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Old 10-01-2020, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What if grills were functional rather than faux?

I'm always on about how the current design aesthetic is to emphasize the worst attribute of petrol vehicles, the fact that they must have large radiators to dispose of the enormous amounts of waste heat generated by an inefficient energy conversion process.

As if the radiators weren't already embarrassing enough, the fad is to design them to appear larger than they really are, and that shows up in nearly every modern design including econoboxes.

Tesla is ahead of the paradigm shift in design by understating the grill. Cars like the current Lexus IS250/350 are going to look like dinosaurs in just a few years.

To my great joy, I found that jalopnik covered this topic quite a while ago, and even included my favorite car to rag on. The IS250 used to be a beautiful car to behold, and now it looks like an ugly Manta Ray







What if cars had grills in proportion to their cooling needs rather than a styling element?
https://jalopnik.com/cars-without-fa...les-1818518076

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Old 10-01-2020, 01:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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To go back to where it all started, the 1949 Nash Airflyte: https://www.hemmings.com/stories/art...-nash-airflyte

The pre-war Nash had the monocoque body, but the post-war redesign introduced things like the monopod instrument panel, modern heater controls, aerodynamic thinking and right-sized but still toothy grille.


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Nash's vice president of engineering, Nils Wahlberg, was fascinated with aerodynamics, and with the help of chief engineer Meade Moor and unit body engineer Theodore Ulrich, he created the unit body-constructed Airflyte design for 1949. This car, available in two- and four-door fastback forms, was notable for its shrouded front and rear wheels, smooth sides and one-piece, curved windshield and front quarter window glass. The rear view was particularly menacing, with the trunklid's dorsal spine and horizontally-mounted taillamps.
edit: Almost forgot:


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Old 10-01-2020, 02:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not a car that will be known to most people here, but a mid-1990s Australian EF Ford Falcon. I always thought (and think) they had the cooling intake about right (and it's a hot country and the car was spec'd for towing reasonable loads).

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Old 10-01-2020, 04:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Another one with megalomania is Audi



The Volkswagen Passat B3 had it about right, even with it's VR6 engine.

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Old 10-02-2020, 09:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This Lotus elite had a Cd of 0.29 and was designed aerodynamically and then cooling and styling was added, 2 litre twin cam engine so there must be quite a bit of heat produced. Lotus seemed to be ahead of the game with low drag, the Europa was 0.29 too.

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Most air is blocked by the numberplate too

Last edited by AeroMcAeroFace; 10-02-2020 at 09:11 AM.. Reason: added numberplate mention
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Old 10-02-2020, 11:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I suspect this has to do with the Mirai and Toyota's push for hydrogen. These large grilles really are necessary with hydrogen fuel cells. Perhaps Toyota is trying to normalize the huge grilles, so that hydrogen cars don't look bizarre, comparatively.
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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what if?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I'm always on about how the current design aesthetic is to emphasize the worst attribute of petrol vehicles, the fact that they must have large radiators to dispose of the enormous amounts of waste heat generated by an inefficient energy conversion process.

As if the radiators weren't already embarrassing enough, the fad is to design them to appear larger than they really are, and that shows up in nearly every modern design including econoboxes.

Tesla is ahead of the paradigm shift in design by understating the grill. Cars like the current Lexus IS250/350 are going to look like dinosaurs in just a few years.

To my great joy, I found that jalopnik covered this topic quite a while ago, and even included my favorite car to rag on. The IS250 used to be a beautiful car to behold, and now it looks like an ugly Manta Ray







What if cars had grills in proportion to their cooling needs rather than a styling element?
https://jalopnik.com/cars-without-fa...les-1818518076
Journalists have volunteered the following rational:
1) as CAFE standards have driven efficiency gains, cars have become increasingly amorphous as a consequence of lower drag.
2) to compensate for near-identical silhouettes, automakers attempt to establish marque identity with visual styling gestures which don't aggravate drag.
3) since the forebody of a car is least important aerodynamically, the front fascia has become a free-for-all stylistically. The grill-blocking is still there, it's just that it's disguised.
4) and active grille shutters allow even more styling latitude.
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Old 10-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Still looks stupid.

Vehicles are increasingly becoming a commodity, and trying to differentiate brands by grill is a logical reaction by manufacturers.
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Old 10-02-2020, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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stupid

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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Still looks stupid.

Vehicles are increasingly becoming a commodity, and trying to differentiate brands by grill is a logical reaction by manufacturers.
I agree. When molded door panels and molded dashboard covers were first introduced they incorporated faux stitching, as if they'd been sown together, 'old -school.'
I suspect that the marketing department's input during product development discussions will bring up the issue of not scaring customers off with too grand a styling gesture. Just slow, incremental change, as with GM's policy of the 1920s.
The sobriquets invented ever since by the press to describe efforts in style innovation probably resonate still, many decades after.
'beached-whale', 'worn bar of soap', 'pregnant', 'amorphous-blob', 'double-ended', ...............

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