Monday, April 20, 2015

What Were They Thinking?: Infiniti QX60 Deatils

Thanks to U.S. government demands, manufacturers selling cars in America face increasingly stringent (and arbitrary) fuel efficiency requirements.  A comparatively inexpensive way to help attain an acceptable company-wide economy level is by reducing aerodynamic drag.  So nearly all car designs are wind tunnel tested while in the development stage.  One result is that bodies for each class of vehicle (sedan, SUV, etc.) tend to have very similar basic shapes.  So in order for a firm to visually differentiate its products from those of competitors, stylists have had to focus on secondary styling elements such as shapes of windows and wheel opening as well as ornamentation.  The result is that we are in one of those eras of baroque (as opposed to "clean") styling.

For this post, I feature the Infiniti QX69 SUV, part of Nissan's high-priced line in the USA.  I consider its ornamentation messy, poorly integrated.


Here is a front three-quarter view of a 2015 Infinity to help set the scene.  Most of the problems are found around the rear of the vehicle, though the front has its share.  Note that the grille shape and the shape of the lower front air inlet are not related in any real way.

Now a rear three-quarter view.  The character line across the doors does somewhat relate to the tail light housing, but it isn't clear whether it is to the upper or lower edges (it seems to split the difference).  And the dog-leg shape of the aft side window echoes the sharp kink at the side of the backlight (rear window).  Other than these touches, the remaining elements of the "composition" are unrelated.

Now for a detail of the previous image.  The inset for the license plate has a shape unrelated to the rest of the rear of the vehicle, and the same can be said for the chrome strips at its top and bottom.  The folds on the panel between the upper strip and the tail light assembly do not link to either the lower edge of the strip or the nearest edge of the tail lights.  The fold where the Infinity emblem is placed does not quite conform the the shape of the top of the chrome strip below the emblem and clashes with the curve at the bottom of the backlight.  The black panel beneath the bumper is unrelated to other parts of the rear design, and the same can be said regarding the shape of the reflectors on the bumper strike panel.

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