Home Automotive DESIGN MATTERS STILL. – Rants – Autoextremist.com ~ the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high-electron fact…

DESIGN MATTERS STILL. – Rants – Autoextremist.com ~ the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high-electron fact…

DESIGN MATTERS STILL. – Rants – Autoextremist.com ~ the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high-electron fact…


Editor’s Be aware: This week, Peter reprises his dialogue concerning the significance of Design, which is particularly applicable given the design atrocities from BMW and Mercedes-Maybach of late as seen in On The Desk. We additionally check out the all-new 2023 Honda Civic Sort R and a few particular variations of the Mercedes-Benz EQS EV, in addition to the 2024 Porsche Cayenne and the 2024 Buick Envista in On The Desk. And our AE Track of the Week options “Sister Christian” by Night time Ranger. In Fumes, Peter delivers Half XIII of his well-liked collection “The Nice Races” – this week giving us a quick historical past of Nassau Pace Week, and why it was so essential – and enjoyable – again within the day. And eventually, we have now racing highlights from INDYCAR and IMSA at Lengthy Seaside, NASCAR from Martinsville and MotoGP from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas – that includes the excellent pictures by AE Particular Contributor Whit Bazemore – in The Line. We’re on it. -WG


By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. On this conclusion of my collection on Automotive Design (learn Design Issues, Half I and Half II – WG), it’s clear that I place a excessive worth on the efficacy and execution of design. It’s additionally no secret that I consider that design will keep its place because the Final Preliminary Product Differentiator going ahead, the truth is, much more so than ever earlier than.

This collection has generated a whole lot of feedback from inside the business, particularly – and understandably so – from the design group. I’d say that the overwhelming majority of the feedback we acquired had been optimistic, and that’s gratifying, as a result of I’ve the utmost respect for the artistic skills who work within the design homes everywhere in the world.

As I’ve mentioned many instances earlier than, the artisans who toil in design studios are essentially the most influential folks within the vehicle enterprise. They set the tone for manufacturers and lead the word-of-mouth, “road look” discussions, and their visionary work could make – or break – a automobile firm’s fortunes. It’s grueling work, too, as a result of designers reside in a very unusual Twilight Zone the place they must dwell previously and current, whereas engaged on a future that’s coming nicely down the highway. Meaning lead designers must current “new” designs to the media and public which were principally “baked” three-to-five years earlier than. Then, they return to their respective studios to place the ending touches on designs that may seem 5 years into the long run.

This work requires, imaginative and prescient, self-discipline and a savagely artistic mindset that’s immediately graded the second the wraps are taken off of their newest designs. It’s a robust, robust career, however while you discuss to designers, most wouldn’t commerce it for something. Seeing one thing in idea or manufacturing kind that they’d a key position in creating presents a stage of exhilaration that’s extraordinarily laborious to beat.

That intro was form of a labyrinthian manner of attending to my closing dialogue subject, which is a query that I get requested on a regular basis: “Given the whole lot you already know (and have mentioned particularly these previous few weeks), who’s doing design nicely proper now?”

That’s the billion-dollar query, isn’t it? Design issues extra now than at some other time in automotive historical past. On this 24/7, nanosecond-attention-span world we reside in immediately, the recent “road look” of the second captures all the eye and curiosity, and often ends in red-hot gross sales figures too. 

Unique automobiles lead the dialogue, however simply because a automobile is pricey doesn’t imply its design is mechanically compelling. Except, after all we’re speaking about Ferrari. The most recent Ferrari – the 296 GTB – is compact, light-weight and has a taut pores and skin that stretches over its fenders and haunches to create a damn-near good kind. It’s merely extraordinary from each angle, and it’s the definitive supercar of the second.


The 2022 Ferrari 296 GTB.




However you’re most likely saying, that’s Ferrari, we anticipate a Ferrari to have jaw-dropping road presence and compelling design. Honest level, however I can even point out a number of exotics which have little to no enchantment in any respect. We’ll skip that for now, nonetheless.

Once I take into account up to date design, I’m going to go away pickups, SUVs and crossovers out of the dialogue. I’m simply not , and though they’re the overwhelming selection within the mainstream market, they carry nothing to the design desk. In any respect. The exception being the Cadillac Lyriq, which is arriving in showrooms now. It’s compelling design that satisfies from all angles.


That phrase “mainstream” is essential. It’s one factor to do provocative ideas that shine underneath the auto present lights, but it surely’s fairly one other to carry these high-concept executions to the road. Invoice Mitchell, the distinctive design legend who inherited the mantle from Harley Earl and propelled GM to unbelievable heights through the firm’s heyday (1957-1977), specialised in bringing idea automobile seems to the streets and byways of mainstream America. It was a 20-year interval unequalled in automotive historical past, the truth is. Nobody did it higher, and nobody influenced up to date automotive design fairly like Invoice Mitchell did. The 1959 Corvette Sting Ray racer; 1963 Corvette Sting Ray; the Mako Shark ideas; the Corvair Monza GT and SS ideas; the 1963 Buick Riviera (though I choose the ’65), the Oldsmobile Toronado; the Cadillac Eldorado; the Chevrolet Camaro; the Pontiac Firebird, Grand Prix and GTO; and the listing goes on and on. 


Invoice Mitchell and the 1959 Corvette Sting Ray racer.


The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.


The 1963 Buick Riviera.


The 1961 Corvette Mako Shark I and 1965 Corvette Mako Shark II.

And after I consider Mitchell and his ideas on design, and his absolute perception in bringing the “good things” to mainstream America, I consider there may be one up to date automobile that might meet together with his approval, and that’s the Cadillac Celestiq (photographs beneath). Sure, it’s tremendous dear (at round $300,000), however after this machine appeared as an idea final 12 months, it’s now on account of be constructed on the finish of this 12 months just about untouched and intact, and I consider it’s going to resonate with folks like few machines have within the final 25 years. Why? It’s fluid and expressive, its floor detailing is spectacular and its general kind is flat-out beautiful. I’d argue that no mainstream up to date automobile producer caught to its weapons like GM Design has with the Cadillac Celestiq. There aren’t any design shortcuts on the Celestiq. GM Design executed it with ardour and the result’s merely spectacular. The road presence of the Cadillac Celestiq will probably be unmistakable. Mitchell would have been happy.

And that’s the Excessive-Octane Fact for this week.

(GM Design Photos)
The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq.


Editor’s Be aware: You possibly can entry earlier problems with AE by clicking on “Subsequent 1 Entries” beneath. – WG




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