Automotive Design Trends

Cars of the twenty-first century have never looked cooler and yet held more function than today’s designs. From the trends that add flash to the technology that allo


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Automotive Design Trends 1

Design ideas range this year from color changes to the number of windows to how the car is manufactured. Automotive engineers have few boundaries these days and limitless imaginations.

1. Split Rear Pillars

The nifty design of the split rear pillar isn’t a brand new idea, but it’s becoming more common in current automobile models. And there are many possible reasons for this new look.

Engineers, technicians, and manufacturers can put a car into production more quickly and efficiently with a split rear pillar. Imagine a few smaller pieces rather than one ginormous, bulky piece.

A split rear pillar also just looks different and, some may argue, cooler than the one piece.

You can see this new design feature in high-end vehicles like the  Range Rover, and even in the latest Hyundai and Kia models.

2. Floating Roofs

The split pillar leads to a floating roof look for the car. Rather than the roof blending into the pillars and the body, it has a floating look because of the color and texture scheme.

You will find this trend in the new crossovers and sedans, especially in Nissans and Kias as of late.

A floating roof again offers a cheaper parts production. The floating roof means smaller parts and easier shipping not to mention easier replacement if the car is damaged. The floating roof gives a car a refreshing and innovative look.

2. Electric Vehicles Continue to Grow

Electric vehicles continue to grow, with a 63% increase in sales from 2017 to 2018. We’re beginning to see more places for cars to connect, which means that this trend will only continue.

Furthermore, electric cars are improving. They’ve evolved from the first electric engine in the 19th century to cars that can drive across the lower 48 states with ease.

3. Giant Grilles

Grilles on automobiles have varied over time with trends that go from a little grin to a dollar bill to the now obnoxiously big grills. Some automotive critics argue grills are the ugliest part of a car now, taking up a large part of the car’s front end.

Regardless of the experts’ opinions, big grilles are now the trend. With enough criticism, though, designers may begin going more minimal.

4. More Glass

The mid-19th century saw a Volkswagon bus with over twenty windows. Automobile designers are channeling those bus designers now more than ever with more glass in the upper structure than we’ve seen for a while.

As a result, passengers have a better view of the world passing them by, and drivers have fewer blind spots to contend with.

In particular, the McLaren Speedtail is sporting the sleekest of the plenty-of-glass designs we’re seeing now.

5. Smart AI

Artificial intelligence isn’t brand new. We’re continuing to see slow growth in this area, more so in China than in the United States.

Typically, when we talk about the AI, we’re talking about self-driving cars. But engineers are moving more away from self-driving cars and more toward cars that run efficiently.

AI will continue to change how cars run, but not necessarily in the science-fiction way that we imagine.

6.3-d Printed Car

The first 3-dimensional printed car entered production in 2018. This innovation will change the way manufacturers approach car production. While you may not find a 3-d printed car down at your local Ford dealer’s lot, you may find it near you sooner than you think.

Plastic parts and molding are trending more in the automotive industry, and the 3-d printed car illustrates this to the hilt.

7. Fake, Over-Stylized Exhaust Pipes

No one likes the look of a big, empty pipe hanging from the back of a car. Automotive engineers have attempted to solve this problem by basically putting some bling on the pipe and then incorporating it into the car’s design.

New cars now are leaning toward a fake aluminum (plastic) tip on the end of the rear bumper. That little hole is your exhaust pipe. In particular, you can find this look on the newest Lamborghini.

8. Effective Tint

Designers have created a new tint that doesn’t just make your windows look dark. In fact, it doesn’t darken a window like the illegal tint of the 1980s.

It can, however, reject up to 92 percent of UV radiation. Ultimately, the new tint will car cooler and protect the upholstery. Manufacturers are applying the tint to the front windshield without obstructing driver’s line-of-sight

9. Big Wheels

Wheel diameter has slowly been increasing in new cars over the past decade. Car designers have discovered that if you cannot increase the tire size, you can increase the wheel size.

Few cars have a wheel diameter of 16 inches or less these days. Ultimately, this means buying a tire will cost more, and the lower profile means a harsher ride, depending on the quality of the suspension.

Toyota Corolla S, in particular, has 17-inch wheels, which is larger pickup truck wheel size from the 2000s.

10. Rear Tail Light Bar

More cars are sporting a rear tail light bar. The bar connects the rear tail lights, but it rarely lights up. Rather it reflects lights from cars behind them.

This trend was resurrected from the 1990s. Car designers included it, but car buyers did not embrace it then. In particular, today we are seeing it on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Lincolns, Lexus crossovers, and Dodges.


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