What's Wrong With This Picture: Receding Hairline Edition
Panoramic windscreens are something of a building trend in Europe’s premium-ish small car segments, combining the benefits of a sunroof with improved visibility. GM debuted the concept as a rarely-chosen option on the previous-generation Astra three-door, and it’s coming back with the forthcoming Astra GTC. Which raises an interesting question: since I’m convinced the GTC will come to the US as a Buick coupe, will this funky look come across the pond as well? Bob Lutz emphasized his preference for “glowering” low rooflines, telling TTAC that an early version of the forthcoming Cadillac ATS looked like “a kid with too large of a forehead” before he told designers to bring down the browline. Will an exception be made for this unique (to the US Market) feature on what should be one of GM’s most purely European cars? Or will Lutz’s aesthetic tastes doom GM buyers to observing traffic lights out of their side windows? Is this an option that other automakers should consider making available?
Back in the late 70's Buick offered the Skyhawk which was version of the Chevy Monza hatch with a fixed glass roof. Back in the early 80's I saw a nice one for sale w/3.8 V6 most options The roof had a crack in it. I think moisture got in between the panels and caused it to crack. Malase era quality though it did not leak. The price of a replacement panel made me shy away.
Last year I had a Citroen Picasso C4 with the panoramic windshield. It has a sliding visor in addition to being tinted, so you don't get very hot. I would think the negative side would be weight and cost BUT unless you drive one of these you cannot imagine how fantastic it is to have this visibility. We were joking about the F-16 feel of what was a seven-passenger minivan! I definitely want this feature on my next car. However, Ford has offered it on the Mustang for a few years but after an excellent initial take-up, buyers have not ordered it so much. I understand Ford is now putting it on other vehicles and is delighted by the nice profit. I think the Flex and new Explorer have it as options.
What's Wrong with this Picture?? How 'bout the fact that one of Europe's best small cars is coming over here as A BUICK, GM's grandpa division. You could paint it Go-Man-Go and give it a kick-ass turbo four banger and the fact alone that its marketed as a Buick will kill it.
I don't like that car, and I don't like Lutz's ideas. I see no benefit to a sunroof and refuse to buy one. What we really need is to leave the roof line alone and lower the belt line so that there is more visibility to the road in all directions. Too many cars/SUVs have huge blind spots, and other drivers can't see through them because the windows are designed to be stylish instead of functional.