Car Design Research: Trends: May 2013


Previously, we’ve reported on the headlamps of cars aping the human eye as a graphical device. With full LED clusters now feasible and appearing more commonly on production designs, we’re seeing a new type of lamp appear – the blade of light. Horizontally orientated and slim, these present a much wider, meaner DRG. An emergent sub-trend is the vertically orientated blade, which defines the corner of the car.

But in moving away from the circular, oblong or stretched ovoid form, the car’s lights – its “eyes” – no longer look human. Instead, the car is becoming more insect-like in appearance and in extreme cases looks more machine-like – triggering associations with the robots and mechanoids of sci-fi films.


Blade lamps – changing the facial read of the car


Kia Cross GT Concept

The lamps flank the latest interpretation of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille. Cleverly recessed under the hood surface, they are reflected in the chrome surround.

Jeep Cherokee

Commented upon extensively when first unveiled, the blade lamps help deliver a dramatically different new facial identity for Jeep.

Citroen C4 Picasso
The new C4 Picasso, with its slim DRLs above the main lamps are cleverly linked into to the grille and chevron logo by an extended, full-width chrome strip.

Volswagen XL1

This radical, trend-setting car features a slimmed-down version of the traditional VW DRG with lamps and grille in one mask. The DRL itself is an ‘L’ shape, which kinks down and round the corner of the car.

Cadillac CTS

A real twist on the trend, Cadillac’s traditionally more upright lamps (a signature of the Art-and-Science design language) get a DRL strip that runs vertically up the front of the car – emphasising a more ‘chiselled’ corner.

About Car Design Research

Car Design Research is a unique consultancy providing design research services for the design, product planning and marketing groups of car companies and creative practices. Recent projects include: concept definitions for multi-car vehicle platforms, scenario building around future electric car customers, design strategies for a new performance sub-brand and design design assessment of a brand’s new exterior form language. Established in 2000, we are based in the UK with project experience worldwide.

www.cardesigndesignresearch.com

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