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Friday, March 21, 2008

Design: New York Auto Show -- Focusing in on The Micro in a Macro Show

The fender sweep with integrated air extractor on the Nissan GT-R

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the glitter, the lights, the free booze and food during the press days at an auto show. What's hard is to find those little snatches of detail or pleasing design cues that make it all worthwhile. Here are some of the nice bits that caught my eye at the New York Auto show:

The intersection of two side character indents on the massive BMW CS Concept -- one indent peters out in a slight upward flourish as the other dives just aft to echo the first one. The broad rounded shoulderline provides the metallic canvas.

The shoulder on the new Nissan Maxima joins with the a-pillar to form a plane that travels down the front end. The hood spills over the peak of the line formed by the outer edge of the pillar making an unusual undulating shape.

The wild organic looking confetti at the rear sides of Mazda's Furai concept. Though busy, they contrast nicely with the all business race car smoothness of the rest of the body. Pure decorative whimsy.

I've always been partial to Aston Martin's mirror mounts, from the metal V-shaped brackets of the Vantage (top picture) to the new carbon fiber ones below.

The superbly handled intersecting planes and shapes at the rear of Cadillac's CTS Coupe Concept. Note how well the trademark vertical taillamps are integrated into the play of sharp angles.

The rear of Toyota's new Venza crossover shows that the Japanese giant has been learning some slick design lingo. Look at the playful relationship of the upkicked bumper seam which visually points to the upper curve of the neat taillight. Meanwhile the wraparound edge of the taillight shoots off in the opposite direction to create a surface edge on the back bumper itself.

If Aston Martin is all about cool mirror mounts then Audi is the go-to brand for exciting headlight jewelry on production models such as the A5 (top) and a4(below).

Dear Nissan Forum,

I never thought this would happen to me. I attend a large Northeastern auto show and noticed your Forum Concept sitting there with it's door wiiiiiide open. I noticed the very cool relationship of the side mirrors with the front quarter window shapes when the opened door juxtaposes them. I'm a fan of curves and this effect gives us several from the mirror edge to the mirror surround to the window shape to the window trim.

When viewed from inside the spectacular leather, wood and chrome encrusted interior the mirrors echo the small pillar windows making a single lovely distended oval shape when viewed as a unit.

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