Saturday, December 20, 2014

Good Luck Redesigning These Five Cars

As the saying goes, success breads success more often than not in life. In the automotive world an aesthetically pleasing design can go a long way towards becoming a sales success. On the flip side, a great automotive design will also create headaches come redesign time. Just like a team coming of a championship winning season the expectations are sky high for successful designs. The following five designs aren't necessarily the most beautiful cars on the road today nor are they the top five designs on the market but they are all extremely successful for their brands and their respective segments and will prove to be difficult to maintain the successful aesthetics.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep got the latest Grand Cherokee styling so spot on that it is the definition of how a modern SUV should look like. Strong and muscular and just the right size as not to be too bulky it's a breath of fresh air in a segment populated by bulbous looking crossovers. It's rugged enough that you would think it's riding on a ladder frame but has enough design elements to keep it modern. Perhaps the only downside to the current Grand Cherokee is the SRT8 model that's not as sporty as the last one, nothing a Hellcat V8 can't fix though.

Audi R8
Essentially identical to its concept version the R8 is an excellent design for a brand's first supercar. Joining the supercar club on your first effort isn't an easy task, just ask the McLaren MP 4 12 C. Going far beyond a generic supercar shape the R8 more than looks the part, perhaps even outrunning its performance in the V8 version. The second generation R8 is right around the corner and we'll soon see if it can continue the legacy.


Mercedes-Benz S-Class
It's rare when a design comes out that immediately shames its closest competition but the S-Class is just that. On their own the BMW 7 series and the Audi A8 are stately designs that work but they lack the fluidity and grace of the S-Class. The Quattroporte and the XJ are more expressive designs but they lack the presence of the S-Class. As with the Cherokee the only downside could be the AMG model that's perhaps not as strong as before.
 Chevrolet Camaro
As with any successful retro inspired design a redesign finds designers in a tough place, do too little and you are lazy but go too modern and you lose the magic. After a long hiatus the Camaro's good looks helped it hold its own against its arch nemesis the Mustang.

Tesla Model S
Not only has never an EV looked this great before the Model S, it can also be argued that the Model S is a more gorgeous design than some of its closest competition from Audi, BMW and Mercedes and those models are considered as some of the best four door coupes out there. Looking a bit like a rolling concept car for the street it could be an effort that's hard to duplicate or scale to other Tesla models as the Model X might not be as graceful.

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