Like many of you, I have been greedily and perhaps a little jealously looking at the pictures and videos our boy David Tracy has been sending back from Frankfurt, where he’s at the German Most Fantastich Automowagen Uhf Der Yearenshalussen or whatever they call that event. He’s been driving some fascinating cars we simply don’t get here in America, and while I was looking at one of the pictures of a lineup, something caught my attention. Something oddly familiar. Something I think we need to discuss. Something I call the Widened Tech Honeycomb. Or maybe just “techxagon.”
Here was the picture that triggered these thoughts:
Specifically, I noticed a detail on the charming-looking and vaguely Porsche-inspired Ora Punk Cat, the blue one there on the right. This was the detail:
See that pattern? That widened honeycomb pattern? It feels like a pattern I’ve been seeing a lot lately, especially as a grille mesh pattern. It feels like a pattern that’s having a moment, and I think the fact that it’s showing up here, on a car that barely has any grille area (though the little grille it does have, down low, has this pattern too) not even on a grille, just molded into the plastic of the bumper cover, is significant.
I looked at the same picture and noticed it shows up on other cars there, too:
And then this got all of the visual pattern-association parts of my brain firing, which made me realize that the VW Group is very fond of this sort of pattern recently, as it shows up in grilles and lighting design and air intakes all over the lineup:
…and then this started me thinking about other carmakers that have been employing widened, more high-tech-looking sorts of honeycomb patterns, and I realized hey, Honda and Hyundai and Kia and Nissan have been at this, too:
And you know what? So have Ford and Chrysler and Chevy and Subaru!
I’m sure there’s more, too. And yes, for some, like the Mustang, there’s some historical precedent to the honeycomb, but the widened, more techy-feeling tone is all early-to-mid-2020s, if you ask me.
Sometimes it’s not quite a honeycomb-hexagon, sometimes these veer into diamond patterns, but I think they’re all of a family.
I think this may be the defining pattern of the first half of the 2020s. I feel like we’re on the verge of moving into more linear-type of grille meshes, more directional and flowing, like what you see on the Cadillac Lyriq and this MG5, which has both a lower grille with the Widened Tech Honeycomb and a more linear upper grille:
So, this is my prediction: when it comes to the early 2020s, this Widened Tech Honeycomb will be the iconic visual that defines the era. When we have whatever the hell we’re going to call the Radwood of the 2020s in the 2060s or whenever (TikTokWood? Midwood? Bussinwood?) this is the pattern that will be the background of the signs and art, like the grids and sunsets are for Radwood.
Okay. Glad that’s settled.