Thursday, December 13, 2007

When Knight Falls

Well, apparently it's official: in the new Knight Rider movie, the part of KITT will be played by a Mustang Shelby GT500KR. Having worked at Ford's ad agency, I know how shrewd they can be when it comes to product placement, and this is quite a coup for the brand. But BOOOOOOOOO!!!

To me, this goes against everything that KITT should be: a sleek, stealthy and futuristic-looking coupe. In fact, when I was growing up, KITT set the standard for me as to what a sports car should look like. It was a classic, wedge-shaped coupe that shared styling cues with the American sports car flagship, the Corvette. Anything that didn't look like that was just...wrong.

So my sense of automotive style has since matured and expanded. But my sense of television right and wrong has remained, and I think this choice is just dumb. Especially when there was a much clearer choice: the Corvette Z06. Sure, there's no Trans Am around currently to carry the torch, but the Z06 is not only a GM product, but it also has the classic wedge shape and, as it happens, a perfect spot for KITT's oscillating strobe. Check out this chop job that illustrates the point beautifully.
Another important aspect, which has been overlooked by many, is the sound. KITT's running shots were always accompanied by that futuristic, mechanical whooshing sound. It was the sound of precision and stealth. The Z06 may not be tuned as quietly, but it's certainly more in line with the original than the all-out rumble that the GT500KR will exhibit. The sound of a Vette engine is precision. The sound of a Mustang engine is testosterone. Sure, Michael Knight and KITT had plenty of both, but they knew when to use them, and the former was the default mode.
I suppose what's done is done, and the decision won't change. I'll still see the movie with enthusiasm. But in the back of my mind I'll always be pining for what could've been.

1 comment:

Mr. Anti-Camry said...

I'm with you. The fact that KITT is a Mustang variant is absolutely WRONG. The 'Vette would have been the better choice.