As it funnels its suit-and-ties over to Mitsubishi and rearranges its own departments like mad, Nissan is losing veteran designer, stylish dresser, and chief creative officer: Shiro Nakamura. Responsible for some of Nissan’s more radical designs, Nakamura oversaw the styling for the revamped GT-R and current 370Z, along with intentionally quirky models like the Juke, Leaf, and Cube.
Nakamura said his designs were purposefully modern and intended to express the “shock of the new.” The objective was to amend the company’s western image as a discount brand and give its vehicles unique personalities and character, which — love or hate it — the Juke has in spades.
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s current design head, will be stepping in to take over for the retiring Nakamura as senior VP and Nissan’s styling overlord. Replacing Albaisa as Infiniti’s global design chief will be former BMW design boss Karim Habib. (Read More…)
Eager to fill a price gap in its Range Rover lineup, Land Rover has come out with a new midsize offering — the Velar. Positioned between the smaller Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport, the Velar is a tasteful and subdued example of automotive opulence. While it’s best to reserve final judgement until after fully experiencing a model, the design both inside and out represents something fresh, possibly signalling a new direction for Land Rover styling.
I speculated last month that the Velar’s teaser images might not be representative of the actual car, due in part to its ultra-modern-looking center console. However, that concept car interior stuck around, resulting in an incredibly spartan and contemporary cabin. It’s almost entirely devoid of buttons, replaced by minimalist design more elegant and clean than even what Tesla has on offer. Land Rover refers to the interior as a “calm sanctuary” for the Velar’s occupants. The majority of the contact points for non-essential functions occupy hidden-until-lit touch areas that, according to JLR, can be endlessly customized. (Read More…)
The new 2017 BMW 5 Series, BMW’s seventh in a long line of revered midsize sedans, looks exactly like the outgoing BMW 5 Series.
Chip off the proverbial old block. Spitting image. Germany’s vehicular Dolly The Sheep.
If the new 5 Series, codename G30 in Bimmerphile parlance, were nothing more than a facelift of the departing F10 5 Series that will shortly end its 2011-2016 run, we would all surely consider the facelift to be an insufficient attempt at spicing things up.
But the new 5 Series isn’t just a mid-cycle refresh, it’s not merely a freshening of a tired old dog, it’s not the standard Munich riposte to a Stuttgart incursion.
This is the all-new BMW 5 Series. Or rather, one of these cars is the all-new BMW 5 Series. Can you say for sure which one it is? (Read More…)
Can you explain black plastic on cars? I saw an Audi Q7 with black plastic all over the bottom, but then a Q5 doesn’t have it. Sometimes the plastic isn’t black but color coded like an Eddie Bauer Ford or something else.
Longtime General Motors designer Bryan Nesbitt is now Buick’s global design boss as part of the automaker’s shuffling of chief designers.
Bentley design boss Luc Donckerwolke parted ways with the automaker Thursday, with VW Group interior designer boss Stefan Sielaff taking the helm.
For the longest time, there wasn’t much difference between Lincoln and Ford in the design game, consumers hardly seeing much difference between an MKZ and a Fusion despite the former’s premium price. Ford global design boss Moray Callum is drawing a line in the sand as far as that is concerned.
Design School forces considerations outside of a student’s artistic comfort zone: a unique price, demographic, or geography for starters. Just don’t present a pragmatic design based in sociocultural fact: a conventional sedan for the Indian market–isolating the wealthy from their hired help and their untouchable luggage—was a fantastically stupid mistake. Cultural and profit-minded relevance aside, that’s the not-so-secret secret I’ve mentioned before in this series. Cars are made under a litany of profit-minded constraints, no matter what they may teach in design school.
And some thrive in their design constraints. (Read More…)
Having done well with Jaguar Land Rover in its portfolio, Tata Motors is now turning to its premium subsidiary for its own foray into passenger cars and SUVs.
TTAC Commentator halftruth writes:
I see a lot of manufacturers using the binocular style gauge motif (see Hyundai Elantra, 2011 Avalon, Chevy Cruze for example) and I hate it! I also see a lot of carmakers using the upside down triangle motif in a lot of their steering wheel designs. We can even throw in the obligatory fuel AND coolant gauge.. they all seem to do this same thing with little variation. That said, if we look thru history, this mimicking has always gone on.
But why? Sometimes a bad idea is just that and shouldn’t be copied: I am reminded of huge gaudy consoles that take up legroom- for an automatic. (Read More…)