We've known that Bentley is planning to do an electric vehicle, most likely using the platform underpinning the Porsche Mission E. What is still up in the air is what shape that vehicle could be?
“The next step for sure is an electric, unique Bentley that isn’t based on an existing car but a completely fresh and new development, with electric propulsion and obviously different proportions following the function. It gives us a great chance to establish a completely new design language for the company,” said Bentley design director Stefan Sielaff.
“It will happen not so far in the future.”
Auto Express believes the model in question is a four-door coupe, partly due to Sielaff's comments.
“It should be a four or five-seater and it should also have the possibility to carry a little bit of luggage, maybe not for five people. I think we need to make sure that this family member is obviously new, and not imitating another concept we have already in the portfolio. But definitely more than two seats; that’s something I am convinced of,” said Sielaff.
“But nevertheless I think it should be a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance. I don’t think it should be something that is raised high, like an SUV.”
This seems to line up with a rumor back in November where it was reported that Bentley was planning a four-door coupe possibly named Barnato.
Source: Auto Express
A constant complaint we have about Audis is their one-size fits all design philosophy as it is difficult to tell the difference between an A3 and A4 for example. Thankfully, Audi will be diversifying their designs in future models.
“This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets. Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look,” said Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler to Autocar.
“We recognise that there is a place for more differentiation now. Since our cars are in production for a minimum of six years, in today’s world I think each model should have its own design to be attractive for this long time,” said Audi design boss Marc Lichte
You can see this with the Audi Q2 crossover with a different take on the grille and C-Pillar from other Audi crossovers. But Lichte says the biggest change will come with the launch of the e-tron quattro SUV next year. Due to the compact size of the electric powertrain, this gives designers more space to play with.
“Design will go in a very different way. [Designers] will have more material space to play with, so we’ll be able to produce [vehicles with] shorter overhangs and lower bonnets. It makes for a more attractive design overall.”
If it weren't for focus groups, the design of the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox could have looked so much different.
Speaking to Automotive News, chief engineer of the 2018 Equinox Mark Cieslak revealed that focus groups weren't not impressed with the first designs of the redesigned model. They described the design as being bulky, 'not compelling', and looking a bit odd. If this was old GM, they would have gone forward with the design.
"Back in the day, we would have probably just kept going," said Cieslak.
"What we had on paper we felt was not going to win."
But this being the new GM where bean counters lost a fair amount of influence, the decision was made to go back to the drawing board. At the time, GM was scrambling to fix the Malibu as its redesign earned poor reviews and a drop in sales which likely played a part in this decision. They needed to get the Equinox redesign right as the model it would replace was very popular. There were concerns that this could cause the new Equinox to be delayed. But in the end, the team were able to design a new Equinox without falling off schedule.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
When it comes to designing a vehicle, comprises must be made. If you want a vehicle to have a sharp profile, that means giving up a bit of interior space and glass area for example. The upcoming Chevrolet Bolt EV is no exception to this.
Automotive News reports that designers tasked with designing the production Bolt gave up some aerodynamic efficiency to improve overall interior space. The Bolt has a drag coefficient of 0.32, while the new Toyota Prius has a drag coefficient of 0.24.
“It’s a disaster for aero,” said Stuart Norris, lead designer on the Bolt.
To compensate for the poor aerodynamics, Norris and his team at GM's South Korea design studio by employing underbody paneling, spoiler, active grille shutters, and even adjusting the size of the A-pillar. Six full-size iterations of various Bolt designs went into the wind tunnel to figure out which tweaks worked.
The Jeep Cherokee has become quite the popular vehicle for the brand, despite its polarizing looks which turned off many Jeep loyalists. Don't expect the design to change anytime soon according to a new report.
Automotive News reports that the Cherokee will be undergoing a mid-cycle refresh in mid-2016 and strategists are planning to keep the look.
"I think the overall styling, the overall shape, the overall accommodation of that vehicle is spot on. I don't think that there's anything that dramatically needs to change with that vehicle going forward," said Mike Manley, Jeep's boss.