Tag: Design

By on November 12, 2019

Kia

A decade — isn’t that hard to believe? — after the debut of the radically styled third-generation Kia Optima, the automaker has another salvo waiting to launch against midsize boredom. Trailing its equally daring 2020 Hyundai Sonata sibling by a model year, the revamped 2021 Optima ditches the downgraded clothes that appeared in its closet for 2016.

Like Hyundai, Kia feels that style is its best bet to capture attention — and buyers — as the midsize sedan market contracts. (Read More…)

By on November 8, 2019

Image: Ford/YouTube

We’re a pretty non-judgemental bunch here at TTAC, and that goes double for our readers. And yet it’s sometimes hard to keep those opinions bottled up deep inside, where unexpressed feelings can wreak havoc on health and marriages.

This is why the most talked-out vehicle vehicle in autodom right now, one that sees its public debut on Nov. 17, is worthy of your scrutiny. It’s the Mach E, or something like that — Ford’s upcoming electric crossover.

How much Mustang do you see? (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2019

In last Wednesday’s Question of the Day post, we discussed vehicles ruined by the facelifts foisted upon them by their manufacturers. This week we will flip the question around and consider the most successful examples of automotive nip/tucks; the ones subtle enough to look great, yet noticeable enough to catch a second glance.

(Read More…)

By on October 24, 2019

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - Image: Chevrolet

The heart is a strange animal. One day, it despises something, but give it time and you’ll one day  find yourself enjoying something you once turned up your nose at. It happens in the kitchen, the voting booth, and hell, maybe even the bedroom.

As human beings, our individual tastes, preferences, and ideologies evolve slowly over the span of many years, just as the societal trappings around us cast off old clothes for a new wardrobe. Architecture, music, and automotive styling, to name a few examples. Sometimes it doesn’t take long to correct past styling mistakes and light a fire in a person’s heart; other times, it takes many generations of vehicle before an automaker bakes a cake you’d actually want to eat.

What’s one car model you once hated, but now can’t wait to own? (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2019

Image: BimmerPost

A photo supposedly taken on a BMW factory floor and uploaded to BimmerPost appears to show a production-ready passenger car with a face only a mother could love.

It’s no secret that BMW’s signature kidney grille has expanded in recent years, first touching in the middle before heading downward for extra acreage. It’s part of the automaker’s attempt at simple yet bold vehicle design, and it seems to be working. For better or worse, they’re getting noticed. And it will certainly be difficult not to notice this Bimmer’s snout when it rolls into a dealer or driveway near you. (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2019

Today marks the final entry in our Question of the Day series discussing bad sporty car design from the Nineties. So far we’ve covered America and Europe, and we now finish up with poor sports car designs from Japan. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2019

Image: Mazda/YouTube

No one predicted this! Scratch that — everyone and their mother predicted this, because to craft a brand’s first electric vehicle as anything other than a family-friendly crossover would seem foolish in today’s market. Sorry, Lexus.

In the lead-up to this week’s Tokyo Motor Show debut, Mazda has given us our best glimpse yet of its new EV. (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

On last Wednesday’s Question of the Day post, we began our examination of terrible styling on sporty cars of the 1990s. First up was America, and the oft-fiddled Mercury Cougar. This week we turn our attention to Europe, and sporty designs from across the ocean that didn’t quite work.

(Read More…)

By on October 15, 2019

No one really expected electric pickup trucks to take off as a concept, save for the people developing them. While EVs still need to improve their maximum range to truly surpass combustion-reliant vehicles, modern examples perform much better than their predecessors. But battery size and vehicle weight remain important issues for the segment, making the idea of an electric work vehicle seem about as useful as an edible diaper.

Then the concepts started arriving, sucking far less than most of us expected. There were loads of new ideas, like interesting storage solutions and auxiliary power ports for tools — all stemming from electrification. What’s more is that the vehicle itself seems like it could benefit from the instant torque and lower center of gravity furnished by electric powertrains. Battery packs can also be made larger (improving range), as pickups have more areas to stash cells without intruding into the passenger compartment. Maybe this wasn’t a dumb idea after all.

Ford and General Motors have both confirmed the development of electric pickups, with the former currently running prototypes. Meanwhile, Rivian and Bollinger have already shown off their designs. EV darling Tesla had a truck it wanted to debut over the summer, but the model saw its release pushed back. Now, CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the vehicle will emerge next month.  (Read More…)

By on October 11, 2019

bmw

For years now, we’ve watched as the average car/crossover grille has expanded faster than that aunt you got divorced in her 20s and never settled down (the same can be said for a man; don’t send us letters.)

Now, as vehicle grilles — once declared nearly extinct in the Taurus/Sable/Intrepid/Crown Vic era ⁠— reach their zenith, the mind turns to an obvious question: What comes next? You’ve watched on these pages as Toyota and Lexus attempted to swallow galaxies with their gaping front openings. Now, BMW is eager to swallow what’s left. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2019

There’s little doubt that BMW’s design language, at least since the dawn of the 21st century, reflects the prevailing culture of the day. In the 2000s, the brand’s Chris Bangle-penned cars hosted all the eye glitter and booty action a viewer could handle, perfect for an era in which My Humps became an unlikely top hit.

Fast-forward a decade, and the designs of Bangle’s protege, Adrian van Hooydonk, are a perfect representation of today’s social media-led outrage culture. Big, gaping mouths screaming into a void filled with other, equally prominent mouths. We’re in the age of the big mouth, drowning in the polarization that rises in its wake, but van Hooydonk has no intention of reeling in Bimmer’s ever-expanding grilles anytime soon. (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2019

Image: 1989 Chevrolet Beretta GTULast week, we wrapped up a trio of posts about the best sporty car designs of the Nineties from around the world. Today we venture into the darker depths of the same subject. First up are the bad designs American manufacturers proffered during the decade.

(Read More…)

By on October 7, 2019

Volkswagen has revealed an updated R logo that it says will still symbolize performance while also representing the brand’s “fresh start” — its refocus on electric vehicles, rather than the diesel ones that got it into trouble back in 2015.

VW similarly rejiggered is brand’s main logo, eliminating its three-dimensional aspects for a streamlined version highly reminiscent of the symbol used through the 1970s, debuting the new (old?) design at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. But the R’s transformation has resulted in something entirely novel, abandoning the leftmost vertical line in favor of an abstracted representation of the letter.

However, tweaking the visuals of a single character doesn’t have much meaning in itself. All we really care about is whether or not the R badge will still denote the maximum performance available from various VW models. (Read More…)

By on October 2, 2019

We return to our Nineties sports car design discussion this week. Previously, we covered America and Europe; this week we end on the continent which arguably provided the broadest variety of excellent car design in the decade — Asia.

(Read More…)

By on September 26, 2019

Lincoln

The man tapped to replace former Lincoln Design Director David Woodhouse is someone whose hands have guided the shape and curves of numerous recent Ford and Lincoln products.

As reported by Automotive News, Lincoln Motor Company’s chief designer, Kemal Curic, will replace the Nissan-bound Woodhouse. Having led design work on the new Aviator and upcoming Corsair and brushed aside competitors to win the job of crafting the 2015 Ford Mustang, Curic is an obvious choice for the job. (Read More…)

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