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Santeno
12-27-2004, 01:08 PM
Most brands have some kind of quirky design element that for some reason ore another gets included in most of their vehicles, and over time, has become a defining element of that particular brand. Things such as grill shapes specific to a brand are obvious. I'm interested in finding some of the more subtle design elements, that give a brand those little quircks that people sometimes refer to as it's soul.<p>Chime in with a brand name and giove us examples of some of the specific design elements that most of it's vehicles carry, that set it apart from other makes.

Santeno
12-27-2004, 01:15 PM
For example, Porsche:<p>This brand has a couple of design elements that are unique to it. The ignition switch on most of their models tends to be located outboard of the steering wheel (on the dash between the steering wheel and the door), not in-board as with most vehicles. Porsches also tend to have some form of the frog's eye's style lamps popularized by the 911. also, thogh not as big a defining factor any more, Porsches tend to have very deeply bolstered Recaro seats with a single piece back (no separate headrest). Of course there are exceptions to all of this, but I would argue that these three design features can be found in enough models for it to be a bit more than a coincidence.<p>What do you guys have?

Naga Royal Guard
12-27-2004, 01:36 PM
i do find it interesting how Japanese companies tend to hav less tradition in form of physical elements ( yes, they steal them from time to time), the exception being the location of the door handle on their Truck Based NIssaN Suvs - on the pillar; the FX and Murano havent it because their unit-body<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Naga Royal Guard at 3:41 PM 12/27/2004</i>

AXLE
12-27-2004, 06:16 PM
Volvo now have their side shoulders that are unique to Volvo. Also they are the ones who first started, around the 70's, using the V-shaped hood which extended into the grille as they still do now, but now many other manufacturers have started using that design cue too.

jro4566
12-27-2004, 06:30 PM
Mercedes always has sedans with rear doors that have a small "minipillar" on the windows.<p>Audi always has square-like headlamps, never circular.

RS
12-28-2004, 01:36 AM
Most Land Rovers have huge rear overhang and the front wheels really far out on the corners. <br>Their badge is always somewhre on the side of the grill.<p>I'm pissed that BMW's Hoffmeister kink is being copied by so many, even though I'm not even a Bimmer fan. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/angry.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Audi always had a lil' window between the C-pillar and the rear door.<br>

Top Secret
12-28-2004, 02:37 AM
BMW has their trademark Kidney-grilles and the Hofmeister kink. And more and more these days, a hint of flame surfacing.<p>Saab has their ignition barrel close to the gearshift.

Reppu
12-28-2004, 07:52 AM
What about Mazda's wankel engine?<p>EDIT: oooops, sorry, the engine is not a design element, my fault

Santeno
12-28-2004, 09:15 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Top Secret</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">BMW has their trademark Kidney-grilles and the Hofmeister kink. And more and more these days, a hint of flame surfacing.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Don't forget that all BMW's have orange lit dials as well as (I think this is in most models), trunk mounted batteries.<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Top Secret</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Saab has their ignition barrel close to the gearshift.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>You are right. With the exception of the Impreza (oops, I mean 9 2x)Saab's all have their ignition, in the middle, between the two front seats. They also all share a similar ovoid dashboard design slightly turned toward the driver, and those funky HVAC vents.

Naga Royal Guard
12-28-2004, 09:36 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Reppu</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">What about Mazda's wankel engine?<p>EDIT: oooops, sorry, the engine is not a design element, my fault</TD></TR></TABLE><p>they do have gimmicky rotar-shaped things all over the outside and inside of the car <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emthdown.gif" BORDER="0"> , did any of the RX7s have that?

Santeno
12-28-2004, 10:27 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Naga Royal Guard</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">they do have gimmicky rotar-shaped things all over the outside and inside of the car <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emthdown.gif" BORDER="0"> , did any of the RX7s have that? </TD></TR></TABLE><br>No they didn't, nor do other Mazda models. These design elements are new and they are specific to that model only.

Cozz
12-28-2004, 11:18 PM
MB- seat controls shaped like the seat on the upper door panels.<br>MB- maze design on the auto shifter instead of pushing a button to move the shifter.<p>BMW- double focused headlamps. Never single.<br>

Monkey
12-29-2004, 06:49 AM
Wow... I could go on and on with this one...<p>There's the obvious ones like Jeep with the 7 slot grill and round lights.<br>Buick has the waterfall grill. Cadillac with the eggcrate style. Saab used to have the console ignition (before the Saabarus and GM clones)<br>There are also design elements for cars themselves, like the round taillights on the Impala to evoke older ones. The grlls on the newer Chryslers go back to the ones from the 50's and 60's.<br>Then there is Ford, which has the design element of "bland" that they carry through to everything. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/icon11.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Anyway, I could go on and on about design...<br>

vabboud
12-29-2004, 07:01 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Cozz</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">MB- seat controls shaped like the seat on the upper door panels.<br></TD></TR></TABLE><br>well actually no, the M class didn't have that amongst others<br>

Audicted
12-29-2004, 11:50 AM
Don't forget Alfa Romeo's signature grill

Santeno
12-29-2004, 11:55 AM
As I said before, Grills are obvious (as are logos). I'm talking about more subtle design elements. <p>Like Jaguar's rounded fenders with clean cut wheel-wells (not flared); their triangular tail-lights with the little "cat ear" notch; their single pice [of wood] oval dashboards; and their infamous J-gate shifters.

