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I agree with 80s Optimus, yet we are looking for something new and also in consumer products nowadays we still see simple forms but often augmented with textures, patterns and other features to make them more dynamic, say more in the spotlight. The Ford GT90 is probably the best example and one of the most realistically future-forward concepts of all time - it has simplicity, it has beauty, it has power. Mix that kind of design thinking with lightweight and electric technologies of today and I think we will have much better car designs.
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby engelhjs » April 18th, 2017, 11:32 am


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ralphzoontjens wrote:I agree with 80s Optimus, yet we are looking for something new and also in consumer products nowadays we still see simple forms but often augmented with textures, patterns and other features to make them more dynamic


I agree but only with respect to modern product design. I think modern exterior auto design (of production cars, mind you) is missing out by focusing almost solely on one type of sculptural form and visual complexity, eschewing the infinite number of possibilities that something as complex as a car exterior offers. In contrast, take a look at some of the newer interiors making their way to the market. You see a lot of creativity in form, material, and space. Most importantly, though, you see variety.
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby Mr-914 » April 19th, 2017, 6:44 am

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Chris Bangle said in an interview that they only really have +/- 1.5cm space to be sculptural and meet the cost/aerodynamic efficiency that is demanded in contemporary cars. Therefore, they might not have quite the freedom that we think.
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby mo-i » April 20th, 2017, 8:18 am

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Shanghai Auto Show this week. More "culprits":

https://www.motor1.com/auto-show/shangh ... -show/?p=4

Only one bucking the trend is TESLA of all cars. Go figure.

It will be interesting to see, if anyone brings on the Marc Newson Sedan now. It still looks fresh against all that visual noise.

One more aspect: We have an explosion of new brands and model lines on the car world market. Anyone seen a research over this? I'D guess the number of different models must have risen threefold atleast, thus creating pressure on every design decision to create "individuality". The usual reaction to the difficulty of being heard in an overcrowded market is to shout...

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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby Cyberdemon » April 20th, 2017, 8:32 am

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Mr-914 wrote:Chris Bangle said in an interview that they only really have +/- 1.5cm space to be sculptural and meet the cost/aerodynamic efficiency that is demanded in contemporary cars. Therefore, they might not have quite the freedom that we think.


Don't forget things like pedestrian impact testing (which drove the front of the cars up), DOT regulations which require headlight/taillight positions, platform impact (shared chassis hardpoints to reduce costs), etc.

Not to say beautiful cars don't exist, but the ability to think outside the box is pretty tough. Besides, these days everybody wants SUV's so the investment into beautiful looking cars is more for nostalgia then profits at the moment. Porsche (a sports car company) sells 2 Macan/Cayennes for every 911/boxster/cayman.

Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby slippyfish » April 21st, 2017, 11:15 am

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Favorites lately are the Volvo XC90 - it whispers 'scandinavian' with the combination of the right linear details and restraint - the little Jag coupe, and that Mazda 6 or the SUV variant. Best executed surfacing on the freeway today, among the mass-market offerings.

Audi has lost its way with the current lineup. Remains to be seen if their new design chief can reinvigorate their look.

Being in Seattle its a felony to crap on Subaru, but god-d*** every time I look at an Outback I imagine one designer being responsible for the side view, and another for the rear.

The M-B sedan that was shown at Shanghai was notable for its lack of 'creases' (their words). Still has a good stance for a little car.

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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby engelhjs » April 21st, 2017, 12:29 pm


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slippyfish wrote:Favorites lately are the Volvo XC90 - it whispers 'scandinavian' with the combination of the right linear details and restraint - the little Jag coupe, and that Mazda 6 or the SUV variant. Best executed surfacing on the freeway today, among the mass-market offerings.

Audi has lost its way with the current lineup. Remains to be seen if their new design chief can reinvigorate their look.

Being in Seattle its a felony to crap on Subaru, but god-d*** every time I look at an Outback I imagine one designer being responsible for the side view, and another for the rear.

The M-B sedan that was shown at Shanghai was notable for its lack of 'creases' (their words). Still has a good stance for a little car.


