Car shows take Vellum Venom down a psychotropic styling journey: elaborate displays with brilliant interior design elements, dazzling lighting, stunning product specialists (if you’re into that gawking thing), free top-shelf crap everywhere and perfect machinery refreshed by an army of detailers. Many years passed since my last auto show, but I had to come back to get the latest bits of car design. And interior design. And architecture.
Those three in mind, the Hyundai section was a remarkable letdown: the architecture brilliantly absorbed Cobo Center’s impressive amounts of negative area, marred by the mediocrity of a bland-toned Accent occupying prime real estate. Why ruin my Architectural-Digest worthy photograph?
I stood face-to-fascia with a childhood dream, thanks to a tangential connection to Houston’s 2016 Lamborghini Festival. And yet, like all designs born pure and modified to remain relevant, the original Lamborghini LP400’s purity of form is sometimes absent in this time capsule, all-original LP5000.
But please believe that, LP400 or no, it took every fiber of my being to avoid the typical auto journo blather on this sheet of vellum. (Read More…)
As I exited the grocery store this past Sunday night thronged by late night shoppers, the expressions on the faces of those who walked past the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback LX, parked right in front of the store, were not difficult to discern.
Then, as it became obvious I was the “owner” of said Civic, previously repulsed glances shifted toward me, now full of pity. Can’t say I was surprised. The exterior design Honda foisted upon an otherwise excellent car is downright horrifying.
I wanted to shout across the grocery store parking lot, “It’s not mine.”
I had the distinct non-privilege of sampling an ND Miata at a Mazda event for the general public, which was also covered by one of TTAC’s sister publications. A gaze at the hood bulges at (slow) auto journo track speeds netted a surprise: there was an urgency to get this cab-backward profile on the Vellum.
It’s no different than being a design student; visions quickly sketched on vellum (lower case) were crucial. Today’s urgency isn’t for my GPA, but for Vellum Venom’s readers (all 51 of you) and for my soul. It’s been too long.
I’d love to know your thoughts on the proliferation of plastic cladding on pretty much every CUV/SUV on sale today. I’ve noticed that pretty much everyone does it now – Toyota, Mazda, Ford, Jeep, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, the list goes on.
TTAC commentator Windy writes:
I just started the once-every-few-years process of shopping for a new car. When I ordered my Mini 12 years ago, I was able to pick from a vast selection of colors and options. Since then, automakers have dwindled down and constrained their available colors. I’ve played the configurator game with many marques, and the choices in color were frankly dismal for most cars.
I have a question that I don’t believe you have answered before in your talking about design features, and that is the weird obsession car makers have with exhaust outlets.
One of my CCS Design professors had a saying: it’s all about Proportion, Proportion, Proportion. Just typing that makes me cringe. Perhaps it’s a popular phrase for car design wonks, or a riff from the restaurant business.
However, the theory is valid: Imagine if the Pontiac Aztek was proportioned a la Range Rover Evoque. It’s a fair notion. If that were the case, the Aztek may not have been bound for every “Top 100 Ugliest Cars” list since 2000.
Proving the theory is this 1988 Jaguar XJS. It’s a beautiful grand touring coupe because the proportions are right. (Read More…)
Today, TTAC’s editors present their annual round-ups for 2015. Sajeev brings you his winners and losers in the highly subjective field of design. (Read More…)
Don’t put those two together…
I thought you might know: What’s up with so many recent cars incorporating an oversized, black plastic, gaping maw in place of what’s been normal-sized grilles on cars? Lexus comes to mind first, with a visage that any Predator could love. But also, Hyundai Veloster, the revamped Yaris, various Audis, and so forth.
Is this related to some Euro pedestrian law, compliance with which mandates some high percentage of very breakable plastic up front? Darned hard to explain otherwise. At least for me. So I thought I’d ask.
Future Fords may have decorative exterior molding or body panels with built-in lights, Carscoops.com (via FocusRSClub) has uncovered in patent filings.
The filings detail luminescent panels and moldings that would light up to accent portions of some of Ford’s vehicles.
Or you know, the stuff aftermarket shops have been offering for years now.
While designing top-dollar luxury cars was a rare success during my year at CCS, it’s gotta be tough to get these into production. Consider competition from lower-rung manufacturers, namely those parent companies owning the likes of Rolls Royce. How much shared engineering is forced upon them? What financial (beancounting) and legal (pedestrian safety, carbon emission) design constraints are forced upon the uber-luxury Transportation Designer?
Design directives get muddy in any vehicle, yet weak design is intolerable at a $354,000 price tag. (Read More…)
This just happened. (photo courtesy: Ram)
Most design students don’t consider Peak Oil in their studies, but The Reckoning was on my reading list back then. While Peak Oil is tangentially connected to car design, we clearly reached Peak Emblem.
It cannot get any worse than what’s being introduced in Chicago this week.
A Fashionable Savior for the Budget Minded?
Rio is full of beauty: beaches, gorgeous people on said beaches, delicious caipirinhas served beachside and…wait for it…a healthy alternative to DLO FAIL.
Yes, a way out from the infestation of black plastic cheater panels: triangles of FAIL that plague Car Design from the cheapest subcompact to the most flagship-iest Cadillac. (Read More…)
This was my first vacation in, like, ever. And it was supposed to be a break from cars. No driving, wrenching, writing, photographing! Stop looking at that Ford Versailles, don’t take a photo of that Renault, because car design is no vacation in such a beautiful place…right?
And then “my” Ford Ranger found me in Leblon. Oh, for the love of why did I walk down this street I can’t believe that stupid truck followed me from…