KebabGud
12-29-2004, 12:02 PM
jro4566: almost all cars have a "2-window rear door"<br>Top Secret: the saab 9000 does not have the ignition barrel by the gear..<br>same with the "Saabaru" the 9-2x as Santeno made clear<p>Santeno: My BMW has the battery under the bonnet where it belongs.. but it did come with the option of having it in the back (E46 3-series)<p>Cozz: my mothers CLK has the seat controles on the seat .. <p>and at last .. <br>when did the Hoffmeister kink actually apear?

andys120
12-29-2004, 12:36 PM
Ferrari cars have long featured certain design elements including egg-crate grilles, gated shifters and four exhaust pipes as well as scoops and airinlets on the hood and flanks of the cars.<p>

Santeno
12-29-2004, 12:46 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>KebabGud</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">and at last .. <br>when did the Hoffmeister kink actually apear?</TD></TR></TABLE><br>It first turned up in the 1965 BMW 2000C:<p><IMG SRC="http://www.autoretropassion.com/bmw2000c/bmw2000c-o2.jpg" BORDER="0"><p>The designer, Wilhelm Hoffmeister, is credited with first penning the little forward wedge at the base of the C-pillar. As a result, and because the kink went on to adorn almost every BMW model produced after 1965, this design element went on to be commonly known as the "Hoffmeister kink." <p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>andys120</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Ferrari cars have long featured certain design elements including egg-crate grilles, gated shifters and four exhaust pipes as well as scoops and airinlets on the hood and flanks of the cars.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Don't forget 4 round tail-lights; the silver lollipop shifter; and wheel spokes shaped like a pentagram (5-pointed star).

Naga Royal Guard
12-29-2004, 01:56 PM
nissan ( proper) sports cars and coupes share a basic window pattern that can be seen in the current Z and G35 coup and in the last 300ZX sligtly too<p>not sure how well it traces to the 240Z but i think theres some connection

Cozz
12-29-2004, 09:03 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>vabboud</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>well actually no, the M class didn't have that amongst others<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Well actually yes. I never said it was on all of thier cars. Just that it's their design signature. Try to keep up with me.

knihc2008
12-30-2004, 01:39 AM
hehe and they're actually still shaped like seats, you just can't see them on the door panel.

Santeno
12-30-2004, 08:48 AM
Lamborghinis (at least since the miura & countach), tend to have round gated shifters (not square like ferrari); alpine stereos (not sure if that's still the case); wheels with 5 round telephone-dial style spokes; and slightly up-turned rear wheel-wells. They also debut their models in bright yellow.<p>Ferrari debuts their models in red.<p>Lexus tends to debut their models in pearlcent gold.<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Santeno at 11:44 AM 12/30/2004</i>

Naga Royal Guard
12-30-2004, 09:28 AM
i saw a picture of the interior of a 6.0 VT ( you should get one to match your school <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> ) and it had a clairon unit<p>and the lexus SC 430 Concept ( which was entirely production ) debuted in tokyo in " Black Hole Purple" <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/pirate2.gif" BORDER="0">, but your probably talking about their production models

Santeno
12-30-2004, 09:44 AM
yep, production models. and notice I said "tend to". Obviously is not a rule, but it happens quite often - enough to notice a trend. <p>Doesn't mercedes tend to debut their production models in silver?

taskbearer
01-04-2005, 10:50 PM
Mercedes always have foot operated parking brakes located beside the pedals instead of a hand brake excluding the new slk.

Santeno
01-05-2005, 10:23 AM
Don't VW's all use a variation of the same solid door handle with a trigger like interior latch? I think it's been the case since the original beetle. VW also tends to favor a rather thick c-pillar in their designs (though they don't tend to share the same styling).

Jake
01-09-2005, 03:33 PM
Mercedes rear lights are ribbed horizontally...something about keeping them cleaner, deflrcting dirt...I think

Santeno
01-10-2005, 08:33 AM
Maserati had the Boomerang lights, which for some strange reason they discontinued (and blamed it on american tastes - yeah right). IMO that should have remained as a design characteristic of future Masers.<p>TVRs, have these organic shapes, that while not sharing much in common design features, you would be hard pressed to confuse any of their models for anythig but a TVR.

Jake
01-10-2005, 05:49 PM
Talking of TVRs, I read somewhere: a design feature of TVRs (from the Cerbera I think) is the way certain panels (eg the doors) scoop in under the next panel. Apparently this was a means to get round the problem they were having with panel fitting leaving large gaps.

anonms
01-10-2005, 06:47 PM
Toyota seems to be aiming for a universalized grill shape for cars in Europe (Corolla Verso, next-gen Yaris) and for trucks in America.

Superfresa
01-11-2005, 02:54 PM
Land Rover's design features are:<p>- Headlights: a big "Circle" for normal beam and a smaller one to the side with the high beam, plus the side indicator and another small light under it to be seen in the daylight, or on newer models, a light that turns on when you do a 90 degree turn...<br>- Roofline - all except the Range Rover are taller in the back than in the front, usually with a small hump, and usually with a roof mounted window...<br>- pillars and mirrors are black to give a "floating roof" impression <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/nixweiss.gif" BORDER="0"> <br>- Stadium seating on all models... rear seats are higher up than front seats for better visibility<br>- Boxy styling obviously<br>- Bonnet/hood: you can see most of the bonnet from the driver's seat, and it's got a raised section next to the front window<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by Santeno at 5:03 PM 1/11/2005</i>