Underneath the Arches

All those elaborate wheel-arch forms we see on automobiles are the result of decades of evolution and the work of hundreds of designers looking at each other’s creative output. Are they done out of habit now?

The simplest wheel cut out.
The simplest wheel cut out.

Perhaps some designers have forgot the wheel arch is first a hole in the body for a wheel arranged so as to allow the wheel’s movement and manage water spray. Like many features on a car they are often drawn as sculptural entities or purely graphical forms. I personally have sketched shapes from purely a formal viewpoint: two blobs for lights, a block in the middle some lines underneath…. And there’s a car’s front end, divorced entirely from the relationship of each shape the thing it represents.

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Theme : Romance – Taking A Back Seat

Once the back seat seemed a place of Romance. Now it isn’t.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 (X 222) 2014

Most car journalists concentrate on the front seat. They might want a bit of comfort, but they’re more likely to seek side support so they can enjoy exploring the limits. Give them a set of contoured Recaros and they’re in petrolhead heaven. What they don’t give the same consideration to, as we’ve discussed on these pages so often, is the rear accommodation. Hence, an upmarket four door might get a glowing review based on performance, handling, looks and the view from the driver’s seat, with a small mention that the rear seat is a bit cramped, even uncomfortable, with a letterbox view of the outside country. Continue reading “Theme : Romance – Taking A Back Seat”