TREND DETECTION - the German auto makers observe the national tuning scenes to detect upcoming styling trends as soon as possible - just as

The lowered nose of Gustav (a Jetta Mk II), a member of the FAST-ZI-NATION team, sniffed curiously at the tarmac to detect the latest styling trends of the Autobahn land and the trace led out of the 'Autoland' Saxony to the VW Blasen [ VW blowing ] that took place at a disused Russian military airbase in Luckau, Brandenburg, where it was acclaimed by its prinked brothers and sisters at Germany's biggest VW-meeting that is also the biggest enthusiasts car meeting here.

Luckau impression 1

Thousands of tuning cars the main Volkswagens but also Audis were an appropriated scenery for us to detect intensifying tides before they become mainstream. It provides a foretaste on how the trim of vehicles with the AMG, M, R, S or RS tags will look in the future because notably VW but also Audi, BMW and Mercedes style their sporty editions according to the tuning scene's taste, and of course notably to the preferences of the German fans.

Most important feature was, is and will remain a set of fine alloy wheels. As in the years before, polished or chromed wheels enjoy a great popularity. But not in shape of the dynamic five spoke design like those inspired by Porsche rims that was all the rage at the end of the 1990's. In the last years the more modest shapes catch on more and more. Even original Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen wheels are very popular at the VW and Audi freaks. However, the rims shouldn't be available for the car they were attached to unless the car is a classic. At all events, it should be polished and outfitted with super flat tires.

Despite this one new trend, the expensive modular wheels are still en vogue but the classic BBS and WRD cross spoke alloys that have predominated for many years seem to become all too boring now. These day's designs are by far not so classic and are made by Artec, Dynatec or RH. And, the deep dish lovers don't become extinct too. Dimensions such as 8x15, 9x16 and 10x17 were frequently chosen nevertheless although the trend clearly goes to high positive off set rates, in other words wheels without deep dish!

Luckau impression 2

While the wheel vogue is an evolutionary process, the preferences concerning the body paint has changed surprisingly. Black and mainly silver of all shades were the ultimate trend colours of the last three seasons whereas this year's latest creations were mostly painted in dark blue, dark green, and claret metallic. By the way, over one third of the vehicles sold in Germany are silver but enough is enough, now it's time to stop the epidemical spread of it. But one thing stayed just as before! White is still the most unpopular colour, in the tuning scene as well as at the official German auto sales.

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