Camouflage wrap used to be cool.
Wind back the clock five years and camouflage was an effective way for automotive manufacturers to disguise their new or development prototype cars from prying eyes. That was its only purpose.
These flashy black-and-white wraps were made to hide the finer details of the design of new models, or to keep you guessing as to what the car may actually be. It worked. It was exotic and fun and kinda fantastic. So much so that we have been using shots like the one below on the site for about a decade.
Can you guess what car it is, just by checking out some of the exposed details?
Car guys and girls would look forward to seeing what the spy photographers in Europe, Asia, America and occasionally Australia would show us next: camouflage was intriguing. And the flow of cars being 'spied' during testing is a never-ending smorgasbord.
Car companies both love and hate the spies, because they show off what's coming, which could slow sales of current-gen cars, but they also generate press on upcoming vehicles.
But, nowadays, car brands are taking the piss with camouflage.
They seem to think it's the latest and greatest 'cool fad' to camouflage their new car ahead of its official reveal.
The number of new models this year that have had pre-emptive pre-reveal reveals in camouflage body-cladding is, quite honestly, astounding and rubbish.
Just last week Jaguar teased the new XF Sportbrake station wagon on its way to Wimbledon in a tennis ball camouflage. I mean, that's actually pretty cool, but really – I think we all know what an XF wagon is going to look like...
Jaguar was at it again just this week with the XE SV Project 8, which, with its blend of black and white swirls and a hideous orange stripe, looked positively sick-inducing. It will be hot when the cover comes off, undoubtedly, but this was not the right thing to do here.
The M8 Coupe is going to be horn, too - but in newspaper print hue it just looks like a fuzzy blob:
Another new performance model, the Renault Megane RS, has also been rocking the swirly sticker look ahead of its reveal. I don't mind this finish, but still - how much better would it be to see the actual car with actual colour on it?
It is symptomatic of the fact we see soooooo many new models and development mules photographed testing that the idea of trying to intentionally hide a car from prying eyes and offering professional photography of the sleek new vehicle with black and white vinyl wrap is on the verge of being a joke.