Making It All Add Up

The challenge of car design is partly about  the harmonious integration of complex forms. What happens when the body-side crease falls into the orbit of the front wheel arch? Nothing good.

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One of the things that catches my eye on the 2004 Mercedes-Benz CLS is the very unsatisfactory way the wheel-arch lip and the body-side crease (one of two) intersect. Underlying that is the problematic way the bodyside crease runs forward and then tries to go parallel to the wheel-arch. Mercedes can’t claim original authorship for this trope. As far as I can tell, that honour goes to the 1988 Nissan Skyline.

There are not many images of this car on-line so it is with trepidation I have marked up the car, showing a duff-highlight that runs over the rear wheel-arch, tracks along the bodyside crease before coming to grief around the wheel arch. The next time the phenomenon turned up it was on the 2001 Peugeot 307, which we all know about, and also on the little-known Kia Cerato.

Image credits:


Mercedes: Wikipedia


Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

2 thoughts on “Making It All Add Up”

  1. The CLS’ crease is very nasty indeed. I think the intention was to create a kind of modernised, dynamic version of the Silver Shadow’s front wing ornamentation. Or something else that’s even dafter/more daft.

    1. Is that really what they had in mind – and ended up with that plate of fudge over the front wheel arch? It’s not a competent resolution.

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