Whether its clothing, home decor, or your favourite cuisine, trends fall in and out fashion fast. Cars are no exception. In the past, trendy design cues such as flared wings and portholes graced our rides. What can we expect to see in the future when it comes to car design? We asked the pros – leading car designers at the Canadian International Auto Show – for their input on the latest design trends driving the automotive world.
1. Upgraded paint
Say goodbye to high gloss paint. Designers agree the hottest colour for a car is white, but stay ahead of the curve by adding more depth and vibrancy with metallic or candy finishes. It’s all the rage, but keep in mind those finishes cost extra cash.
2. Big Wheels
3. Bedazzling headlights
Headlamps on a car are like jewellery on a woman. These bedazzled lights on the Jaguar C-X17 concept add serious bling. “Headlamps always signify a high-end level of technology. You think that everything under the skin of the car is also advanced,” says Sandy Boyes, Chief Designer – Interiors, Jaguar.
4. Simplified interiors
Driving interior design is simplicity. In the past, cabins resembled the cockpit of an airplane. “Today, it’s the streamlined, uncluttered message that seems to resonate with people. Its inviting. It makes you think like you can’t do anything wrong – you’re not going to break it,” says Ford’s in-house “futurist” Sheryl Connelly.
5. Fewer manuals
Say goodbye to the manual transmission, its going the way of the dinosaurs. Replacing the sporty stick are dual-clutch transmissions, nine-speed automatics, and paddle shifters. “The joy of driving is lost on a lot of people that are stuck in congestion, traffic and global gridlock,” says Connelly.
6. Panoramic Roofs
Jumbo-sized sunroofs spanning three rows of seats are the hottest design trend. And the bigger the better. “Pano-roofs are really popular and they keep getting bigger and bigger. It makes the cabin feel very open and spacious,” says George.
7. New materials
8. Interactive technology
Staying connected with tech gadgets such as mobile and music devices is a must. But the key is to “centralize everything to a single touch point, reducing the amount of complexity of switches and controls and making the whole HMI [human, machine, interface] experience much better from an interactive standpoint,” says John Krsteski, Design Manager, Hyundai Design North America.
9. Sexy curves
10. Safety technology
How do you blend safety technology with design? It has to be harmonious, functional, yet attractive. In the new Chrysler 200, an engine start/stop button on the dash and adaptive cruise control buttons incorporated into the steering wheel provide easy access and more security on the road.