Illuminating way to shed new light on identifying cars
- Credit: Andy Russell
A car's are no longer just about seeing and being seen – they are a distinctive 'signature' of a brand's identity. Motoring editor Andy Russell says you're no longer in the dark about what the car in front is.
It's that time of year when, thankfully, the dark nights are getting noticeably shorter but, over the winter months, I've noticed how important a car's lights have become to its character and identity.
Their main role may be to see and be seen but, particularly with the advent of LED lights, they are now also part of the signature look of not only the specific model but the whole family brand.
I've become quite adept during long, dark drives of being able to identify makes, even models, from their distinctive front and rear lights.
Not so long ago, the only ones that really stood out for me were the round rings of BMW headlights and Skoda's C-shaped tail lights but now just about every car-maker has its own distinctive, illuminated ID.
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Playing guess the car brings some light relief to night driving – a time of day when I Spy subjects are rather limited.
Lights are a big part of a model's styling cues.
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Volvo has introduced it 'Thor's hammer' daytime driving lights, DS Automobiles likes its vertical slash of LED lights that look like a shark's gill, SEAT's enhance the angular styling of the body and lights and Land Rovers have a surefire spottable circular design.
Which brings me to a new set of lights that got me rather excited when I first saw them.
They belong to the new DS7 Crossback – the new luxury SUV from DS Automobiles which is next week's featured road test.
Most models get eye-catching DS Active LED Vision featuring multi-lens headlights that swivel 180 degrees when the car is unlocked, and give an intense light, while the LED rear lights have a three-dimensional motif, picking up with the SUV's diamond styling theme, and said by DS Automobiles to look like the scales of a reptile. Mmmm... if you say so, but they are a bright highlight of this bold design.
It's just been launched so keep your eyes peeled... particularly after dark.
Which car lights have caught your eye or which manufacturer has the most distinctive design? Email email@example.com