Vellum Venom Vignette: The Brazil Vacation, Part III

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
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vellum venom vignette the brazil vacation part iii

A Fashionable Savior for the Budget Minded?

Rio is full of beauty: beaches, gorgeous people on said beaches, delicious caipirinhas served beachside andwait for ita 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 and affixing the mirror directly to the coachwork. Hailing a DLO FAIL free cab in Rio portends to an honesty that all machines need.

Indeed, the first generation Dacia/Renault Logan is a respectable design, bargain basement budget and lack of snob-appeal aside. The redesigned Logan avoids DLO FAIL even better, proving that some designs improve over time.

But there’s no shame in owning a last-gen Logan in Rio. To the contrary, it makes you an object of desire: you have a car and maybe even a place to park it!

Not all is perfect, as this Renault Duster shows. The “footprint” of DLO FAIL is present on the fender. Without that black plastic triangle of super-cheat, it’s clear why a poor meeting of door/fender/a-pillar is a problem in car design.

Implementing the Logan’s footprint-free stamping would clean things up. On the cheap!

Similarly, the 2008-12 Renault Sandero Stepway needed a good Logan-izing around the A-pillar to eliminate DLO FAIL in a low-budget redesign.

I know the photo quality disappoints, but I’m not hanging around to get mugged: photos are quick, walking down the street is done with purpose. Ish.

It’s amazing how the wedgy and minimalist 1980s Fiat Uno(?) looks so out of date compared to modern hatchbacks, even with its “fail-free” daylight opening.

The new Peugeot 208 has a unique take on A-pillar DLO FAIL, pinching it down to accentuate the roof line’s inherent speed. (too bad about the colossal C-pillar FAIL) It’s not horrible, relative to its place in the world of pointless black triangles: we’d be lucky to get this in the States.

Speaking of, Honda’s horrible design failure ( a glass DLO extension and a plastic triangle) made itself known in Rio: reminding us that pricier machines (relative to the Logan) aren’t necessarily a better design.

But don’t take my word for it, Marcelo de Vasconcellos agrees… he drove it!

Marcelo suggests it’s an Engineer’s car, not a Designer’s car. Not true: like the beauty of affordable housing from post-WWI to today, the Renault Logan looks good (well, good enough) and doesn’t resort to stupid car design cliches to win buyers around the world.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely week.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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3 of 35 comments
  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on Jan 31, 2015

    Looking at that Durango pic again, I think that if the side was smooth without the gigantic lips around the wheel cutouts, the front edge of the door could be far enough forward to come straight up to the A pillar. Or else the door edge could go straight down from the A pillar to the lip, then detour along the edge to the bottom as is done on many cab-forward trucks.

  • Richard Richard on Feb 01, 2015

    Take a look at the 1995 E-class A-pillar. They didn't use a cheater panel and it looks very poor. The problem is related to the difficulty in resolving the junction of the large radius of the wing and the much smaller one of the a-pillar. The next car is also poor and I think the lack of a mirror sail panel looks cheap on such a costly vehicle. The DLO fail depends on the class of car. An undorned one is appropriate for low cost cars and less so on pricier vehicles. Good thread, might I say, with some insightful comments.

    • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Feb 02, 2015

      Agreed, that E-class needed a "more form fitting" side view mirror. A mirror with a larger footprint would fill in the area nicely. It would not be a DLO Fail, even if it's still kinda cheap by 1990s luxury car standards.

  • Lorenzo A union in itself doesn't mean failure, collective bargaining would mean failure.
  • Ajla Why did pedestrian fatalities hit their nadir in 2009 and overall road fatalities hit their lowest since 1949 in 2011? Sedans were more popular back then but a lot of 300hp trucks and SUVs were on the road starting around 2000. And the sedans weren't getting smaller and slower either. The correlation between the the size and power of the fleet with more road deaths seems to be a more recent occurrence.
  • Jeff_M It's either a three on the tree OR it's an automatic. It ain't both.
  • Lorenzo I'm all in favor of using software and automation to BUILD cars, but keep that junk off my instrument panel, especially the software enabled interactive junk. Just give me the knobs and switches so I can control the vehicle, with no interconnectivity of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts Modern cars detach people from their speed too much. The combination of tall ride height, super-effective sound insulation, massive power, and electronic aids makes people quite unaware of just how much kinetic energy is nominally under their control while they watch a movie on their phone with one hand and eat a Quarter Pounder with the other. I think that is the primary reason we are seeing an uptick in speed-related fatalities, especially among people NOT in cars.With that said, I don't think Americans have proven responsible enough to have unlimited speed in cars. Although I'd hate it, I still would support limiters that kick in at 10 over in the city and 20 over on the freeway, because I think they would save more than enough lives to be worth the pain.