Tag: Design

By on October 13, 2021

If anybody has a soft spot for wedge designs and the automotive future envisioned during the 1970s, it’s yours truly. While mainstream vehicles being manufactured during the Malaise Era often left a lot to be desired, the concepts were sublime and led to some of the most unique-looking production cars in automotive history. I’m talking about cars like the Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit, BMW M1, De Tomaso Pantera, and DeLorean DMC-12. Toss in the digital dashboards that were gradually appearing in standard passenger cars during the 1980s and you’ve reached the point where I would probably claim automotive styling reached its zenith after a few stiff drinks. But I’ve been told by those who can distinguish fetishization from appreciation that those designs weren’t perfect and kind of look the same when there’s enough squinting is deployed.

Apparently, someone took that premise and used it as a template for a modern prototype intended to help sell shoes. Though the company focused entirely on the basic shape of wedge cars, settling on a vehicle that resembles what a Countach might have looked like in a video game from two decades ago should the assets fail to load. Known as the United Nude Lo-Res Concept Vehicle, it’s probably one of the more-unique automobiles ever built and it’s yours for the taking now that the Petersen Automotive Museum doesn’t want it.  (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2021

Kia

I got my first, in-person taste of the upcoming Kia EV6 this past weekend in Irvine, California. It was a beautiful 77-degree day spent amid rolling hills under blue, sunny skies – even the people I met were wonderful. They were tanned, attractive, “California” people who were cheerful and engaging. No matter what California sent to distract me, though, my eyes kept turning back to the EV6.

There’s simply no escaping it. The Kia EV6, especially in the matte metallic gray finish, is an incredibly good-looking car.

(Read More…)

By on September 15, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is the second vehicle in the series designed by French coachbuilder Heuliez, and was a one-off as part of a Porsche 914 styling competition.

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By on August 23, 2021

Today we wrap up our Rare Rides series on the orphan Eagle Premier (other five parts here), and discuss the boxy sedan’s important legacy at Chrysler.

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By on August 20, 2021

The fifth entry in our Rare Rides series on the Eagle Premier brings us to 1988. The Premier was newly on sale after a delayed introduction, and the company building it was not the same company that spent years designing it.

Chrysler was in charge of the Premier’s fate.

(Read More…)

By on August 19, 2021

Today is the fourth installment in our Eagle Premier series. Parts I, II, and III brought us through late 1987 when the Premier finally entered production, albeit well behind schedule.

The Renault group’s high profile chairman had been assassinated in fall 1986 by French extremists, and the company’s new chair, Raymond Lévy, was experiencing pressure from all sides.

(Read More…)

By on August 18, 2021

There’s a great scene in The Commitments where Jimmy Rabbitte, the main kid, puts an ad in his local paper to recruit talent for his band. If you’ve never seen the movie, it’s definitely worth the two-hour – a er, commitment (sorry), but that’s off-topic. Rabbitte puts out this ad, and would-be musicians knock on his door. When he opens the door, he asks them one question:  Who are your influences?

It’s a great question, isn’t it? It cuts through lots of the usual interview BS and small-talk and hand-wringing and gets right to the meat. In The Commitments, the right answers were Al Green, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding. Over at Hyundai/Kia, however, it seems like the right answers were Lancia Delta, Lancia Stratos, and Porsche 959.

What the heck is Jo talking about this time? I’m glad you asked.

(Read More…)

By on August 18, 2021

We continue our coverage today of the Eagle Premier from over 30 years ago. Parts I and II detailed the inception of the AMC-Renault joint project, and the technical aspects of what was a pretty advanced (or quirky) family sedan.

The time had come to put this all-new AMC offering on sale, but Premier arrived alongside some very unfortunate historical circumstances.

(Read More…)

By on August 17, 2021

Part I of The Eagle Premier Story covered the inception of the collaborative AMC-Renault X-58 project in 1982, and its front-drive full-size flagship goal. It was to be an all-new car to lead AMC’s North American offerings. In today’s installment, we’ll take a look at the stylish sedan’s technical details more closely.

(Read More…)

By on August 16, 2021

Lamborghini introduced the Countach LPI 800-4 over the weekend, undoubtedly hoping to rake in some of the wealth that’s been amassing in the upper echelons of society. Supposedly retailing somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million, the vehicle is effectively an Aventador with some retro-inspired bodywork with the powertrain of the new Sián.

While a 6.5-liter V12 and electric motor providing a combined maximum output of 802 horsepower is nothing to sneeze at, there was some level of expectation that the Countach design might even outdo the truly wild Sián FKP 37 Lamborghini previewed in 2019. But producing something striking is difficult when you’re simultaneously attempting to marry the concept with a 50-year-old design everyone has been fetishizing since before they were old enough to learn what that meant.  (Read More…)

By on August 16, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride combined Italian design and French running gear in a full-size sedan marketed under an all-new brand: Eagle.

It’s time for the Eagle Premier story.

(Read More…)

By on July 15, 2021

In the concluding chapter of the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen story the other day, I was asked by a frequent commenter to share some of the things I liked or would miss about the Golf now that it’s gone away. I’m thinking of those things now as I view its dealer listing, recently updated with many photos. They never did replace the cargo area trim panels, I can see the scratches from here!

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By on July 9, 2021

The appointment was made, and the Golf was in the shop for the headliner fixes and trim panel repairs after a most irritating morning appointment to trade keys. The same thoughts kept returning to mind continually, forcing me to consider a salient point: Did I want to continue with this sort of ownership experience years into the future?

Short answer? No.

(Read More…)

By on July 8, 2021

Last we left off in the Golf Sportwagen Ultimate Decision story, the appointment was set for corrections on the headliner and panel issues I’d pointed out as a result of the headliner service. A late June morning, already a hot and muggy day. Your author is seen waiting by the door.

(Read More…)

By on July 7, 2021

In our last installment of the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen saga, I’d received the Golf back with some issues after its second headliner replacement in less than two years.

Let’s pick up from there, shall we? Today is Part I of… we’ll see how many.

(Read More…)

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