The Truth About Cars » Design http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:42:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Design http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Vellum Venom: 1988 Jaguar XJS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/01/vellum-venom-1988-jaguar-xjs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/01/vellum-venom-1988-jaguar-xjs/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2016 16:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1251705 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 […]

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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 […]

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Vellom Venom Vignette: 2015 Awards Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/01/vellom-venom-vignette-2015-awards-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/01/vellom-venom-vignette-2015-awards-edition/#comments Fri, 01 Jan 2016 22:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1253225 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.  Best Styled Sedan, Tesla Model S: This sedan (okay, hatch) deserves to be a repeat winner. The Model S’ clean sheet of vellum has yet to be toppled in sleekness (cab backward-ish platform, low nose, relatively […]

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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.  Best Styled Sedan, Tesla Model S: This sedan (okay, hatch) deserves to be a repeat winner. The Model S’ clean sheet of vellum has yet to be toppled in sleekness (cab backward-ish platform, low nose, relatively […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Protect Me From What I Want http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/12/vellum-venom-vignette-protect-want/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/12/vellum-venom-vignette-protect-want/#comments Fri, 11 Dec 2015 14:00:43 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1236633   Lowell writes: Sajeev, 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 […]

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  Lowell writes: Sajeev, 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 […]

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Doug Drives: An Ode to the Column Shifter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/11/doug-drives-an-ode-to-the-column-shifter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/11/doug-drives-an-ode-to-the-column-shifter/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2015 16:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1218609 I was driving around the other day, and I got passed by a mid-2000s Mercedes M-Class. If your brain doesn’t immediately pull up an image of this particular M-Class, I’m not sure how to describe it to you. Just think of a dull SUV with a Mercedes badge on the front. I remember when this […]

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I was driving around the other day, and I got passed by a mid-2000s Mercedes M-Class. If your brain doesn’t immediately pull up an image of this particular M-Class, I’m not sure how to describe it to you. Just think of a dull SUV with a Mercedes badge on the front. I remember when this […]

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Today’s Most Over-styled Car Is … http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/10/todays-most-over-styled-car-is/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/10/todays-most-over-styled-car-is/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 13:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1197210 I recently started to think about automotive over styling. This is because many of today’s cars are styled to the point where you wonder if they had some contractual obligation with the supplier to put in as many unnecessary curves and creases as humanly possible. This all got started when I walked by an E36 […]

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I recently started to think about automotive over styling. This is because many of today’s cars are styled to the point where you wonder if they had some contractual obligation with the supplier to put in as many unnecessary curves and creases as humanly possible. This all got started when I walked by an E36 […]

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Piston Slap: Greenwashing the Fuel of the Devil? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/10/piston-slap-fuel-devil/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/10/piston-slap-fuel-devil/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 12:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1193154 BT writes: Why aren’t we seeing diesel/electric hybrid cars and light duty trucks? Wouldn’t the fuel economy be phenomenal? Gas hybrids do well in their own right, as do diesels. So what’s holding up the diesel/electric Passat? Many cities have gone to diesel/electric buses for fuel savings, so we know the technology is real for […]

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BT writes: Why aren’t we seeing diesel/electric hybrid cars and light duty trucks? Wouldn’t the fuel economy be phenomenal? Gas hybrids do well in their own right, as do diesels. So what’s holding up the diesel/electric Passat? Many cities have gone to diesel/electric buses for fuel savings, so we know the technology is real for […]

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Mazda6, Miata Interior Designer Will Lead Mazda Design in US http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/mazda6-miata-interior-designer-will-lead-mazda-design-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/09/mazda6-miata-interior-designer-will-lead-mazda-design-us/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 14:30:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1163698 Julien Montousse, the man who designed the interiors of the new Miata and Mazda6 for Mazda, and the last-generation Camaro for General Motors, will lead the automaker’s California design team, Mazda announced Tuesday. Montousse takes over for Derek Jenkins, who left the company in July for a “stealth project” according to Automotive News, who cited […]

