It seems like just yesterday HID headlamps and LED accent lights were rarities on half-ton trucks. Now every automaker is tweaking their truck design with the same techno theme; treating them almost as if they are real-life Transformers. In fact, some of these new designs really do look as if they may turn into some animated antagonist and take over a small city at any second. This entire trend just got taken to the next level by the very pickup that arguably started the trend toward bold, in your face truck designs, Ford’s Super Duty.
Revealed at this year’s Texas State Fair (a venue of choice for new truck reveals), the 2017 Ford Super Duty essentially serves as a capstone of new truck design, a trend that combines a love affair of massive grilles, LED accents and lots of angular lines. Ironically this theme first became a “thing” way back in 2002 when Ford revealed the F-350 Tonka Concept. In the process of trying to bring a child’s toy to life, Ford apparently predicted the future of truck design. The Tonka basically set the tone for future truck designs on the F-Series line, with the 2005 Super Duty taking many styling cues from it. As time progressed, the grille has simply gotten bigger and the lighting more detailed. Now the Tonka Concept seems almost feeble in comparison to what’s showing up on the showroom.
Now enter this surprise restyling of the 2016 GM half-ton pickups. In keeping with the trend, both the 2016 Silverado and Sierra have received—you guessed it—bigger grilles and more detailed lamp treatments. Like the Super Duty, the look isn’t necessarily unpleasant, it’s just…different. It’s like we’ve transitioned from making trucks attractive, to seeing just how bold and, uh, unique they can be.
I contend truck designers are simply getting too affixed on the goal of making pickups “bold” and less on making them simply look “good.” None of the aforementioned pickups are unattractive by any means, they just all have an element of goofy in their look.
Not to mention I sit here thinking about having to clean bugs off all those oversized grilles…