Monday, April 6, 2015

Styling by Wind Tunnel

Thanks to apparently arbitrary (because round numbers are specified) and increasingly harsh government fuel economy requirements, car makers seem to be exploiting every aerodynamic advantage they can find.  One result of this is in the profiles of many standard-size 2015 four-door sedans sold in the USA.

Consider the following:


2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Chrysler 200
What caught my eye and inspired this post was a Chrysler 200 parked next to my rented Sonata in a parking lot in the Palm Springs area last month.  The roof profiles looked strikingly similar, particularly where the roofline blends into the trunk area.  Other details such as window shapes, metal sculpting patterns and so forth differed.  That seems to be what stylists are allowed to work with these days, and not the basic shape of a car.

2015 Ford Fusion
The Fusion's profile is also quite similar to those of the Sonata and 200.

2015 Chevrolet Impala
Starting with the Impala, the next several examples feature a slight more dinct transition from the roof to the trunk.

2015 Nissan Altima

2015 Honda Accord

2015 Toyota Camry

2015 Mazda 6

2015 Volkswagen Passat

2015 Volvo S60
Volvo often goes its own way, though not as strongly as its late Swedish friend SAAB.  Here the roof-trunk blend is more an ogive curve than the other examples.

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