Tag: Styling

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 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.

(Read More…)

By on June 8, 2021

Kia has updated the design of its Sportage to mimic the enticing angular menace that is the K5 sedan. It’s a far cry from the overtly friendly styling of the outgoing model, though appears to be working rather well. The fifth generation of the crossover digitally debuted in Korea on Tuesday and has already garnered a notable amount of praise. Though this went exclusively toward the visual updates, as there doesn’t appear to be much changing in terms of mechanical equipment.

Kia’s official release doesn’t even mention powertrains.  (Read More…)

By on July 31, 2020

“Awful” can mean a lot of things, some of them pretty benign. A car can simply a boring appliance, and to some, this makes said car awful. Others might disagree.

Other vehicles might boast many positive attributes, only to have reliability issues render them awful in the minds of many. Yet an awful car can still be a thing of beauty, in the purely physical sense. Name one. (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2020

Nothing like a nice evening drive on a warm summer’s night, streetlights whipping by as the western horizon glows with hues of peach and lavender. Yessir, there’s nothing like some leisurely motoring. And what’s that up ahead?

Oh, an FJ Cruiser, Toyota’s answer to the retro craze sweeping the industry back in the early to middle 2000s. Big ol’ thing, it was — and thirsty, too. Kept its resale value, though, but certainly not its initial sales prowess. That thing’s popularity dwindled faster than inhibitions at a kegger.

Will a time ever come when automakers again dive into retro with such ferocity, I wondered? (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2020

g20.bimmerpost.com

An abundance of fragrant pollen in your author’s neighborhood has led to increasing sinus distress over the past few days, but he wouldn’t trade places with the upcoming BMW M4 for a second. No, sir. Not with those flared nostrils.

Leaked to the internet via the g20.bimmerpost forum, the muscled-up sibling to the 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe unveiled this week takes that car’s already controversial front-end treatment to new extremes, confirming what we already expected. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2020

hyundai

It seems potentially controversial front end treatments are today’s theme. After teasing its upcoming Santa Fe last week, Hyundai let it all out on Tuesday, debuting a wildly different fascia with which to temp buyers on the hunt for an “ultimate family adventure vehicle.”

If you’re not up on your corporate marketing-speak, that’s how Hyundai refers to its popular midsize crossover. Despite bowing in fourth-generation form in mid-2018, the Santa Fe rolls into 2021 with a new platform in tow, begging to be noticed — not that it already wasn’t. (Read More…)

By on May 27, 2020

Refreshed and technologically updated, the BMW 5 Series maintains a familiar powertrain lineup for 2021, albeit with a few adjustments that reflect the company’s environmental proclamations.

Just because buyers choose green doesn’t mean they shun horsepower, and just because buyers are willing to add some electrification to their life, doesn’t mean they want to feel it. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2020

hyundai

Hyundai apparently feels that boasting the freshest faces in the industry will help it woo the American buying public. With a full stable of crossovers now realized, it’s not a terrible strategy.

Just two model years after its debut, the midsize Santa Fe crossover (which replaced the Santa Fe Sport and necessitated a name change for the existing, larger Santa Fe to Santa Fe XL before that model’s metamorphosis into the less confusingly named Palisade) stands to gain a fairly radical new front end design. (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2020

nissan

Almost every day I go for a walk that takes me up the hill behind my apartment. And on that route, I pass by a black, base model Nissan Kicks parked in my neighbor’s driveway. A value special, for sure, and one with a decent amount of attributes — its starting price being topmost among them.

In a country far, far away, Nissan just introduced an altogether different Kicks, and at least one part of it should make its way stateside. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2020

Last night’s online conversation about bad General Motors vehicles wasn’t the first of its kind, and it’ll surely not be the last. More important than restful sleep, wee-hours back-and-forths about rattly but somehow indestructible GM J-bodies are an important part of staying sane as lockdown measures remain in place on both sides of the Detroit River.

Naturally, thoughts of Cavalier soon turned to CALAIS, and from there to an aspect of that particular era that’s always bothered yours truly: rooflines. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2020

Ever been to a party where the most interesting person wasn’t the life of the room, but the quiet person in the corner, calmly — perhaps a little shyly — sipping their drink and taking in all the things occurring before them?

Vehicle designers seem like that person. The braggadocious CEOs and upper-level execs can have their carefully scripted buzzwords and future-minded visions of a soulless future filled with robot cars and never not working, but a designer will want to talk about emotion. A feeling. A simple pleasure. A small feature with outsized importance.

Jaguar’s design boss likes to talk about those things, but he’s not afraid to raise the errors of the past. (Read More…)

By on March 20, 2020

In this time of stress, fear, and uncertainty, please forgive the gendered headline, online Millennials. It applies to all genders.

Having said that, this week’s release of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, a bread-and-butter product for the Korean brand, got this author thinking about design. Specifically, the decisions taken by design teams between major styling revamps. (Read More…)

By on March 9, 2020

 

2021 Ford Bronco Sport

Ford’s effort to generate two streams of customers for its Escape compact crossover by splitting the model into two nameplates, each with a distinct persona, is well underway, with the brawnier of the two bound for an April debut.

Unofficially, that debut is today, as leaked images have hit the web of an unclothed Bronco Sport, aka “Baby Bronco.” (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2020

While prophecies have a habit of coming true in films and books, they rarely come to pass here in reality. Sadly, this will probably be the case with Hyundai’s new concept EV — appropriately named the Prophecy.

Responding to a voicemail left by the God of Electrification, Hyundai has moved on what is arguably one of the best-looking concept designs since the 1938 Phantom Corsair. Black, minimalist and extremely retro-futuristic, both cars rely almost entirely on the long lines of the respective aerodynamic shells to make an impression, with small details providing additional, attention-grabbing flourishes.

Hyundai says the timeless design was intentional, yet it still manages to adhere to the brand’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design philosophy. Truth be told, we’ve had a difficult time finding a common theme among its latest concepts. Some are all angles (45 Concept) while others are all about smooth curves (Le Fil Rouge Concept). The only real through line seems to be that they all look rather good wherever they’re displayed. (Read More…)

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