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 as much a matter of aerodynamics as it is what’s under the hood, and aerodynamic efficiency isn’t just about fenders and trunk lids.
Which brings me to wheels – specifically, OEM wheels – and how absolutely ugly they’ve gotten the last few years.
Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares.
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?), today’s cars are still a complex assortment of controls that vary greatly from one make and model to the next.
TTAC commenter MrFixit1599 writes about a recent Chrysler 200 rental:
At a red light, I decide to turn the fan off for the A/C. I didn’t notice a change at the time, but then the light turned green. I attempted to accelerate. The car would not move. I assumed I had forgotten to shift back to S. Turns out, when I went to rotate the knob to turn the fan off for the A/C, I actually rotated the knob for the transmission and put the car in P. As in Park. At an intersection with a green light showing. And me not going anywhere. Just sitting there revving the engine.
(photo courtesy: seadoo2006 @ forums.fourtitude.com)
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 lights coming on for no good reason. Help me understand please.
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…)
“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 far from a compromise. (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…
I was wrong about the 2015 Camry: it’s a handsome family sedan. But not for us, for the Russians. (Read More…)
1972 Ford Carousel (photo courtesy: forum.chryslerminivan.net)
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 cool. I could get a wagon though. Isn’t a minivan just a super-sized wagon?
Will minivans ever be cool to own?