Europe has so many neat things that aren't offered in the 'States: Beer at McDonald's, constitutional monarchies, Volkswagen's Trailer Assist system. On the recommendation of reader Jeremy Mears, I looked up the latter to see what it's all about. Backing up a trailer is like parallel parking set at difficulty
Volkswagen offers two types of AWD stickshift station wagons: The Golf SportWagen S with 4Motion, and the Golf Alltrack (in three trim levels). Both are identical except the Alltrack has a marginally higher ride height. I narrowed it down to the Alltrack for a practical reason: The Sportwagen S offers
In contrast to the Mini Clubman, the interior of Subaru's Forester looks sober and utilitarian. Nothing here screams for your attention, which is what I prefer. However, the exterior loses me right away. The designers have repeated the sin of everyone producing a crossover these days, which is to introduce
An architect choosing a house to buy, a fashion designer shopping for a shirt, an industrial designer buying a car: We are extra picky within these categories because we've spent time studying them, and we know how the sausage is made. It's important to me, when selecting a car,
For reasons covered in Part 1, I've decided to buy a brand-new stickshift all-wheel-drive station wagon. Both station wagons and manual transmissions have fallen heavily out of favor, with few manufacturers offering both. I figured the dearth of options would make the selection process easy--but was astonished at the poor
As I and others have argued before, when it comes to autonomous cars, "hand-off" is a terrible idea. I firmly believe that autonomous cars have to be all or nothing. "Assisted driving" might seem like a good idea in the short term, but I believe it will prove to
My impending move to the countryside demands car ownership, and I just signed the papers on a new vehicle. As a city-dweller unfamiliar with the car buying process, choosing a model seemed daunting--until I approached it the way I would any design problem. Here I'll recount the steps I took.
For innovative automotive manufacturers, VR offers the perfect mix of total immersion and unparalleled customizability that only real-time technology can deliver. The exciting new potential it unlocks is spurring major automotive brands to adopt a fresh approach to how they engage customers through designing immersive real-time experiences.
Walking the dogs and this minivan caught my eye. It doesn't make sense. I've seen vehicles with lifted suspensions before, which is typically done to add clearance for rough terrain. But the ground effects on this minivan are mere inches off of the ground. Well, the graphics on the car
I recently had the pleasure of logging nearly 800 miles behind the wheel of a brand-new Mazda Miata. This is Part 1 of my review, where I'll focus on the experience of driving the car. In Part 2 I'll get into the design and the UX. Note: Mazda didn't approach
During last week's Milan Design Week festivities, China, Munich and California-based electric vehicle start-up BYTON unveiled their electric concept SUV in Europe for the first time at a quiet, tucked away location in the Brera Design District. The concept was previously unveiled at CES and a few other locations, but for the European unveiling, BYTON created an installation around the vehicle and put together a miniature design studio on the lower level of their venue.
Jonathan Ward is talking about old-school custom car styling shops. "If you were a baller in the 1920s, '30s or '40s," he explains, "you didn't go buy a Cadillac. You bought a Cadillac, and you sent it to one of the boys, and they built a custom vehicle just for
Every designer's dream is to create the exact object they envision, unhindered by accountants, marketers and planned obsolescence. Industrial designers among you, think of every project you've worked on where the best engineering and materials were prohibitively expensive; the style needed to be compromised to appeal to a market you
This is an awful story that automotive designers should take note of. Last week, in the parking lot of his Ohio high school, 16-year-old student Kyle Plush went to his minivan to retrieve some tennis gear. He never returned. Around 9pm that night his father, looking for him, located
Steven M. Johnson's "Patent Depending" series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol' bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we've contracted him to let us publish one every week.
