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Top Gear’s Top 8: massive grille edition
1. Audi Q8
In fairness to BMW, lots of marques use their flagships to make a massive grille statement. Audi loves making merry with mesh, the A7 and A8 make merry with mesh. But the Q8’s jutting gob just takes the mickey. Come on, how insecure must you be to drive one of these nightmares in metal?
2. Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury
Only a concept car for now. Thankfully. This odd jacked-up luxo-salon sports one of the all-time giants among grilles. What, pray, is the point of making the headlights such slim, intricate LED units, then clogging up the whole front with a mess of mesh? The pedestrian crash test video will trigger every NSFW firewall around.
3. Rolls-Royce Phantom
Eat your heart our Bentley. Rolls-Royce is the king among stately metal Parthenons ahead of the bonnet. It looks even more statesmanlike – or outrageous, take your pick – on the Phantom than the more bloated Cullinan. It’s regal, it’s self-righteous, and it’s car design shorthand for “out of my way, peasants”. And yet, a Rolls is still a loveable, covetable object. How do they do that?
4. Lincoln MKT
The Americans will be back in this list, make no mistake. But here’s a quick nod to Lincoln’s MKT crossover, which has apparently been styled to resemble a wild tapir wearing Kanye West’s shutter shades. Qashqai? Pah! ‘Murica laughs in the polite face of your pathetic Euro-crossover.
5. Lexus LS
BMW owns the split double-oval grille. Audi owns the XXL widescream grille. What was Lexus to do, to grab its own slice of the mega-mesh pie? Answer: create the most angular, intricate, downright scary-looking mug ever affixed to a Japanese limo. No longer is Lexus for the understated. Apparently the LS’s spindle grille took three and half years to perfect. Time well spent?
6. Lexus LX570 S
Well, clearly it was, in Lexus’ eyes. Because having squeezed a whole chainlink fence onto the unsuspecting face of a luxury saloon, it set about grafting the same features onto an ancient SUV it sells in the Middle East and Australia. You poor folks. Seriously, just buy a Land Cruiser. And a cheese grater. Don’t combine the two.
7. Chevy Silverado Heavy Duty
Right, here we go. Here comes Team America. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty is more grille than front, really. It’s just a giant gaping mouth, with a load bay behind. You get 910lb ft of torque, a ten-speed auto gearbox, and forty-three square acres of sheer bluff supergrille. That’s what freedom looks like.
8. Ford F-Series Super Duty
If you’re going to call your truck ‘Super Duty’, it better have some serious front. Oh look, it’s the F-Off massive Ford F-Series. More chrome than an industrial accident at a bathroom furniture factory, with a Ford badge you could use as a medieval nettle shield. These truck faces have been getting blockier and brasher for decades now. Dare we ask – where will it end?