Magazine article Management Today

Toying with Our Emotions. (Motor Mouth)

Magazine article Management Today

Toying with Our Emotions. (Motor Mouth)

Article excerpt

Koala bears are vicious, bad-tempered little bastards, but there is something in their morphology -- the big eyes, the pudgy fluffiness, the muted colourways -- that we instinctively find agreeable. The koala design bypasses rationality to punch the button in the hypothalamus marked 'cute.' It is the same with cars. Some -- the Morgan, for instance -- are operationally ridiculous but emotionally irresistible. Mitsubishi is in this territory with the Shogun: its visceral desirability is intense and out of all proportion to any sane audit of its attributes.

We are after nearly 20 years, now on the third-generation Shogun. Mitsubishi's designers always understood the ludic quality cars like this must have. From the first (which was orthogonal) to its successor (more organic) to the third (a completely bonkers mixture of banzai styling motifs), Shoguns (or Pajeros, as they are known elsewhere) have had a toy-like appearance that exerts an ineluctable appeal. The tyres are almost balloon-like, the wheels inset into the black doughnuts like coruscating jewels; the daylight openings (designerese for window) have just the right proportions; the nose-down stance is keen; well-judged plastic bulges, fillets and external trims add to the wanton effect. It is Tonka for adults. See a Shogun and your cupidity patch itches. You want to scratch it, touch it, use it... even -- for Goodness' sake!--buy it. If Mitsubishi could isolate this mystical commodity, it could give up on its corporate day job.

On the consumer map, Shogun territory is not quite the same place as other popular four-wheel-drives. Black girls in Brixton who wear pastel duvet jackets drive Suzuki Vitaras; white male windsurfers and mountainbikers go for Freelanders; landscape architects and site managers have Land Rovers; people who tend to live in Hampshire or London [SW.sub.6] have M-Class Mercedes, while rock stars and landowners inevitably choose Range Rovers. Shogun types are more modern in their way. Personal trainers might drive the short-wheel-base three-door; television types might use the much larger five-door. I get the impression they are smart urban cars, not country casuals. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.