The most peppy
Most people simplify the objective of car design to be about creating cars with beautiful form, with the typical exemplar being something like a Jaguar E-type. But, ignoring for now how function is the other side of the design coin to form, the aesthetic goal of car design is not often simply ‘beauty’ — or at least not in the conventional idiom of a gracefully, svelte sports coupe-type of beautiful form.
Whilst people are attracted to classically beautiful cars, they are also attracted to forms that express characters or identities that are not the automotive equivalent of the ball gown, a Riva boat, a greyhound, or a Jean Bullant chateau. And one of these identities is ‘peppy’: the energetic, fun, full of brio character that we might perhaps associate with a small dog (maybe a Terrier?) — and the 2020 GR Yaris has the most peppy of design identities.
The GR shares only it headlamps with the exterior design of its five door Yaris sibling, and thus is a bespoke design that is unique in having both a positive youthful ebullience, combined with a potent four-square confidence — it side steps the whimsical or cute of many other small cars, but also it sidesteps the arrogance or self-importance of most other performance cars. It sits in a place maybe first found by the 1960s Mini Cooper, and that the original Renault 5 Turbo and perhaps a few others since have fleetingly occupied, but no other car design does ‘peppy’ quite like the GR Yaris does today.
Much of car design is about creating an emotive and attractive form, but often this is less about beauty and more about creating another appealing aesthetic — and peppy, just like small dogs, will always be something people want.