The electric car grill design challenge

Is the grill really going to disappear?

17th June 2021 by ParkingPete

There is a car design revolution happening right now. One of the car’s essential features is disappearing in front of our eyes - are these the last days of the grill? The grill has been essential with combustion engine cars since the very beginning. The main air intake that serves to cool down the engine is with electric motors not needed anymore. With many countries announcing only electric cars could be sold by 2030, most car manufacturers are now focusing on literally upgrading their entire fleet to be electric.

While car manufacturers are now trying to figure out how to use the available space handily, we are hoping that they will be given a free hand to define how the front grill for EVs will look like. Well, looks like the BMW designers have been given a free hand even for combustion engines 🐿️ but that’s another story.

Will the electric cars gain a complete identity change or just a little bit of cosmetic touch? Only time will tell, but we can say today, whether we like the new, simplified electric front mask or rather prefer the traditional grill where we expect it to be. Let’s have a look at 12 popular EVs versus their fuel-burning equivalents and vote for your favourite. We have picked our candidates that are going to be judged by you solely based on their looks but don’t forget, they are much more than just beauts, they have their engines, steering, driving characteristics, thirst, range, all that defines their persona, so please make sure your comments won’t hurt any of them. Remember, beauty is subjective.

1. BMW X3 vs BMW iX3

BMW is not a newbie in terms of electrification. Their hugely successful BMW i3 can be seen in many cities across the globe in the past few years. Also a bit rarer but very eye-pleasing and futuristic looking BMW i8 can be spotted every now and then. So what do you think about the front grills of the brand new electric BMW iX3 compared to its traditional combustion brother BMW x3?

BMW X3 vs BMW iX3

BMW X3 (left) vs BMW iX3 (right)

2. Mini vs Mini Electric

It is a no-brainer that Mini would come up with an electric version of their legendary city cruiser, which can be easily parked anywhere but also delivers an amazing driving experience. But the question is, whether the designers at house Mini did justify the legends look. What do you think, classic Mini or the new Mini Electric looks better?

Mini vs Mini Electric

Mini (left) vs Mini Electric (right)

3. Fiat 500 vs Fiat 500e

In the same fashion as with Mini, there’s no better car to be electrified than a tiny, city-friendly compact car and Fiat has one. As legendary as Mini, a truly iconic design piece model - Fiat 500. Looks like the Italians made their Fiat 500e look as cute as the traditional combustion one, but which one do you like more?

Fiat 500 vs Fiat 500e

Fiat 500 (left) vs Fiat 500e (right)

4. Peugeot 208 vs Peugeot e-208

Peugeot is maybe not one of the electrification pioneer manufacturers, but they’ve just recently came out with a brand new Peugeot 208 and why not, they made an all-electric one as well. In terms of design, it appears that the designers did not get a free hand, but kept the grill mainframe. What do you think, do the blue details on the grill of the electric version look more desirable than the petrol version?

Peugeot 208 vs Peugeot e-208

Peugeot 208 (left) vs Peugeot e-208 (right)

5. Kia Soul vs Kia Soul EV

If we would go to South Korea, where technological progress not only in the automotive world is always ahead of the curve, we’d find out that at house Kia they’ve been manufacturing electric Souls since 2014. There is a new Soul that came out just recently, but we would like to know what are your thoughts about the 2019 version. Which one do you prefer, the all-electric version or the good old classic?

Kia Soul vs Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul (left) vs Kia Soul EV (right)

6. Hyundai Kona vs Hyundai Kona Electric

And we stay in South Korea for one more piece. Not long ago, Hyundai came out with their city SUV Kona and of course they made an electric one as well. Differences are not just visual, but functional as well. Which one do you like better, with a grill or no grill?

Hyundai Kona vs Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona (left) vs Hyundai Kona Electric (right)

We kind of ran out of car models that have their direct electric sibling and therefore we have chosen to compare the upcoming models with what we consider, their closest cousin. Same manufacturer, same category, just not exactly the same.

7. Jaguar E-Pace vs Jaguar I-Pace

In terms of Jaguar their approach is slightly more customized and they do not recreate EV out of their existing models, but rather go for a brand new I-Pace. This strategy may give designers a chance to distinguish key features and underline the brand identity. It might sound ironic, but we will be comparing the electric I-Pace with their closest combustion engine cousin E-Pace. Would you go for the electric I or the combustion E? C’mon Jaguar, how can we tell which one is which?

Jaguar E-Pace vs Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar E-Pace (left) vs Jaguar I-Pace (right)

8. Ford Mustang vs Mustang Mach-E

Ford is not only smashing the electrification game with their recent revelation of the hardworking F-150 Lightning, but they have brought some electrified passion to speed lovers by introducing Ford Mustang Mach-E. Which one do you find better looking? The traditional petrol drinking Mustang or it’s electric sibling Mach-E?

Ford Mustang vs Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang (left) vs Mustang Mach-E (right)

9. Volkswagen Golf vs Volkswagen ID.4

In case of Volkswagen we could have reached to the obvious comparison of Volkswagen Golf and it’s direct sibling Volkswagen e-Golf, but let’s say that with its not so impressive range of 140 miles and an actual discontinuation and, honestly, not very innovative grill design transformation, we have decided to compare the legendary Golf against the manufacturer’s new hot hatch ID.4, that is obviously redefining company’s naming convention. What do you think, how does the new electric Voltswagen, ehm sorry - jokes, Volkswagen sparks versus its hugely successful cousin Golf, that is the third most sold vehicle of all times? Could that mean a slow end of a legend, as there might not be an electric Golf in the future?

Volkswagen Golf vs Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen Golf (left) vs Volkswagen ID.4 (right)

10. Renault Clio vs Renault Zoe

Renault has decided to go the obvious way, by creating a tiny, sexy and very parkable car Zoe to compete with the other tiny charmers like Mini or Fiat 500. Its closest cousin in the Renault family is Clio. What do you think, which one looks better?

Renault Clio vs Renault Zoe

Renault Clio (left) vs Renault Zoe (right)

11. Skoda Kodiaq vs Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda, one of the oldest car manufacturers, has woken up into electrification just on time alongside their mother company Volkswagen. Good timing group! Their brand new model Skoda Enyaq iV is a very decent competitor against its combustion cousin Kodiaq. Which one caught your eye?

Skoda Kodiaq vs Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda Kodiaq (left) vs Skoda Enyaq iV (right)

12. Porsche Panamera vs Porsche Taycan

Porsche, Porsche, this was for us in the toughest nut to crack. The two extremely good looking cars, both with driving characteristics that any passionate driving enthusiast dreams of, both with their own unique character. We have set up a Porsche Panamera against Porsche Taycan. What do you think, which one looks better?

Porsche Panamera vs Porsche Taycan

Porsche Panamera(left) vs Porsche Taycan (right)

Competition time

So that’s all from us, hope you have enjoyed the comparison. The voting will be stopped and the results will be revealed on 30th June 2021. In order to make it more interesting we’ve prepared a little competition, the rule is simple:

  1. Vote for all 12 cars

Everyone who votes in this survey is going to have a chance to win one of these 2 amazing LEGOs. To ensure our results won’t be affected by bot attacks and to make sure we have a way to get in touch with the winner, only logged-in and verified car fans are able to vote. The winners will be announced on our Twitter and also notified directly via email.

LEGO Aston - prize 1

LEGO Aston Martin DB5

LEGO Porsche - prize 2

LEGO Porsche 911

UPDATE: Competition has ended at midnight on 30th June 2021.

Congratulations to the LEGO winners!


PS: Pretty sweet grill on that Bond's DB5, right? ;)

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