Vellum Venom Vignette: Ghastly Entry-Level Luxury Design
Have you seen a more ghastly DLO (daylight opening) fail than the new Avalon? (note the nicely highlighted black plastic sections in the photo sent by the OP- SM)
Gather ’round the warm glow of your collective computer screens, let’s tell the tale of three Entry-Level Luxury Sedans of the year 2013 with very different DLOs. A tale with plastic triangles and fixed window panes told by me, but the ending lies at the end of the comment section.
Yes, the Avalon is pretty shameful. Note little chrome + black plastic triangle at the front of the doors, and how it has little “flow” with the top of the fender as it sweeps back to the A-pillar. But the huge plastic triangle (instead of a more logical pillar design) in the rear door; that’s a big problem.
When you make a roofline/C-pillar so long and “sweepy” (technical term, don’t try this at home) that the rear door needs a large black plastic triangle to make the window roll down, you’ve failed your DLO. Why do Entry-Level Luxury Cars suck so hard at the basics of car design?
But wait, it gets worse.
The new Lincoln MKZ, a vehicle from a brand trying to be significantly better than any Toyota, is distinctly worse in the realm of Entry-Level Luxury DLO FAIL. Why? Because it needs both the plastic triangles and fixed window panes to carry out “the look.”
Note the plastic triangle in the front, it’s a solid chrome bit that stands out far more than the Avalon. The B-pillar looks shorter/fatter/thicker relative to the rest of the body, and the rear door’s black plastic triangle area is not only large, it fights the natural, voluptuous curve of the door’s rear cutline into the quarter panel.
But that’s not enough to make it much worse than the Toyota Avalon. Behold, and click to expand:
There’s plenty of DLO fail, and yet there’s also a fixed window pane on the front door? If you’re gonna artificially extend the DLO to need a FAIL point, don’t have both a plastic triangle and a hunk of glass! To think of the money spent just to make this poseur-luxury stuff…when you could have…
Wait for it…
Indeed. The superior DLO of the 2013 Lexus ES. When Entry-Level Luxury is done right, you get one of the most popular, most appealing examples of the bunch. No stupid plastic triangles, black or chrome. And because that roof line is super sleek (too sleek, but that’s another story) Lexus spent the money to have a fixed piece of glass on the rear door. The way we’ve done car design for decades…before it was okay to mask our problems with rapid prototype’d plastic triangles.
Note to Entry-Level Lexus wannabes from all around the world: don’t cut corners in such obvious places and you might topple The King.
But still…I still yearn for a car with no triangles, no fixed window panes:
This is one of the most logical, most elegant DLOs in an Entry-Level Luxury car. Logical pillars with no plastic triangles, making elegant transitions into the door’s cut lines with the body. A roof line that doesn’t think it’s a Ferrari. And just to tell everyone else they can go suck a lemon, there’s a floating C-pillar completely encased in glass.
Replace that flying thing in the background with one of the Obama-drones and this could almost pass for a new car. What I wouldn’t give if Ford made the 1986 Sable instead of the 2013 MKZ.
And while it shared the roof and windshield (and the inner door structure) with the similarly incredible Taurus, this is how you make an Entry-Level Luxury sedan without resorting to the cheap triangles and fixed glass common in today’s badge engineered Luxury sedans.
“Out of the ordinary but not out of range” indeed.
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