AUTO DESIGN WEEK IN REVIEW 12/12/11

Today’s Auto Design Week in Review takes us around the globe.  From the recent unveilings in Tokyo, to the “other” China, from Germany to Sweden to Italy and finally to the west coast of the United States.  So grab a cup of joe, espresso, or tea and grab a crumpet, toast or bowl of changua and read the articles that interest you (and skip the ones that don’t).  Or, if you would like to see what strange things people around the world have for breakfast click this link – I wasted almost half an hour on it myself.

TOYOTA WANTS TO MAKE COOL CARS

Well the FT-86 is certainly a great start – it is cool, I would not necessarily call it beautiful.  Interesting? Definitely.  Do I want one? Of course.  But beautiful? Not really.  The Porsche Cayman is beautiful, not this.  The article in question mentions that car companies are are finally starting to pay attention to the consumers’ needs when it comes to design“.  It then uses Audi as an example and states that they are “too cold and similar to each others”.  Is it possible that the reason all Audi’s look similar is that they found a design language that works?     Read about it here.

BEAUTIFUL ELECTRIC CARS – NOT!

Speaking of beautiful I found this great article that asks the (awesome) question why aesthetics have deserted the electric car industry.  I love Anthony Ingram’s list of 5 electric car design trends that should take a hike; from glorified golf carts to my personal favorite, the “meh”.  I think he should start an online petition – I’d be happy to sign on.  If you want to see what the other 3 terrible design are, click here.

OK, HERE IS A BEAUTIFUL SEMI-ELECTRIC CAR

At least it’s not a semi-beautiful electric car.  Car and Driver has a great Q&A with Henrik Fisker this month ending with his surprise admission on what he would do different.  I am not going to divulge it here – you will have to read the interview yourself.

MY NUMBER ONE DISAGREEMENT THIS WEEK

If you ever want to start an argument, all you have to do is start a top 10 list of cars.  Doesn’t matter what the list covers, you are sure to offend someone by leaving out their favorite 1984 Pontiac Indy Fiero Pace Car.  But this week’s list of the 10 Most Adorable Car Designs from Italy has the Ferrari 308 but not the Lamborghini Miura.  Don’t believe me?  Read more here.

MY NUMBER TWO DISAGREEMENT

Want to get me upset – leave off the Miura from a list of beautiful cars.  Another way?  Get a bunch of non-designers to critique automotive design.  Why not just ask the experts.  You will have to read the article yourself to see what they came up with – 2 of the 3 I agree with.  You will have to guess which two.

THE NEW BLACK

Trends, or should I say fads, come and go.  One that has been around for a while is people’s preoccupation with black.  And here is evidence that it isn’t going away soon.  It seems that in a recent study, fully one third of used cars sold were black.  I guess black is the new black.

THE OTHER CHINA

Did you know that Taiwan had a car manufacturer?  Do you know what you get when you combine “Luxury” and “Genius”?  The answer to both is the same; Luxgen is the private brand of Yulon which makes Nissan’s under license.  Their new Luxgen5 is reviewed on Autoblog.

VOLVO P1800 REIMAGINED

Volvo’s design director Christopher Benjami recently imagined what a modern P1800 would look like.  Wanna see?

THIS WEEK’S AUTHENTICITY POST

One of my least favorite conversations with designers is when we talk about authenticity in materials.  Coming from the plastic industry you can imagine I get a little sensitive sometimes.  But my point of view has always been that plastic is a material too and has its own authenticity.  It’s nice to see an article with a couple of designers that agrees – plastic brings some great things to the table – embrace them.

Come back on Wednesday when I put together my ever popular Christmas Wish List.  Now, if I can just get my kids to read my blog!

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of CarFriend.me and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 20 years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the SCCA and spends time working on his project cars.
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