American Taxi…..View of American city

Yellow Cab_Ford Crown Victoria

Yellow Cab Ford Crown Victoria……This is done by Photoshop on top of the other photo below.

When you go  to American cities, you will always see Yellow Cabs everywhere.

It is a part of American culture and also a part of American Landscape.

They have been using American Full size sedan for many years and lately it was monopoly of Ford Crow Victoria.

American cars are different from rest of the world. They are bigger and feel like cruise almost like land yacht.

For most of tourist, they will be the first American car to experience.

But, Ford Crown Victoria is already withdrawn and now, Toyota is now slowly taking over the position.

Yellow Cab_Ford Crown Victoria

Yellow Cab…..Toyota  Prius

If you compare those 2 photos……the first one with Ford looks way better than the one with Toyota.

Today, it is getting harder to take Street photos in the United States. This is because of Imports especially Japanese cars. Like this example, The same street photo looks way better or more America like….with the Ford Crown Victoria.

Yellow Cab will slowly get rid of old American and shift to Japanese…..that is destroying culture and landscape of America too.

Car Design _ C-Pillar….the key point of Car Design

Chevrolet Caprice _ Front

Design of Chevrolet Caprice
In 1990, brand new Chevrolet Caprice arrived to the market with completely new body shape.

In the traditional market, the excentric rounded shape was not popular and that was how all the traditional American car users shifted to Ford.

Chevrolet Caprice _RearWhat you think today? Well…..still ugly…..I feel exactly the same way as when I first saw over 20 years ago.

The sloppy fat ugly body shape was also called ” Beached whale ” at that time.

I think the biggest problem is the shape of ” C-Pillar“.

Buick Roadmastar _ Front

This is Buick Roadmaster which is brother of Caprice and came out 1 year later.
Although it is sharing most of the body shape, this looks way better.

Buick Roadmaster _ Rear

More aggressive grill design, wide tail lamps which is tradition of Buick…..and the biggest point is the C-pillar.

Chevrolet Caprice _Rear _  Photoshop

Let’s try some experiment. I matched up Buick Roadmaster’s C-pillar to Chevrolet Caprice by Adobe Photoshop!!

What’s a beautiful car …..!!

Obviously it is telling how important the design of C-Pillar !

Chevrolet Caprice_ Front_ Photoshop

Chevrolet Caprice struggled in the market back then it was simply because of the sloppy design. But look at this! This is even better than Ford Crown Victoria.

Chevrolet Caprice_ Photoshop 2

I tweaked around tail lamp on this image and it even looks more respectable.

My experiment is telling how important the “C-Pillar” shape is. And this could kill entire body shape as well.

But today, lots of designers are not very careful around this area. That is the reason lots of cars look like melting down like this old Caprice.

Car Design _ Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Car Design _ Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Original photo of Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Original photo of Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Bentley used to be owned by Rolls-Royce and were more personal and sportier character compare to Rolls Royce.

In 1999, Volks Wagen took over Rolls Royce…..but they failed to purchase RR brand although they took over all the company. That was how VW started to make Bentley instead of RR.

But for VW which is famous massproduction company, the traditional Rolls Royce twin were not their taste.

So, in 2003, they started selling Bentley Continental GT….which share the main components with Volkswagen Phaeton, Then, Continental Flying Spur is 4 door sedan version of Continental GT.

Tell the truth….this design looks “fancy KIA” to me.

Bentley tried to get out of traditional Rolls Royce platform and so as its design. They just tried to be more sporty or something.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

What is the problem of this design?

But, to me it is missing the balance a bit around the C pillar which I marked with Red circle.  This part is extremely important cor car design.

This is the one I gave some modification by Adobe Photoshop.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur _ Modified design

Bentley Continental Flying Spur _ Modified design

  • I modified the shape of C pillar. I did not touch the roof line…just the shape of rear door. That will make more stayable more luxurious but could be a bit less sporty…
  • Another point is Chrome side male.

Side mole is extremely important for car design…but these days lots of designers don’ t know because very few cars have those today.

