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  1. 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. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  2. While Takata has agreed to declare its airbags in nearly 34 million vehicles defective yesterday, a new report from Bloomberg says the supplier changed the design to reduce the risk of abnormal deployment back in 2008. Sources tell Bloomberg that Takata changed the propellant mix to help reduce the effect of humidity - what many believe to be the cause of problem - around the same time that Honda announced that it would be replacing airbags in some of their models. This new information could shine a light on one of the biggest mysteries on Takata's airbags. The company has said time and time again that its current products are safe, but didn't say why. It should be noted many of the vehicles involved in the recall were built before 2008. The report goes onto say that a select group of people - including government officials - were told about the change. Source: Bloomberg
  3. 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. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  4. Rolls-Royce looks to be the next automaker to join in on the SUV craze that is currently engulfing everyone in the luxury car class. Autocar had the chance to speak with the company's design boss Giles Taylor who said the company is currently assessing the idea of an SUV. As he put it, Rolls-Royce is "sketching to assess the viability of the concept. We are not yet grappling with three dimensions and proportions.” One thing for certain is that Rolls-Royce will not be doing a 'crossover-coupe-thing'. “I’m interested in function and functionality. I’m looking to create a properly functional vehicle – a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV,” said Taylor. Autocar speculates that if Rolls go forwards with this, the SUV will be revealed in 2017. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. The next Camaro has a number of things that will be changing such as a new platform and a new place where it will be built. One item that doesn't appear to be changing as much is the design. Edmunds has learned from a source that the company is planning to go down the evolutionary route with the design of the next Camaro. "The difference between the existing and redesigned (Camaro) is not drastically different. It looks like a worked-over current-model Camaro. It is on a different platform, so that is a significant difference, but when they modified it to be on a different platform, the styling did not change that much," said the source. The Camaro is expected to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next year. Source: Edmunds William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 7, 2013 When Jeep released some of the shots of the new 2014 Cherokee before its official debut at the New York Auto Show, it was open season on the web as most everyone dog-piled on the looks of it. However Chrysler’s design chief, Ralph Gilles is standing behind it. Talking with Wards Auto, Gilles explained that the Cherokee marks the next step in the evolution of the design for Jeep. “When you contrast it to the outgoing Liberty…I think it’s a huge departure, obviously from the previous one. But it’s also going to be seen as very current in the way that Jeep has evolved its aesthetic to a very contemporary place. That was very much a purpose for us,” Gilles said. Mark Allen, head of Jeep design says the Cherokee's design had one goal in mind: to make sure people want to buy the Cherokee five years from now. “Our head was in 2019. It’s not a big square box. It’s a little more efficient looking than the Liberty. Our No.1 goal was efficiency, and if we’re going to make an efficient Jeep, it’s gotta look efficient first off,” Allen told Wards. Source: Wards Auto William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 18, 2013 When the next Chrysler 200 is introduced in 2014, its design will signal a change for the brand. “The current Chryslers on the road today certainly don’t reflect where we’re headed. What I can safely say is we are deviating from where we are today, completely. It’s a very different feeling (and) look," said Chrysler chief designer, Ralph Gilles. Gilles didn't go into detail about the direction the styling will go for the 200 and ultimately the Chrysler brand. “Saad (Chehab, Chrysler brand president and CEO) and Sergio (Marchionne, Chrysler CEO) both were very instrumental in finding the new mission of the car – new branding. I think it’s going to be a beautiful and relevant vehicle,” Gilles said. Other things the next 200 will have is a new nine-speed automatic and use Fiat's CUSW platform that currently underpins the Dodge Dart. Source: WardsAuto William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. If you had the chance to read our story on the Lincoln Continental yesterday, then you read this line: "The overall look of the Continental Concept oddly reminds us of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur." We're not the only one to take notice of this. Car Design News reports that Bentley isn't too keen on this similarity. Luc Donckerwolke, Bentley's chief designer went to Facebook to voice his complaints. "I would have called it Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights," said Donckerwolke. Donckerwolke then went to Lincoln chief designer David Woodhouse's Facebook to say, "Do you want us to send the product tooling?" Since then, the comment was deleted, but Car Design News made sure to get a copy of it. "This behavior is not respectable. Building a copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world," said Donckerwolke when asked by Car Design News. This was followed by a comment from by Bentley's exterior design chief, Sangyup Lee. "It is very disappointing, especially for an exclusive brand like Lincoln." So does Bentley have a point, or do they have sour grapes over the Continental? Have your say in the comments below. Source: Car Design News
