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Rear Taillight Bars Are Becoming Insanely Popular

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author photo by Doug DeMuro April 2018

The next big car industry design trend is rear taillight bars. Actually, the next big car industry design trend is split rear pillars, as I told you last week. But rear taillight bars are also taking off, and now every cool, new car has one. I suspect this is a feature we'll see on basically every luxury car within a decade.

I discovered this a couple of weeks ago, when I went walking around the New York Auto Show. Here's what I found: Rear taillight bars are on the latest "cool" cars, like the Kia Stinger, the Porsche Cayenne, the new Audi A8, the Lincoln Continental, and the new Lexus UX, which debuted at the auto show. Rear light bars are on all the new, expensive stuff -- and they're about to trickle down.

I find this interesting, because rear light bars kind of "happened" in the 1990s with various vehicles, including many Japanese sports cars (the original Mitsubishi Eclipse, for instance), and mediocre cars like the early 1990s Ford Taurus. It seemed like a trend that didn't exactly signify wealth, or "coolness," but now here we are, years later, with rear light bars signifying wealth and coolness.

I think Porsche kept the trend going, adding rear light bars to the all-wheel drive versions of its "997" 911 model, which was sold in the mid- and late-2000s. Then they started expanding it to the rest of their lineup, and everyone thought if Porsche was doing it, then they should also be doing it, so they did. And now we have rear light bars on everything.

Well, not everything -- not yet. But the rear light bar trend was clearly out in full force in New York, and it's only going to grow from here. Look for the next cool car you lust after to have a rear light bar. You heard it here first.

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Rear Taillight Bars Are Becoming Insanely Popular - Autotrader