Style goes in circles. Sometimes you’ll watch old TV programmes or see an old photo and you’ll realise how ‘current’ the people in them look. Hair styles, clothes designs… and even cars.
From generally softer body shapes in the 2000s, the early 2010s threw up super-angular Audis, aggressively-penned Hyundais and eventually that Lexus grille. Look back to the 1980s and it was all boxy; to the 1990s and it was all soft and flowing. There were – and are – always exceptions, but the trends were the trends.
It applies to individual parts of cars, too. Remember when low-level boot spoilers were The Thing? The MkI Skoda Octavia vRS, the Vauxhall Vectra GSi and many a BMW 3-series all wore them before they went out of fashion. Later came active spoilers that rose on command or at a set speed, like on the Audi TT. Bit of a gimmick, if you ask me.
But now the holy grail of spoiler design is making a comeback, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The duck tail spoiler is back on the menu for everyone in the industry who holds a stylus for a living, and this is awesome news for all of us.
Duck tail spoilers, normally where the boot lip curves gracefully up into a subtle but pronounced peak, and often only reaching across the middle 50 per cent or so of the car’s width, are the absolute bomb in terms of style (or is it just me…?). Where motorsport-style efforts like those you see on the 911 GT3 RS look silly on public roads, and low-level boot spoilers look dated these days, the duck tail looks classy, elegant and sexy. Always has, always will.
Classic Porsche 911s are perhaps the most famous early adopters of the style, and damn did they look good. So good that Porsche brought the style back for the 997-era Sport Classic. Right now you can also see one on the new Aston Martin Vantage. I’m still not totally sold on that car’s front end, but the back… heavy breathing.
We’ve also seen a duck tail on the leaked Supra. Its stubby rear end lifts into a desperately pretty aerodynamic flick that we just can’t get enough of. Then there’s the BMW M8 Gran Coupe teaser from earlier this week. The top half of the concept looks a lot like an Aston Martin (no bad thing), but the curvaceous duck tail spoiler caught my eye most. How good does that thing look? Very.
It’s a sure-fire step towards making a car look absolutely stunning. Strangely, though, the jaw-dropping Lexus LC doesn’t have one, and yet it’s one of those cars that would best suit one. Maybe that’s a move for the facelifted version in a few years; I’d love to see it. If this upturn in the fortunes of the duck tail is a sign of things to come, bring it on. I’ll never get tired of seeing that shape. Duck tail all the things!