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Julien Montousse, the man who designed the interiors of the new Miata and Mazda6 for Mazda, and the last-generation Camaro for General Motors, will lead the automaker’s California design team, Mazda announced Tuesday. Montousse takes over for Derek Jenkins, who left the company in July for a “stealth project” according to Automotive News, who cited […]

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Designers and Their Cars – Automotive Patent Art Revisited http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/designers-cars-automotive-patent-art-revisited/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/designers-cars-automotive-patent-art-revisited/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1146281   Aaron Cole’s post about automotive patent art gladdened my heart. Years ago, I decided to check out some of Les Paul and Leo Fender’s original patents on their electric guitars and I discovered the artistry of patent drawings. These days the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as patent offices around the world, […]

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  Aaron Cole’s post about automotive patent art gladdened my heart. Years ago, I decided to check out some of Les Paul and Leo Fender’s original patents on their electric guitars and I discovered the artistry of patent drawings. These days the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as patent offices around the world, […]

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Hyundai Teases New Elantra Design Because Future Needs No Doors http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-teases-new-elantra-design-future-needs-no-doors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/hyundai-teases-new-elantra-design-future-needs-no-doors/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1145825 Hyundai released Wednesday a new concept sketch of the coming Elantra, which shows that the new model will sport a large hexagonal grille, sleeker and lower headlights, and a steeper dropping C-pillar. The Elantra is scheduled for a redesign for 2017 and outlets are reporting the new sedan will debut at the Los Angeles Auto […]

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Hyundai released Wednesday a new concept sketch of the coming Elantra, which shows that the new model will sport a large hexagonal grille, sleeker and lower headlights, and a steeper dropping C-pillar. The Elantra is scheduled for a redesign for 2017 and outlets are reporting the new sedan will debut at the Los Angeles Auto […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Diecasting A Designer’s 8-bit Nightmare? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/vellum-venom-vignette-designers-8-bit-nightmare/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/vellum-venom-vignette-designers-8-bit-nightmare/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1132913 I suspect there’s more than a handful of Transportation Design students finding employment in the toy business and I know my fellow design classmates at CCS collected diecast model cars. They’re inspirational, personally helping me render light/shadow reflections on the vellum. Visits to (Pasteiner’s) Auto Zone happened regularly, sometimes with the same higher regard than local religious institutions. […]

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I suspect there’s more than a handful of Transportation Design students finding employment in the toy business and I know my fellow design classmates at CCS collected diecast model cars. They’re inspirational, personally helping me render light/shadow reflections on the vellum. Visits to (Pasteiner’s) Auto Zone happened regularly, sometimes with the same higher regard than local religious institutions. […]

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A Model Collection of Automotive History http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/model-collection-automotive-history/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/model-collection-automotive-history/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1109489 Polymath sports marketer Fred Sharf is known in the art world for finding underappreciated genres, collecting them, researching and writing about them at an academic level, curating exhibits about them, and then donating much of what he collects to museums so others can share his eclectic interests. Among those many interests, Sharf has almost singlehandedly gotten […]

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Polymath sports marketer Fred Sharf is known in the art world for finding underappreciated genres, collecting them, researching and writing about them at an academic level, curating exhibits about them, and then donating much of what he collects to museums so others can share his eclectic interests. Among those many interests, Sharf has almost singlehandedly gotten […]

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QOTD: What OEM Wheel Designs Make Their Respective Cars Look Cheap? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/qotd-which-oem-wheel-designs-completely-ruin-the-look-of-their-respective-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/qotd-which-oem-wheel-designs-completely-ruin-the-look-of-their-respective-cars/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 16:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1089081 Regulation. It dictates the majority of modern car design. Whether it be for pedestrian safety, crash worthiness, economies of scale, or fuel efficiency, the basic building blocks of modern cars are decided well before pencil is met with freshly-bleached paper (or, these days, before stylus meets tablet). That last item – fuel efficiency – is […]