  9. If you had the chance to read a review or opinion on the Volkswagen Jetta or Passat, then you'll notice a reoccurring theme - they are boring to look at. Volkswagen is getting tired of this complaint and has decided to make a change. Automotive News reports that next-generation of Volkswagen vehicles for the U.S. will "bare their teeth and flex their muscles to convey a more aggressive design message". This was said during a tour of Volkswagen's design studio. "This has to be bold. It has to be a statement," said Klaus Bischoff, chief designer for Volkswagen. So what kind of boldness can we expect from Volkswagen? Well Automotive News says the upcoming seven-seat crossover will feature of number of cues from the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept such as the grille, creased hood, and distinctive headlights. Other models will take smaller steps to boldness. An example is the Passat which will get a brand new design ahead of the A-pillar, and new taillights. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. If you were hoping that Cadillac would sprinkle some of the design from the Elmiraj concept for the upcoming CT6 flagship, prepare to be disappointed. GM's vice-president of global design, Ed Welburn, tells Automotive News that the CT6 will not be influenced by the Elmiraj. Instead the CT6 will stick with the art and science design theme found on current Cadillacs. “I think Elmiraj was more of an influence on some other things we’re working on for Cadillac,” said Welburn. “It’ll be different and it will certainly stand out in the portfolio. But you won’t see a real shift in direction.” We'll see if there is a real shift when the CT6 debuts next year at the New York Auto Show. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. The current Chevrolet Corvette Stingray's design cues will used on upcoming Chevrolet models. Automotive News had the chance to speak with GM's vice president of global design, Ed Welburn who said designers are hard at work trying to infuse the Corvette Stingray's DNA into newer Chevrolet models. "As Malibu and Cruze and Volt come to market, you'll be able to see a subtle link between some of the form vocabulary for all of them and Corvette," said Welburn. "I always look at the hood of the Corvette and the sectioning, the way it's taut, very lean, very sporty. That will be a part of really everything we do for Chevrolet." The hope with adding some of the Corvette's design cues is that will help make Chevrolet's designs more competitive. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  12. The next Land Rover Defender will be coming out in the next few years and it will not look like the DC100 Concept shown a few years back. According to Autocar, the DC100's was considered to be too bland to wear the Defender nameplate. Gerry McGovern, the design director said the new model will look completely different from the concept and has been 'frozen'. The next Defender will reportedly use the platform from the Range Rover, albeit with changes to make it stronger. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 Remember the 2007 Volt concept? It was a muscular, bold, and imposing electric vehicle. Compare it to the production Volt and the two almost have nothing to share, aside from name, powertrain, and some design ideas. Recently at a event in San Francisco. John Cafaro, Director of Exterior Design for Chevrolet gave some indications and clues as to what to expect in the next-gen Volt. Cafaro mentioned how the guys at Chevrolet were impressed with what Opel did to the Ampera to make more aggressive. "We're going to do some things with the Volt down the road, make it a little more monochromatic, a little more road-hugging," Cafaro said. Cafaro also talked about how they're watching the competition when designing future models. "We've got one bullet in the chamber with the Volt. We're getting some feedback. We've already built a body of research. There are a lot of different camps. From a design perspective, people want an exciting vehicle. Now, what does exciting mean? A lot of zoom-y lines? Deep cut forms? A lot of muscular shapes? We are looking at all the different kinds of design DNA for how we proceed with this technology. Nothing is left off the table. No idea is a bad idea." Source: Autoblog Green William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 5, 2012 There are vehicles that with a quick glance, you immediately recognize; the Porsche 911 and the Volkswagen Beetle are perfect examples of this. Another vehicle that follows this is the Toyota Prius. Since the second-generation model, the Prius has earned a place of being instantly recognizable due to its shape. Now, Toyota is pondering whether to change it or not. “There’s an undercurrent among most people that they’re ready for a new Prius look. Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations.” said Chris Hostetter, Toyota’s U.S. group vice president for strategic planning. Hostetter told Bloomberg that the company is currently debating whether to keep the aerodynamic wedge-shape look or go towards something more dramatic. This possible change is due to Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wanting to make the company’s cars more exciting, and make the Prius more appealing to buyers. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  15. William Maley Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com June 4, 2012 Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles says design changes are coming for future Chrysler products. The current lineup is known for their boxy design aesthetic, but Gilles says that's not in line with the industry. Speaking at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, a gathering of Michigan political and business leaders, Gilles says aerodynamics are becoming an important design aspect. He uses the Audi A7 and the new Toyota Avalon as vehicles that can have the aerodynamic design usually associated with sports cars. "The wind is starting to sculpt these vehicles," Gilles said. Gilles said Chrysler will be abandon the boxy look and go for a sleeker look, starting with the next generation 200 and 300. "We'll have no choice but to be some of the most wind-swept vehicles that you've ever seen." How does Chrysler plan to accomplish this? Gilles told reporters that his design team spends between 200-300 hours in the wind tunnel, analyzing the aerodynamics during the vehicle's design stage. Chrysler has also been putting more emphasis on hiring people with experience in fluid dynamics to help further their understanding on aerodynamics. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. 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. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  17. 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. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  18. If you were hoping that Cadillac would sprinkle some of the design from the Elmiraj concept for the upcoming CT6 flagship, prepare to be disappointed. GM's vice-president of global design, Ed Welburn, tells Automotive News that the CT6 will not be influenced by the Elmiraj. Instead the CT6 will stick with the art and science design theme found on current Cadillacs. “I think Elmiraj was more of an influence on some other things we’re working on for Cadillac,” said Welburn. “It’ll be different and it will certainly stand out in the portfolio. But you won’t see a real shift in direction.” We'll see if there is a real shift when the CT6 debuts next year at the New York Auto Show. