Category: Vellum Venom

By on June 4, 2013

I enjoy highlighting automotive design, yet cars aren’t everything: architecture happens. So let’s combine ‘em for the world of automotive retailing. Read More >

By on May 13, 2013

Jeff Sanders, my best friend and reason for this series’ existence, once said “Ferrari’s are the tits” for all designers.  It’s true, as his immense skill received far more praise from the design boffins at the College for Creative Studies when he set his sights on a Ferrari instead of his beloved American brands.  But tits for all (so to speak) changed when a friend gave me her guest pass to the Ferrari Club of Houston’s monthly meeting. Arriving in appropriate style thanks to my brother’s Testarossa, I chilled out with my Ferrari lovin’ gal pal. I also prepped myself for the Pimp-Mobile Testarossa jokes, often rehearsed by heavily depreciated Ferrari 348/355/360 driving bon vivants. It was a CCS design review all over again, to a lesser extent.

Then I opened the showroom door and saw my first Ferrari FF.  Everything about this day changed. Won’t you join me for the rest of the story? Read More >

By on April 8, 2013

Haters bust out the Haterade: I mastered your drama back at the College of Creative Studies. My luxury car proposals sported stand up grilles…and why not? The (beautiful-ish) 1990 Lexus LS400 proved an upright grille happily exists on a sleek, masterfully engineered machine. But very talented, well-praised drama queens in the design studio can’t be proven wrong by a talentless schmuck. Even if they get super butthurt when your Lexian-precedent made their grandstanding look like the adolescent ranting of one unfit to judge a grade school art show…

To wit, an extreme argument: The Nissan Cube. Read More >

By on April 4, 2013

I’d be a day late and a dollar short if I cared about being professional automotive journalist. To wit, we recently discussed how the digitally rendered C7 Stingray droptop Vette’s 5-spoke wheels look like a last-minute “virtual” hackjob for a looming deadline. The nice folks at Corvetteblogger show otherwise during their visit to the New York Auto Show: these hoops made production spinning the wrong way.

Read More >

By on March 19, 2013

Dan writes:

Hey Sajeev,

Since you’re a (failed-SM) auto designer, I was curious about your opinion on something I’ve noticed. I (like a lot of people, apparently) like Kia’s current styling and design language, especially on the Optima. It’s got a presence that reminds me of older Pontiacs, a kind of aggression that is lacking in a lot of cars today. What’s your opinion on Kia’s grille treatment? Read More >

By on March 11, 2013

I was in a bad place about a year ago: fighting problems that resurfaced 10+ years of (secret) regret that my life at the College for Creative Studies shoulda ended differently.  But then a few silver linings showed up, motivating me to write the first installment of this series.  While I still am in (occasionally) bad places a year later, designs like the Nissan Juke keep me motivated, excited.

So, to celebrate this series’ First Anniversary: THANK YOU for letting me share my Venom. And know how much I appreciate it when you click that link:
Read More >

By on March 9, 2013

Mark writes:

Sajeev,

We can’t let Jeep get away with what they have done to the (redesigned Jeep) Grand Cherokee’s face. This square-peg-in-a-round-hole approach just looks half-baked, lazy, and cheap. Even the choice of filler material used to fill the void is wrong in material, color and pattern.

In short, Jeep’s design team needs to be raked across the coals for destroying what was Chrysler’s best-looking vehicle on the market, and I think you are the man to do the raking.

Sajeev answers: Read More >

By on March 5, 2013

Here’s the funny thing about being a failed designer-turned-blogger in today’s world of information overload: designers make mistakes and we get to discuss them.  The autoblogosphere is buzzing about the upcoming C7 Stingray softtop, but as my mangled merging of GM’s PR photos show, someone forgot to sweat the details before hitting the news wires.  Read More >

By on March 3, 2013

Robert writes:

Have you seen a more ghastly DLO (daylight opening) fail than the new Avalon? (note the nicely highlighted black plastic sections in the photo sent by the OP- SM)

Sajeev answers:

Gather ’round the warm glow of your collective computer screens, let’s tell the tale of three Entry-Level Luxury Sedans of the year 2013 with very different DLOs. A tale with plastic triangles and fixed window panes told by me, but the ending lies at the end of the comment section. Read More >

By on February 5, 2013

Spencer writes:

Dear Sajeev,

Are there any examples of concept cars which, while not representative of the vehicles in the manufacturer’s immediate lineup, actually become something of a reality five or ten years down the line? More specifically, can you provide some images of concept cars that actually look like the cars we have on the road today (Isuzu VehiCROSS and similarly rare instances to be omitted, I suppose). Thanks! Read More >

By on January 21, 2013

Did you see an instant classic at last week’s Detroit Auto Show?  Maybe that new Stingray. And hearing that the first C7 Vette was on the auction block to support the College for Creative Studies made me a little proud of my former school, too.  But, aside from the always nerve-racking bus ride between CCS and Cobo Hall, my “instant classic” moment from the (1999) NAIAS was the introduction of the MK IV Jetta.  All of a sudden I couldn’t keep my eyes off of Jettas, especially a silver one in the lower hall of Cobo. And time hasn’t changed my opinion…aside from making it more extreme. Read More >

By on January 13, 2013

Question #1. TTAC commentator Seminole95 writes:

Sajeev, I have another question for you.

Why do auto manufacturers increasingly make cars with hard to read speedometers? I was thinking of buying a Mustang, but I could not tell easily how fast I was going. The new Accord speedometer is harder to read than previous models. Read More >

By on January 5, 2013

Fellow TTAC scribe Alex Dykes put a somewhat innocent enough post on our Facebook Wall, suggesting the BMW 3-series has a reputation for homogenous design, while the new Cadillac ATS suffers from…well, what so many modern GM products suffer from: a new release that’s only “almost” there. The ATS gauge cluster was his proof.

This cluster spurred a commotion from our FB readers that merited a chat window popping up from the Esteemed Mr. Dykes, suggesting this is a good Vellum Venom. Agreed. Read More >

By on December 25, 2012

I apologize for torturing you, dear reader, with over-analysis of absolutely mundane machinery for far too long. I blame it on my style–or lack thereof–as a student at the College of Creative Studies.  So on Christmas Day, how about I let you in on another secret? No matter which bias (American, German, Japanese) got you into car design school, everyone loved Ferraris.  This predominantly male student body often equated a Ferrari’s universal gorgeousness with that of the female anatomy. Surprised?

Read More >

By on December 10, 2012

One thing that really burned me about design school: when a student applied their talent outside of their comfort zone, subsequently ruining a famous bodystyle, make or model.  Hey, I’m guilty of it too. VERY guilty. But a foolish, ignorant student at the College for Creative Studies is one thing, getting paid by the manufacturer of said brand is a whole ‘nother.  And while the original, JFK-Continental infused, Lincoln MKX wasn’t far removed from the Ford Edge from whence it came, the redesign takes what was once a solid reinterpretation of the Lincoln brand and well…completely screwed it up.

Again…ever since the Mitsubishi Diamante face of the Lincoln LS, that is.  Let’s get this over with.

Read More >

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