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Regulation. It dictates the majority of modern car design. Whether it be for pedestrian safety, crash worthiness, economies of scale, or fuel efficiency, the basic building blocks of modern cars are decided well before pencil is met with freshly-bleached paper (or, these days, before stylus meets tablet). That last item – fuel efficiency – is […]

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Luxury Automakers Wary Around Growing Female Consumer Base http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-automakers-wary-around-growing-female-consumer-base/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-automakers-wary-around-growing-female-consumer-base/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070938 Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares. While less than 10 percent of Lamborghini and Ferrari owners in the United States are women, and Porsche only boasts 25 percent, female consumers in emerging markets like China are flexing their […]

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Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares. While less than 10 percent of Lamborghini and Ferrari owners in the United States are women, and Porsche only boasts 25 percent, female consumers in emerging markets like China are flexing their […]

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QOTD: What Interior Controls Drive You Mad? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-interior-controls-drive-mad/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/qotd-interior-controls-drive-mad/#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 14:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1065698 Even in a day of standardized controls and homogeneous design, there are a few oddball controls that – for better or worse – stick out like a proverbial sore thumb. Whether it be window switches (door or center console?), seat controls (side, front, or door panel?) or even shifters (lever or knob; column or console?), […]

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Even in a day of standardized controls and homogeneous design, there are a few oddball controls that – for better or worse – stick out like a proverbial sore thumb. Whether it be window switches (door or center console?), seat controls (side, front, or door panel?) or even shifters (lever or knob; column or console?), […]

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Piston Slap: Reverse Light My Way Home, General Motors! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-reverse-light-way-home-general-motors/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-reverse-light-way-home-general-motors/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:53:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1018778   Jon writes: Sajeev, I read this column on lighting, thanks for the information! That leads me to a question… What is up with Chevy/GM truck and SUV reverse lights!?!?!?! Why do they come on when their drivers use their lock remotes????? It is crazy going through parking lots these days with all the SUV reverse […]

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  Jon writes: Sajeev, I read this column on lighting, thanks for the information! That leads me to a question… What is up with Chevy/GM truck and SUV reverse lights!?!?!?! Why do they come on when their drivers use their lock remotes????? It is crazy going through parking lots these days with all the SUV reverse […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Peak Emblem http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/vellum-venom-vignette-peak-emblem/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/vellum-venom-vignette-peak-emblem/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 16:40:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=997690   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. Emblem size, just like wheel size and body/firewall (versus glass) height has […]

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  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. Emblem size, just like wheel size and body/firewall (versus glass) height has […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: The Brazil Vacation, Part III http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/vellum-venom-vignette-brazil-vacation-part-iii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/vellum-venom-vignette-brazil-vacation-part-iii/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:06:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=990010   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. It’s amazing what happens by removing the A-pillar’s black plastic trim […]

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  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. It’s amazing what happens by removing the A-pillar’s black plastic trim […]

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Capsule Review: 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia 2.0 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-1983-ford-sierra-ghia-2-0/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:44:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=981897     “Wait! Is that a…” “Are you British?”  “I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!” Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is […]

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    “Wait! Is that a…” “Are you British?”  “I haven’t seen one of these since I left Venezuela as a teenager, only rich people had Sierras!” Behold random responses from gawkers of TTAC’s Project Car. The surprises continue after several hundred miles under the Ford Sierra’s belt, as life with this fish out of water is […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: The Brazil Vacation, Part I http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/vellum-venom-vignette-brazil-vacation-part/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/vellum-venom-vignette-brazil-vacation-part/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:58:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=983473   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 […]