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  19. The current Chevrolet Corvette Stingray's design cues will used on upcoming Chevrolet models. Automotive News had the chance to speak with GM's vice president of global design, Ed Welburn who said designers are hard at work trying to infuse the Corvette Stingray's DNA into newer Chevrolet models. "As Malibu and Cruze and Volt come to market, you'll be able to see a subtle link between some of the form vocabulary for all of them and Corvette," said Welburn. "I always look at the hood of the Corvette and the sectioning, the way it's taut, very lean, very sporty. That will be a part of really everything we do for Chevrolet." The hope with adding some of the Corvette's design cues is that will help make Chevrolet's designs more competitive. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  20. While Takata has agreed to declare its airbags in nearly 34 million vehicles defective yesterday, a new report from Bloomberg says the supplier changed the design to reduce the risk of abnormal deployment back in 2008. Sources tell Bloomberg that Takata changed the propellant mix to help reduce the effect of humidity - what many believe to be the cause of problem - around the same time that Honda announced that it would be replacing airbags in some of their models. This new information could shine a light on one of the biggest mysteries on Takata's airbags. The company has said time and time again that its current products are safe, but didn't say why. It should be noted many of the vehicles involved in the recall were built before 2008. The report goes onto say that a select group of people - including government officials - were told about the change. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  21. If you had the chance to read our story on the Lincoln Continental yesterday, then you read this line: "The overall look of the Continental Concept oddly reminds us of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur." We're not the only one to take notice of this. Car Design News reports that Bentley isn't too keen on this similarity. Luc Donckerwolke, Bentley's chief designer went to Facebook to voice his complaints. "I would have called it Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights," said Donckerwolke. Donckerwolke then went to Lincoln chief designer David Woodhouse's Facebook to say, "Do you want us to send the product tooling?" Since then, the comment was deleted, but Car Design News made sure to get a copy of it. "This behavior is not respectable. Building a copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world," said Donckerwolke when asked by Car Design News. This was followed by a comment from by Bentley's exterior design chief, Sangyup Lee. "It is very disappointing, especially for an exclusive brand like Lincoln." So does Bentley have a point, or do they have sour grapes over the Continental? Have your say in the comments below. Source: Car Design News View full article
  22. If you had the chance to read a review or opinion on the Volkswagen Jetta or Passat, then you'll notice a reoccurring theme - they are boring to look at. Volkswagen is getting tired of this complaint and has decided to make a change. Automotive News reports that next-generation of Volkswagen vehicles for the U.S. will "bare their teeth and flex their muscles to convey a more aggressive design message". This was said during a tour of Volkswagen's design studio. "This has to be bold. It has to be a statement," said Klaus Bischoff, chief designer for Volkswagen. So what kind of boldness can we expect from Volkswagen? Well Automotive News says the upcoming seven-seat crossover will feature of number of cues from the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE concept such as the grille, creased hood, and distinctive headlights. Other models will take smaller steps to boldness. An example is the Passat which will get a brand new design ahead of the A-pillar, and new taillights. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  23. The next Camaro has a number of things that will be changing such as a new platform and a new place where it will be built. One item that doesn't appear to be changing as much is the design. Edmunds has learned from a source that the company is planning to go down the evolutionary route with the design of the next Camaro. "The difference between the existing and redesigned (Camaro) is not drastically different. It looks like a worked-over current-model Camaro. It is on a different platform, so that is a significant difference, but when they modified it to be on a different platform, the styling did not change that much," said the source. The Camaro is expected to debut at the Detroit Auto Show next year. Source: Edmunds William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. The next Land Rover Defender will be coming out in the next few years and it will not look like the DC100 Concept shown a few years back. According to Autocar, the DC100's was considered to be too bland to wear the Defender nameplate. Gerry McGovern, the design director said the new model will look completely different from the concept and has been 'frozen'. The next Defender will reportedly use the platform from the Range Rover, albeit with changes to make it stronger. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  25. Rolls-Royce looks to be the next automaker to join in on the SUV craze that is currently engulfing everyone in the luxury car class. Autocar had the chance to speak with the company's design boss Giles Taylor who said the company is currently assessing the idea of an SUV. As he put it, Rolls-Royce is "sketching to assess the viability of the concept. We are not yet grappling with three dimensions and proportions.” One thing for certain is that Rolls-Royce will not be doing a 'crossover-coupe-thing'. “I’m interested in function and functionality. I’m looking to create a properly functional vehicle – a shooting brake, not a crossover with a sloping roof. A proper SUV,” said Taylor. Autocar speculates that if Rolls go forwards with this, the SUV will be revealed in 2017. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article

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