Trends: Matte Mash-Ups

Tuning culture continues to wield an influence on mainstream automotive design, illustrated by the latest trend for matte paint mash-ups. Matte finishes hark back to hot rod culture of the ’20s and have more recently become a premium OEM paint option, applied at the factory rather than on the aftermarket. But the latest series of vehicles to feature matte paint finishes do so in a new, novel and altogether more subtle way.

Volkswagen Polo Harlequin
Volkswagen Polo Harlequin

The latest mash-ups feature matte finishes on specifically chosen panels, often breaking up the continuous, singular paint color finish of the car. Conceptually, we’ve seen such an idea before in the form of the somewhat unpopular VW Polo Harlequin. The latest application of mattes is rather more sophisticated, however.

Hyundai Veloster C3 Concept
Hyundai Veloster C3 Rolltop concept
Hyundai’s Veloster C3 Rolltop concept is perhaps the most sophisticated approach yet. Riffing off its ‘fixie’ bike stacked into the rear load bay, the Veloster mixes a mint green rear wheel to key with the bike, recycled skateboards on the trunk floor, and matte-finish front wheel, grille, mirror housing and roof decals for what we’d term a ‘fixie mash-up’ look.

Renault D-Cross concept
Renault D-Cross
The Renault D-Cross (a concept for a south-American market B-segment SUV) shares many of its panels with the Dacia Duster. However, the use of a matte black finish aft of the C-pillar has the effect of visually separating the two cars and gives the D-Cross a personality of its own – one that feels well suited to a utilitarian SUV.

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE concept
Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

The latest derivative of Chevrolet’s Camaro, the 1LE, tops the range in terms of performance and is differentiated from lesser models in the range by its matte-black hood. Historically the matte black hood has been a muscle-car feature but this is the first time it’s featured as a factory option on the latest generation Camaro.

This article originally appeared on Car Design Research and was republished with permission. Read more of their insights here


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