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  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 […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: 2015 Camry Regression Analysis (Part II) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/vellum-venom-vignette-2015-camry-regression-analysis-part-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/vellum-venom-vignette-2015-camry-regression-analysis-part-ii/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:19:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=929970   I was wrong about the 2015 Camry: it’s a handsome family sedan. But not for us, for the Russians.    This.  This is how you mildly refresh an existing model. Yes, Toyota made a uniquely ugly 2015 Camry for us Yankees.  They styled to the lowest common denominator (i.e. every frickin’ cliche in a modern designer’s toolkit) while the “Global” 2015 […]

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  I was wrong about the 2015 Camry: it’s a handsome family sedan. But not for us, for the Russians.    This.  This is how you mildly refresh an existing model. Yes, Toyota made a uniquely ugly 2015 Camry for us Yankees.  They styled to the lowest common denominator (i.e. every frickin’ cliche in a modern designer’s toolkit) while the “Global” 2015 […]

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Piston Slap: Why So Uncool Minivan? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-uncool-minivan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/piston-slap-uncool-minivan/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:07:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=908561   Josh writes: What is the deal with minivans? I was thinking the other day that as an outdoor person, minivan’s are perfect. They have lots of room for people and gear, AWD (in some cases), lots of roof space, and better MPG’s than an SUV. But apparently I can’t own one because they’re not […]

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  Josh writes: What is the deal with minivans? I was thinking the other day that as an outdoor person, minivan’s are perfect. They have lots of room for people and gear, AWD (in some cases), lots of roof space, and better MPG’s than an SUV. But apparently I can’t own one because they’re not […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: My Brother’s Keeper http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/vellum-venom-vignette-brothers-keeper/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/vellum-venom-vignette-brothers-keeper/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:41:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904169 Reader Request: discuss the Lincoln Mark VIII, preferably the second generation’s modest restyle. He likely didn’t care for my reply, as it follows my disapproval of the Original Testarossa versus that rolling abortion that disrespectfully ended Ferrari’s most iconic series. Then I parked beside a 2000 Mercury Sable on a fine Houston evening. Allow me […]

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Reader Request: discuss the Lincoln Mark VIII, preferably the second generation’s modest restyle. He likely didn’t care for my reply, as it follows my disapproval of the Original Testarossa versus that rolling abortion that disrespectfully ended Ferrari’s most iconic series. Then I parked beside a 2000 Mercury Sable on a fine Houston evening. Allow me […]

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Vellum Venom: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage ES http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vellum-venom-2014-mitsubishi-mirage-es/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vellum-venom-2014-mitsubishi-mirage-es/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:04:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=898658   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 […]

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  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 […]

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Vellum Venom Vignette: Cadillac’s SEAT In Ibiza http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vellum-venom-vignette-seat-ibiza/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vellum-venom-vignette-seat-ibiza/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:35:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=893250 One interesting thing about living on-campus at CCS was the precious little available to purchase within walking distance. Such is the life of a car-less design student in Metro Detroit. That’s until a friend took me to a Meijer Hypermarket in the ‘burbs: a new world of “stuff” entered my cloistered world. Cheap but nice […]

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One interesting thing about living on-campus at CCS was the precious little available to purchase within walking distance. Such is the life of a car-less design student in Metro Detroit. That’s until a friend took me to a Meijer Hypermarket in the ‘burbs: a new world of “stuff” entered my cloistered world. Cheap but nice […]

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Vellum Venom: Honda N600 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vellum-venom-honda-n600/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vellum-venom-honda-n600/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:57:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=880466 What’s the difference between car design and styling? My stint at CCS in Detroit makes me think styling is the shallow, frilly, cosmetic side of car design. Freshman designers are (were?) trained to focus on styling, but anyone integrating with marketing/accounting/engineering departments after school knows the real deal. They gotta know car design. The folly […]

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What’s the difference between car design and styling? My stint at CCS in Detroit makes me think styling is the shallow, frilly, cosmetic side of car design. Freshman designers are (were?) trained to focus on styling, but anyone integrating with marketing/accounting/engineering departments after school knows the real deal. They gotta know car design. The folly […]

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