, Mexico, ending a remarkable run of 10 years and more than 1.2 million sales worldwide.

I recall a sense of betrayal the first time I saw the vehicle. Its flared fenders and forward-leaning, chopped-look greenhouse suggested Chrysler was trying to buy the kind of old-school street-cred that comes only with backyard sweat and the passage of time.

But, grudgingly, I became a fan. Because of its breakthrough interior.

What's not to love about a C-segment package with adjustable shelving and seats that can fold flat or be removed to exploit a flat floor that helped Chrysler confound CAFE?

The interior was "the tradeoff" for that edgy exterior, retired Chrysler design chief Tom Gale told me recently.

However, during a recent farewell tour in a garishly trimmed model reminiscent of an aging showgirl, I learned what PT stands for in today's competitive market: Past Tense.

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