The original one looks a bit too low and that is making it look taller and heavier. That will work for Rolls Royce….but to me, I prefer to be a bit higher as mime shows.

Bentley is Luxury car and also at the same time, it is sporty too. This way, it will look a bit hard to do….but, no worry, all you have to do is follow the basics of car design.

Always those to I talked has been extremely important and even in 21st century too.

Car Design _ Acura NSX

Acura NSX

Car Design: Acura NSX

When  Acura NSX was first introduced in Tokyo Motor Show 1989, that was exciting news for all Japanese people.

Those days, already Japanese cars were considered as best quality cars….but at the same time, they were always dull and boring looking too.

Lexus LS400 or Acure NSX…..they are considered as first achievement to be the “World class prestige”.

By the way, How do you think this style from the point of today? I thought it was really beautiful when I saw at 89 show…..but at that time, my English teacher(American) said it needed more charactor. Well….he was right.

So now, I am explaining this design.

Well….it does look a bit like Ferrari or something….but it does not look as powerful or as stable as Ferrari….why is it?

Acura NSX from sideFirst of all it is better to check the side view.

It looks really weak around rear wheel arch. There is too much empty space between rear hatch and spoiler.  It makes it look like nearly falling down.

It also has imbalance between small cabin and long wheel base.
I guess the biggest problem is the shape of the center pillar I marked by red circle.

Acura NSX side view_ modified

Acura NSX with modified center pillar

I just tilted the pillar backward instead of tilting forward. In that case, I had to shift the rear hatch to backward too.

But look at the difference !! Only that shifted the mass of the design and made it much more stable.

This car has another problem. It has completely no space behind the front seats. When you are dating on this car, it is quite annoying because you got to carry everything on your lap, the floor or on your girlfriend…..when you are driving!

But with this improvement, that will create some extra space behind seat.

I always say “Beautiful designs are practical too.” or “Practical designs are beautiful”.

Acura NSX side_modified 2

Acura NSX with modified center pillar + short tail

Tell the truth, I was still thinking the rear end is a bit too long.

Those days, they thought it was good to have long tail for aerodynamics and also created luggage space which can carry golf bag….those 2 reasons made the tail so long.

In this picture, I shortened the rear a little bit from the previous one.
If I only talk about the design, I will choose the last one….but the previous one has reasonable luggage space at rear….maybe, that is the best balance.

Car Design Clinic…..Infiniti M….Japanese Aston Martin???

When I was skimming American car magazine “Road & Track” , I saw a very impressive design sketch on an Ad. of Infiniti ( luxury brand of Nissan).

I was surprised about Nissan having such a capable designer….Look at this….such a simple, strong and elegant line….!

At least, I am not impressed about Nissan design at all especially past 10 years. GT-R, Skyline etc……they even can’t design RWD large coupe which supposed to be easier.

Look at this line…….at least I can say it is way better than their proud GT-R.

But, when it come to product…..what we get is this……

Such a disappointing…..First of all, I don’t understand why they used this line for 4 door sedan? It is for 2 door coup line.

Original simple line has gone and too many curvy lines are fighting each other…….

To make it adjust to 4 door, they had to lift up the roof line and that completely destroyed the balance.

I always say “roof line to C pillar is the key point of car design”.

  • When they started thinking about space utility, they had to lift up the front windshield and that destroyed the harmony between the body to roof line.
  • Then, they just lifted up whole the roof line without much thinking.

For try, I merged the photo of Infiniti M and the Image sketch. It was surprising……the body line except for the roof completely much to the first rough sketch!!

Also matching with the body of Infiniti M and the roof line from sketch is perfect!!

It does look like Aston Martin or something…..!

This means the body design is not that bad…..just matching with the roof line is not good.
At least I can see Nissan still have designers……but maybe they don’ t have a good environment to do what they can do.

They should have used this image sketch for GT-R or Skyline 2 door coupe.

Simply, I don’t like Nissan’s design especially after Carlos Ghosn started to control Nissan.

