Car Design: The Whale Shark Mouth

I call this look the Whale Shark Mouth. I believe the photos tell the story. Starting several years ago, I've noticed that this design feature has been appearing in more cars every year.

I first recall it being a distinctive part of the look of both the Maserati Quattroporte and the Maserati Granturismo. Then it began to appear in the design language of other luxury models, such as on the Jaguar XK, the Spyker C8 Aileron, and in the design of Aston Martin cars. Concept cars are also sporting it, showing that it continues to grow in popularity: the forthcoming Tesla Model S and the Infiniti Essence concept rock the whale shark mouth. It has even made its way to to SUVs on the the Infiniti FX.

Have you noticed the whale shark mouth on the streets near you? How do you feel about it?

How do you think it compares to its cousin, the Robot Mouth (sometimes considered the Darth Vader mouth) design that appears on certain Aston Martins, the Nissan GT-R, the Fisker Karma, and the forthcoming Mini Countryman SUV?


  1. The Fisker Karma definitely looks more like a handlebar mustache than a robot mouth.

  2. Hahahaha.... Aaron, you now have won the title of my favorite comment on FIWK. That's truly great.

    I added mini photos to the post, I think they make it 80% better.

  3. Sometimes, including the actual image in the post works better. Sometimes, including a link to the image works better.

  4. As an aside (assuming my first comment was somewhat on topic), has Bender become the go to robot image on the internet? Anytime someone wants to attach the image of a robot to an idea, it's always Bender. I'm sure if Asimo has a personality and/or a voice, he'd be hurt.

  5. I agree, I think Bender is probably the default robot right now. I feel like C3PO and R2D2 were the default robots before him.