Concept Car Du Jour

What’s hard to believe is that this design was the product of seasoned designers.

1993 Nissan AQ-X: source
1993 Nissan AQ-X: source

The 1993 Nissan AQ-X has several small and large errors that add up to something of a disaster. But we will learn from this. Being charitable, it’s a packaging car. The rear compartment has stupendous legroom. The doors open wide for easy ingress and, when you need to, egress. Up close the vehicle is finished to a professional standard (I mean at about 10 cm distance). At 10 metres you begin to wonder whether the person who had sketched the car had sketched many cars before this.

What I see is the lumpy, non-homogenous forms of a car that combines elements incorrectly. Proportionally one sees the front part (forward of the B-pillar) as being from a small, tall car. The centre section has a van-like or MPV like quality. Rear of the C-pillar is part of what might be awkward saloon version of a B-class car.

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The front view works acceptably. The side views shows the MPV-meets saloon wrongness. It looks very much like the highest point of the roof is behind the B-pillar (though it might not be). The rear view is bland but acceptable. In three-quarter view notice how the lamp outline bumps over the wing-to-bonnet part. The roof is too flat in that view yet the car is characterised by amorphous curves. Apart from the sharp cut on the lower doors.

So, the question is, what happened here? Did an undergraduate get a chance to turn a drawing into a full-size model? It resembles very much the work of a junior designer and I know because in this car I see the kind of things I might have done before I did my MA. These mistakes are part of the learning process. What is odd that Nissan let me get this far.

Source for slideshow: here

Author: richard herriott

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

10 thoughts on “Concept Car Du Jour”

  1. Interesting. For me it looks lukę crossover of Mazda 121 (apparent size) and previous Skoda Superb (roofline above rear seats). Due to roof profile i don’t like look of second gen VW Skoda Superb sedan.

    Did you see pics of Nissan with open doors? Fronts goes up, rear down. It’s strange (I can’t find better word)

    1. The rest of the Superb is good: I like the car’s eccentricity. There is enough for visual interest. It’s all gone now though the L&K package makes up in some ways. It could be VAG’s yummiest car, Bentley included.

  2. During during puberty, once I’d entered my ironic phase (cue lots of hours wasted watching/mocking Hulk Hogan and Jean-Claude van Damme movies, as well as Raul Julia’s regrettable final movie), I’d intentionally draw terrible cars for an imaginary brand called Takamari-Okawa. Some of those T-O’s looked frighteningly alike to this mongrel, of which I’d been blissfully unaware. Until today.

    So ‘thanks’, Richard.

    1. Do you still have the drawings? Perhaps, some time, DTW could host a gallery of juvenalia.

  3. When looking at my early drawings I see the same errors as on this car. These are not easy to see and learning to see what is on the page rather than what you think is there is a maturation process. What makes this design so wierd is that it shows all the classical errors, ones that tutors and senior colleagues would train out of a student. I can’t fathom how that didn’t happen here.

    1. But like a good bad movie, you cannot blame it for not being entertaining!

  4. This car reminds me in concept of the original Citroen C5 – a car I have signally failed to persuade Richard to admire. It puts a complete priority on packaging over looks.

    For this I admire it. It is the sort of car that, if you bought it, gives the clear message that you would put your friend’s and family’s comfort a full priority over your vanity.

    Also, like Kris, I took perverse pleasure in deliberately sketching clunky cars.

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