Car Design Clinic…2010 Ford Mustang

This type of Mustang first came out in 2005. The biggest point was…..its Retro style…The design team just gave up their own style and tried to copy successful 64 original Mastang.

My honest opinion was….that was exactly same as what I thought about Camaro later on “Big fat ugly pig!”

As I said about Camaro, difficult point about Retro style is….how to go through model change.

Mustang went through minor change for 2010 model. How did they change?

At least they modified around ugly wheel arch and looks a bit more certificated style…..but still It looks “heavy” to me.

I don’t understand why modern Americans got such a High belt line. That make it look heavy and clumsy.

Also for any car design, positioning between wheel and wheel arch…..that is extremely important. It is also including wheel size.

I will say American people are very bad about that. This is exactly the same as Camaro.

There is too much space between wheel and wheel arch and it make the body look floating in the air….instead of looking stable.

On this image,

  • Belt line has been lowered down to make it slimmer.
  • Reduced gap between wheel & wheel arch.

And more…..what I don’t like this car is….the angle of front windshield.

American people simply think leaning windshield is cool……actually, that is badly spoiling the space utility as well. I just don’t like top end of windshield comes right in front of my forehead.

I am only 5.8ft tall and 146lb…..I am not big at all and just feel cramped  especially around forehead and side way. At the same time, head clearance is too much…..

On this one I lifted front windshield a bit….but it still does not affect much on design and will increase space utility.

Original Mustang was not only sporty, but also practical and fashionable….that was the reason it was that popular.

During the last 4 decades, what Ford did was….just ruining the reputation of the original.

They say they copied original Mustang…..but to me, it only look like unpopular 1974 Mustang2. Well….even 74 Mustang2 was the one which they tried to copy original and failed.

Car Design Clinic…..2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro came back after 7 years of absence since last produced as 2002 model.

After the long blank, they gave up their own design and brought 60’s retro outfit like what Mustang did.

When I first look at the real one……”what’s an ugly pig!!”…….that was my honest opinion although they are quite popular in the market.

Let’s compare to the original 60s design…..

Believe it or not…..It does not look a like at all!

First of all, why did it have to be that big? Remember the previous 2002 model? It was low and wide……and believe it or not, current model is even wider than that !!! What’s for?
Of course it is taller as well.

Original model has a reasonable height of roof, reasonable size of side windows….but not new ones.

  • unneccesally tall body
  • Low roof
  • Small Glass area
  • Extremely high dashboard

I just can’t believe this thing is created in 21st century.

Look! how huge those wheels are……..what is the point of using 20 inches???? Remember….big wheels are always heavy and affect under spring weight which affect the performance.

Imagine how much those tires are going to cost!

To much up to the unnecessary huge wheels, they had to make the body taller and that is why Camaro looks huge and heavy. They did the same thing as Chrysler 300 did.

Also because of the huge wheels, the body looks popped up. Too much ground clearance makes car look unstable as well.

This is the one I modified by Adobe Photoshop.
First of all, I did not touch around wheels because If I change the wheel size, I will have to modify the shape of wheel arches and then, I will need to adjust whole body size as well.

So, what I did was……just sliced the body horizontally and made the body a bit lower. Also the suspension springs has been replaced to make it lower. That’s all and it does look much better than before.

Although the huge body, why is that interior that tight?Sporty cars are not supposed to be that roomy……but they could do something better than that.

Me 173cm, 65kg think that is cramped.

They are using “Zeta platform” which was originally developed by Australian “Holden”. It does not look as good as Holden commodore to me…..honestly……..

Retro style is always difficult.
All the cars need model change after certain period of time, but what are they going to be?
As long as they are dead copy of original, there is not much they can do. Maybe what they can do for Camaro next time is……what I did here, then it is the end again.

Turning into Retro design means giving up evolution and trying to find easy ques from past history.  It means designer is admitting they are not as good as past people.

Original Camaro was not only powerful hot rod……it was practical as well and that was the reason of the popularity.

You young designers!! Do your job!!