Car Design Research Trends Preview

Here's an sneak preview of the 2012 Paris Motor Show trend report from leading automotive consultancy, Car Design Research.

Integrated Horizontal Front Graphics

As facial identity becomes increasingly important to the brand, and as grille sizes slim down and lamp cans get smaller, we’re seeing increased integration of elements in the upper DRG. Lamps and grilles are becoming one...

Paris debutant, the Clio 4 introduces Renault’s new face, with an emboldenned centre diamond - while the Golf VII keeps the integrated grille and lamp graphic of Mk VI, but visually reinforces it with a chrome bar that runs through into the bumper part line.

The new Range Rover features a face that evolves the theme of the last car - but the grille and lamps now truly touch and the extended lamp helps wrap the face around the car, giving it less boxy corners. The Mazda 6 runs a chrome element out of the lampand around the grille, while Toyota’s Auris features a treatment not dissimilar to the Clio.

There's an app for that: Changing the Automotive Experience

Apps allow consumers to bring their technology with them to the car and update it from the cloud.

After years of struggling with the fast pace of change in consumer electronics, the App may be the answer to car makers’ prayers. Introducing new players to the sector, they also allow brand extension opportunities and are changing the user experience...

Avego debuts its 3rd Generation ride-sharing app in Paris - representative of non- car brands who saw the value of apps in the transport space first . GM’s On-Star MyLink allows customers to get remote diagnostics on the car and control charging and heating on E-REVs like the Chevrolet Volt.

Audi’s Business Mileage Tracker can be used in any car - not just Audis. Its Audi graphics and fonts allow the four ringed brand a precious piece of real estate in the interior of other car brands..

The next step is illustrated by Renault’s R-Link, seen on the Clio 4 that debuts in Paris. It’s one of the first systems to allow users to choose and add different apps to the car’s on board interface. Most automakers are working on similar systems. We understand Audi and BMW will ‘skin’ 3rd party suppliers’ apps into a house graphical style, to ensure branding and appearance consistency.

Car Design Research is a unique consultancy providing strategic support, trend analysis and consumer insight in the automotive sector. E-mail us:

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