This week the New York Times talks about the intensely emotional reaction people are having to the new Mustang. While the 2005 Mustang doesn’t deliver innovation at the Behavioral level of design (it still has a live rear axle — so 1960’s, eh?), it is a sublime mix of Visceral and Reflective design. Viscerally, the shape is compelling in and of itself (love those tailights); Reflectively, it says "I’m a Mustang and you can project all the good things you know and feel about Mustangs on to me." It’s a great example of the product marketing itself — meaning is embedded into every curve, rather than being forced on the design via a copywriter’s slogan.
Retro design has its critics, but as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to its new Mustang and GT designs, Ford is striking a decent balance between something new and something old. Better than Chrysler and its PT Cruiser, as good as VW and the New Beetle. Not quite as brilliant as the BMW Mini.
PS: If you’re asking "Why so many cars on this blog?", here’s my answer.