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Nobody types design requirements into computers. There are sketches by people who do it for a living. There are influence boards and discussions about people’s tastes supported by focus groups using images of current cars and showcars to get a feel for what early adopters like. The computers may be used to develop the ideas but even the Chinese who have been known to literally request “this front with that back and a side off this”use the skills of Design. I’ve got an original sketch for the Stelvio from the guy responsible and it’s pencil on paper.
I'm sure that you are right when it comes to the concept stage of the cars development. I bet though that once the car design is fettled for production, the team involved with the final design will be looking at the result of the artists handywork and making adjustments and sound business decisions, based on potential economy, safety and current legislative issues and marketing trends, surrounding the cars eventual production.
If, as you infer, the cars are all born solely of the artistic prowess of the concept team; who, I wonder, managed to round up such a large number of colossally boring artists and concentrate them into a single industry, allowing them to blight our lives with quite so much design mediocrity.
 

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“once the car design is fettled for production, the team involved with the final design will be looking at the result of the artists handywork and making adjustments and sound business decisions, based on potential economy, safety and current legislative issues and marketing trends, surrounding the cars eventual production”
Having been one of those artists for over thirty years I have to tell you it’s all done simultaneously with the design being defended and haggled to include all the things you mention with the help of the studio engineers, suppliers etc. Designer’s job descriptions include an ability to describe market scenarios and various customer journeys. They will follow the design theme rather just handing it over and hoping for the best although some companies have separate Production Designers. Toyota do take a theme from Concept Designers and the next time they see it they barely recognise it according to an ex-colleague who moved to Toyota Design in Nice.
 

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“once the car design is fettled for production, the team involved with the final design will be looking at the result of the artists handywork and making adjustments and sound business decisions, based on potential economy, safety and current legislative issues and marketing trends, surrounding the cars eventual production”
Having been one of those artists for over thirty years I have to tell you it’s all done simultaneously with the design being defended and haggled to include all the things you mention with the help of the studio engineers, suppliers etc. Designer’s job descriptions include an ability to describe market scenarios and various customer journeys. They will follow the design theme rather just handing it over and hoping for the best although some companies have separate Production Designers. Toyota do take a theme from Concept Designers and the next time they see it they barely recognise it according to an ex-colleague who moved to Toyota Design in Nice.
I'm impressed, have to say, what a smashing job to have, beats mine. So from a position which affords such a good overview of the automotive industry can you shed light on just why so many cars look similar, and why real character cars seem to have died out.
 

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I worked with the guy responsible for the Nissan Juke. They asked for something completely different and tongue-in-cheek he delivered. He went with it to Japan and although they didn’t/ couldn’t deliver it exactly it’s hardly like anything else. And a lot of people hate it. A lot of people buy it. The Citroen Cactus is very unusual too. Too unusual?
The new Ford Puma was something I saw evolving between the U.K. and Germany. It’s quite unusual and I think it’ll be a success. In short , I don’t think all cars look alike. A Kia Sportage has a certain Porsche reference in its facelift version. Looks distinctive to me.
 

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Serious question; were cars really that different to each other in the past? Is a Ford Sierra that different to a Mk2 Cavalier? In terms of looks, is the Marina worlds apart from the mk3 Cortina? Look at the mk1 Consul and the Austin Cambridge of similar vintage.

There were some stand outs but mainstream cars always mostly been quite conservative.
 

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I worked with the guy responsible for the Nissan Juke. They asked for something completely different and tongue-in-cheek he delivered. He went with it to Japan and although they didn’t/ couldn’t deliver it exactly it’s hardly like anything else. And a lot of people hate it. A lot of people buy it. The Citroen Cactus is very unusual too. Too unusual?
The new Ford Puma was something I saw evolving between the U.K. and Germany. It’s quite unusual and I think it’ll be a success. In short , I don’t think all cars look alike. A Kia Sportage has a certain Porsche reference in its facelift version. Looks distinctive to me.
I guess I do have to admit that amongst a lot of cars that come from similar moulds there are a few individuals if you look hard enough. Although with the cactus if it didn't have rubber sides it would blend in pretty well. I still suffer flashbacks from the introduction of the Rover SDI, the design disaster car which replaced ( although not for me ) my beloved rover P6. Do have to admit though, they did rust at similar rates.
 

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I’m saying the flavour of the Kia and the four-element headlamps are obvious references to the Porsche to the buyer might aspire. Simply as a nod to the fact that some cars do borrow bits.
So do tell me which cars look similar to each other.
 

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I never mentioned the Kuga. I wrote Puma., the new one. And the Crv. I agree the names are confusing.
 

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The Sportage and the CRv are both red!
Their proportions are quite different and the Honda lamps and grille are continuous whereas the Sportage has very separate headlamps.
Old cars all had 7” round lamps.
Give me better examples please.
 

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And I never mentioned the Puma! The Puma is a deliberate effort to create something a bit different, much like the Juke. Very much like the Juke in fact...


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Also I think it drifts away from the heart of the argument if we simply try to outdo each other with a list of boring cars.
The point, the essence, is that when you see a bunch of cars now nothing catches your eye, not much stands out from the crowd. your eye simply slides over the generality of the cars and no lasting impression of anything is created.
Also if you are involved in some way with the design and marketing of new cars can you tell me why we never see new cars advertised for sale on the telly stuck in traffic, a much more realistic prospect than the current idea that, once in your wonderful fulfilling new purchase, the roads will open up before you as though you had a mascot of Moses on the bonnet busily parting the sea of cars which stand in the way of everybody trying to use what limited road surface there is available.
 

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The Sportage and the CRv are both red!
Their proportions are quite different and the Honda lamps and grille are continuous whereas the Sportage has very separate headlamps.
Old cars all had 7” round lamps.
Give me better examples please.
You forgot to mention they all have different badges too!


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“The Puma is a deliberate effort to create something a bit different,”
It’s hardly going to be accidental? And I thought the problem was that they all look the same. A significant difference with the Puma is the visual continuity of the front wing line into the door and how it relates to the A pillar.
 

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Discussion Starter #140
“The Puma is a deliberate effort to create something a bit different,”
It’s hardly going to be accidental? And I thought the problem was that they all look the same. A significant difference with the Puma is the visual continuity of the front wing line into the door and how it relates to the A pillar.
Where do I go to take a look? The fact that it is different has got me very excited... Any pictures?
 
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