New automobile colors

Has anyone noticed that new cars are in colors that have you going :confused: ?

They’ve long had names that aren’t on the color wheel (my white 2009 car’s official color is Fresh Powder, for instance, and my silverish car before that was Radium) but now, they seem to be colors that aren’t on the wheel at all.

Is it blue, green, aqua, or turquoise?

Is it purple, maroon, or eggplant?

Is it pink, salmon, or coral?

Just curious to see if anyone else has noticed.

I do know that the makers seem to cycle through hues every few years. Greens are good for a while, then you can hardly fine any greens being made. I remember coral being popular many years ago.

It’s not just cars. Stop by the color charts in the paint section of any home improvement store. Look at each color strip. It’s astonishing. I once asked someone to not look and tell me what color range we were talking about and I read off the names. They could not guess it. And each paint company has a unique name for their version of a hue. The nearly white walls in my house were something like “French Coffee”.


My 2017 Subaru Crosstrek’s color is called Desert Khaki. It’s kind of tan and kind of green. And that’s what I say when someone asks me what color it is!

Yeah, I’ve noticed some real strange stuff on the road lately. Some look like rejected colors from the military.

One good one I saw a while ago was called “Brake Rotor Orange” and looked like a glowing rotor. It was way cool. I think it was a Mitsubishi.

Hmm, car colors. I am sick of white, silver, black, and red. We need more colors on cars these days! Fortunately, colors seem to be making a comeback. I’ve seen some nice bright greens, blues and yellows, along with some more muted lavenders and metallic tones. Of course, there are some really ugly greens on new Jeeps out there, but at least they are a color. I hope the crummy browns from the malaise era don’t come back, too. Is it too much to hope for some classy two-tones to appear?

I saw a orange-y color on a new Jeep the other day. I liked it. I wondered at the time what the name was.

I’ve been noticing a lot of very pale colors on new cars lately. Like they diluted some standard hue with lots and lots of white until it is just a hint of hue left. Kind of cool looking, but I couldn’t begin to guess what the names would be.

I’m still a fan of the international colors that were used in auto racing until the late-'60s; silver (or white[sup]*[/sup]) for Germany, red for Italy, blue for France, dark green (British Racing Green) for the UK, plus a few others. Wikipedia has a long list, I wonder if some of them were ever used.

  • German cars were white until sometime in the 1930s, I think. Mercedes arrived at the first race of the season and their car was a couple pounds over the allowed weight. Mechanics spent the night sanding off the paint down to bare metal, and their cars became legendary in silver.

don’t buy a Mercedes S-class, then. I swear the available color palette is:

  • Four blacks
  • two silvers
  • two whites
  • two grays
  • and a couple each greens and blues which are so dark they might as well be black.

Part of this is because PPG develops color palettes several years in advance - manufacturers pick from those and then apply them to model lines (cars marketed to younger buyers get a brighter palette and so on).

Here is an interesting history of automotive colors.

Don’t forget colors like ‘Pearl White’, which are the rage where I live though they add significantly to cost. (Is the correct term for this shiny white ‘iridescent’, ‘luminescent’ or ‘opalescent’?)

They need to bring back Statutuory Grape. Sure, it’s a cop magnet when actually on a car, but it’s a great nickname (the actual color is called Plum Crazy, but nobody calls it that).

The simple fact is that conservative colors sell, which is why it’s all been muted Earth tones or basic silver/black/white for a long time except for more quirky companies like Subaru with their Rally blue or Scion with their “youthful” palette.

I always found it amusing that there’s probably a group of people at each manufacturer’s facility in a conference room somewhere, getting paid to brainstorm up new and inventive color names.

I think they sell because pretty much every car, in every package level is available in black & white. The one that offers a blue or a green is only available in one trim, & while I like the color I don’t want that trim package, either too high or too low for the features I want.

Interiors only come in two colors tan/khaki or black. I won’t get black as it’s even hotter in the summer. The last car I bought I didn’t buy the cool blue color because it only came w/ the black interior. Had they offered it w/ the tan interior that’s what I’d be driving right now.

At least if they would append some actual color name to the poetic description (Sunrise Gold, Forest Glen Green, Stormy Night Black).

There is also apparently a regional factor in this – over these last few months relocated near DC, have noticed when looking for the possibility of acquiring some used wheels that there is a ridiculous surfeit of black. This suggests to me that this is a secondhand market flooded by former livery vehicles, in a town where everyone wants to arrive in a black car (but really, who’s impressed by a black Jetta or Civic?)

Very good point. (The interiors sometimes add a “grey” that depending on the maker is either almost black or so pale it is a dirt magnet.)

yes. it’s important to remember that the car companies’ primary customers are dealers. Dealers order what they can sell quickly, and black/white/silver/greige are inoffensive enough where most buyers will settle for one of those colors since they can drive it home today.

the flip side is that at re-sale time, a rare and/or eye-catching color can fetch you a higher sale price.

I’ve been asking this for years. I want two-tones! And more vivid colors! My car is one of the many silver blobs that look like they escaped from a mercury thermometer. However, the choice was that or white, which I won’t buy because it requires frequent washing.

My '04 is a fantastic bright red -“Japan Rot” in BMW language. The other cars are black, black, and British Racing Green.

A friend has a lime-ish green Subaru that is the same shade as the Grinch. It’s very cute and I see the appeal, but wow . . . it’s an intense color!

Another pal has a sparkly medium blue Honda Civic I really like. I’d def buy a car in this shade.