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post #23 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14
I see a lot of people ripping on them for being generic: They look too much like Lambos. They look too much the same.

Designing cars is *hard*. There are only so many tricks. They need to design something:

1. Aerodynamic
2. Safe
3. Possible to enter and exit
4. With decent sightlines
5. Correct weight distribution
6. Conformance with ped. impact standards, which means no pop-up headlights and a whole set of parameters around the nose
7. With tire sizes, wheelbases, and a thousand different part locations determined by logic - weight reduction, polar inertia, low CG, & function

After all that, it's not really that surprising that the cars look a bit alike. And when you're Lotus, trying to create a family resemblance, there's also an interest in giving them similar cues. There are only so many headlight and intake shape combinations that don't look like deranged fish or angry cartoon characters or sad robots - seriously. Play around with these shapes and it's hard to get one that has that right combination of aggressive without looking stupid. And then deal with the fact that car makers are constantly making cars, so you have to do one that's different from everyone else.

And then a car has to look good in a variety of perspectives. Cars look different when you shoot them with a zoom lens from afar vs. a fisheye from up close. We want them to look fantastic from *every* angle.

It's really frickin' hard. Try it in CAD sometime with dimensions fixed by practicality and you might go a bit easier on designers. It's a lot harder than making a nice-looking concept sketch.

And if you think a Vantage looks like a DBS, or that the new Elite looks like the Elan, I don't know what to say. They have completely different proportions. The Elite has it's motor in a completely different location than the Elan, for heaven's sake. The DBS is a 2+2 GT car while the Vantage is a reasonably compact two-seater.

Of course, none of that rant means I won't miss the look of the current Exige. I just cut them a bit of slack on their reinvention. I think they borrowed liberally from the old NSX, but gave it modern headlights and some swoop. They could have done *much* worse (*cough* MP4-12C *cough*).
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