Right with you there. All of the new slew of Volvos starting with the XC90 are gorgeous (a V90 Cross Country would probably be my "what if money was no option" choice these days.) Seeing the recent not-quite-production concepts from Audi (E-Tron, Q4, Q8) I've pretty much lost all faith in them. One or two generations ago they were a paragon of bold simplicity. Now they're jumping on the lines-all-over-the-place bandwagon, too. And Subaru...yeah. It turns out it's possible for something to be simultaneously a mess and boring as hell.
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby Cyberdemon » April 21st, 2017, 12:32 pm

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That New MB feels like a Jr designer got his hand on some Sub-D modeling software and said "look heres a car". Bleh - not that the current CLA isn't also a frumpy weird thing also. With that said the AMG GT doesn't have a hard line on it, and it's phenomenal.

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Seeing the couple new gorgeous MB photos here reminds me that the darkest hour precedes the dawn.

Afterward, there should be a war crimes tribunal for the designers responsible for the atrocities of the past decade.

Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby yo » April 22nd, 2017, 9:40 pm

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slippyfish wrote:Favorites lately are the Volvo XC90 - it whispers 'scandinavian' with the combination of the right linear details and restraint - the little Jag coupe, and that Mazda 6 or the SUV variant. Best executed surfacing on the freeway today, among the mass-market offerings.

Audi has lost its way with the current lineup. Remains to be seen if their new design chief can reinvigorate their look.

Being in Seattle its a felony to crap on Subaru, but god-d*** every time I look at an Outback I imagine one designer being responsible for the side view, and another for the rear.

The M-B sedan that was shown at Shanghai was notable for its lack of 'creases' (their words). Still has a good stance for a little car.

Image



I think Mercedes caught the next trend early. They are on it. I think they passes Audi and BMW by with the latest line up. The new C class is very nice, the new S class coupe is fantastic, the AMG GT I would give my left arm for (not the right, I need that to draw)...

Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby Brian_Donlin » April 23rd, 2017, 11:45 am


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yo wrote:I think Mercedes caught the next trend early. They are on it. I think they passes Audi and BMW by with the latest line up. The new C class is very nice, the new S class coupe is fantastic, the AMG GT I would give my left arm for (not the right, I need that to draw)...

How exactly do you define this "trend"? I agree that they're beautiful vehicles, but I don't really see how they're all that different from the overly complex design being criticized in this thread.

Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby yo » April 23rd, 2017, 11:59 am

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Really? They are much softer and more simple. Compare that AMG GT to any Lexus... or even Audi. The concave form that trails off the front wheel well caries nicely on the A class, B Class, CLA, GLA, C Class, E Class, and S Class... thought the new concept A doesn't have it nor does the GT.

In general I would characterize the shift in their design language as having fewer lines and the lines flow longer from front to back vs the choppy start stops that characterize the current trend. I think they are doing it well enough, and consistently enough that they are pushing the industry back the other way the way Audi did in the late 90's early 2000's, not as dramatically Bauhaus of course, but more in a flowing sculptural way.

i think it would be hard for me to buy the brand, just because the associations I have with it as a 40 something, but I could see that changing in the next few years for me, especially if Audi doesn't rebound their design language.
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby yo » April 23rd, 2017, 12:03 pm

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Also, I would drive this concept A sedan. Other than the headlight details, I love it.
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby yo » April 23rd, 2017, 12:05 pm

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Cyberdemon wrote:That New MB feels like a Jr designer got his hand on some Sub-D modeling software and said "look heres a car".


Designers said the same thing about this in the late 90s:
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Re: Modern car design is bumming me out

Postby Brian_Donlin » April 23rd, 2017, 3:07 pm


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yo wrote:Really? They are much softer and more simple. Compare that AMG GT to any Lexus... or even Audi. The concave form that trails off the front wheel well caries nicely on the A class, B Class, CLA, GLA, C Class, E Class, and S Class... thought the new concept A doesn't have it nor does the GT.

In general I would characterize the shift in their design language as having fewer lines and the lines flow longer from front to back vs the choppy start stops that characterize the current trend. I think they are doing it well enough, and consistently enough that they are pushing the industry back the other way the way Audi did in the late 90's early 2000's, not as dramatically Bauhaus of course, but more in a flowing sculptural way.

Ok, I do agree with you there. I see the simplification and softening, but it's only an incremental change, in my opinion. Is that just the nature of automotive design trends?j

To me it looks like Audi and Lexus aren't that far off from MB:

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