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The 2015 Audi A3 sedan (Audi)

The 2015 Audi A3 sedan

(Audi)

In Pictures

Top 10 new design trends for cars Add to ...

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.

Petrina Gentile

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.

Petrina Gentile

2. Big Wheels

Remember when 15-inch wheels were standard? Now, bigger is better when it comes to wheels. “Designers always like the big wheels,” admits Kevin George, exterior designer of the Ford Edge concept. Check out the massive 22-inch back wheels on this special edition Chevy Corvette Stingray.
Petrina Gentile

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.

Petrina Gentile

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.

Petrina Gentile

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.

Petrina Gentile

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.

Petrina Gentile

7. New materials

Aluminum and carbon fibre reduce weight and save fuel. Ford is banking on aluminum in its 2015 F-150. But Jeff Hammoud, Design Manager Chrysler & Fiat Brand at Chrysler Group LLC, says carbon fibre is the way to go. “Carbon fibre gives you a lot of opportunity to try different shapes and forms, but it’s also lightweight which helps for fuel economy.”
Petrina Gentile

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.

Petrina Gentile

9. Sexy curves

Sharp angles are harsh; sexy curves are not. It’s all about purity according to Jaguar. “Curves are more sophisticated than angles. They look like they’ve been honed more and more delicately sculpted, says Boyes.” But what about the Lamborghini Aventador? Sharp aggressive lines equals purity, in my books.
Petrina Gentile

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.

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