The following is a sponsored post, courtesy of Covestro. It used to be that the lines between various key industry sectors, such as automotive, electrical/electronics, appliances and healthcare were relatively clear and distinct. No more. Current trends – as underscored by various pronouncements and product introductions at the
Those of you who own cars are undoubtedly familiar with your own. But because I'm a ZipCar member, I'm used to getting into a different vehicle each time I need a set of wheels. At the mercy of what's available, I rarely get the same vehicle twice. I'm a very
After years of hard work, luxury automaker Lexus is finally revealing their smartest initiative yet: Genetic Select. "Exceeding customers' expectations is in the Lexus DNA," says Cooper Ericksen, Lexus VP of Marketing. "Now, we're taking it to the next level by tapping into our customers' DNA, too." By partnering with
This sounds like a Steven M. Johnson Bizarre Invention, but it's real--and actually appears useful, particularly if you live in a snowy clime. The Lanmodo is a powered device that you stick onto your roof after parking. Hitting a button on the remote causes the object to unfurl its canopy,
For several years now, the U.S. Postal Service has been running their Next Generation Delivery Vehicle initiative in a bid to replace their aging fleet. Six manufacturers were chosen to submit roughly 50 prototypes (total, not each) and the USPS is now quietly testing all of them, in actual use,
Competition isn't fun to watch when the team that spends the most money wins. You see this in everything from professional sports to motorsports. Frustrated with that outcome in NASCAR, racing legend Robby Gordon quit the sport in 2012, vowing to start a new form of racing based on skill,
(Warning: Some of you may consider this footage a bit graphic.) The Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is investigating the self-driving Uber that struck a woman who later died from her injuries. Many of us following the autonomous space were very curious as to how it happened, but could only
I know we're supposed to let go of the past and move into the future, but one thing I'll never be able to give up are manual transmissions. I learned to drive on a stick. I've owned three cars in my life and all were manuals. I no longer own
Now that an autonomous car has killed a pedestrian, interested parties are waiting to see what the legal ramifications will be. In the meantime, skittish lawmakers may start looking at safer alternatives to autonomous cars. One such system is by a company called Arrivo, and they're scheduled to complete construction
The 2018 Autorama is a car show held in Detroit and dedicated to hot rods. The next best thing to attending wouldn't be to see a video of it; it would be to see a video of it shot by an industrial designer, because they're going to focus on and
It's been twenty long years since any car-lover in America was able to buy a brand-new Toyota Supra, as the company stopped selling them here in 1998. And in 2002, amidst declining sales, the Supra production line in Japan was shut down. But the car has retained a cult following.
Bet you didn't know this: Firefighters in the U.S. are trained to approach certain types of burning cars from a 45-degree angle, rather than head-on or straight from the rear, because non-crushable-type bumpers--which are designed to absorb shock and thus are effectively pressurized--can turn into projectiles as they heat up.
Last year, we were excited to write in detail about the Bollinger B1, the first of its kind off-road electric sport utility truck designed by Bollinger Motors. Since the all-wheel drive truck is electric, there was no need to accommodate for an engine or transmission. In lieu of these considerations,
The life of a long-haul trucker can be tough, even when they're not behind the wheel. When it's time to get some shuteye in the truck's cab, some of them have a scant 36" behind the seats in which to stuff a twin mattress, and there's barely enough room to turn around back there, let alone get dressed and undressed. And for the trucker who brings their spouse on the road—yes, husband-and-wife trucker teams exist—it's simply not enough space for two people to live out of.
In this week's video, Eric Strebel casts a series of concept car models and reminds us that industrial design often involves a lot of bodies. Here he shows you his part of the process, which also includes designer Brook Banham, modeler Claas Kuhnen and Joe Fournier's Millennium Mold & Tool.
German caravan manufacturer Dethleffs unveiled this e.home at the most recent Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf: I saw it and thought, "Holy Cow. Imagine being able to cruise around the country and never have to pay for gas!" My misinformed reaction was further reinforced when I read what the GreenMatters blog
Earlier we showed you a sketch for an unusual pickup truck from Preston Tucker's archives, and asked you to complete the design. Here are the results, in alphabetical order by last name, with captions from those who provided them: By Michael DiTullo:"A quick side cab sketch to get this party
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