Jaguar design tries to roar again
The new XK is Ian Callum's bid to recapture enthusiasm for the brandYour name is Ian Callum. You are the design chief at Jaguar. Your mission is to advance Jaguar's decades-old signature styling cues defined by classics such as the XKE, Mark II and XJ6, and make the design equivalent of a giant leap into the 21st century.
Q&A: Callum: Too many opinions bring mediocrity
As Jaguar introduces the XK sports car this week at the Frankfurt auto show, the Ian Callum era at the automaker officially begins. The car is the first production vehicle Callum, who joined Jaguar in 1999, has designed for the struggling British automaker.
What makes some designs work while others fail?
Admit it, as children many of us spent way too many hours drawing cars. Talk about exotic designs. Chances are our drawings had swoopy lines, oversized tires, extended fins, maybe even a rocket engine.
Seat solutions: Slim down, share designs
Take a step into Lear Corp.'s r&d center in Southfield, Mich., and you immediately think about sitting down. That's because Lear's main claim to fame is car seats, and they are displayed proudly on pedestals.
Behind the badge
Talk to a designer and you're likely to hear how important brand heritage and design DNA are. But a logo says a lot about a car company, too. As proof, consider the millions of dollars that automakers spend to plaster their logos on the sides of buses, across TV screens and on highway billboards.
Drawn by design
Even with modern computers and the latest graphics software, many car designers still rely on pencil and paper to create the vehicles we see on the road today. Here are sketches - some from the beginning of the design process - compared with the finished products.
Henrik Fisker starts from scratch
Danish designer ditches corporate life to launch his own coachbuilderTwo days before Christmas last year Henrik Fisker walked away from one of the most envied design jobs in the auto industry. Fisker, head of design for Aston Martin - the man who penned the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8 - wanted to go it alone.
GM Daewoo flexes its styling muscles
Key designer creates for global marketJeon Byung Kwon can vividly remember when he became fascinated with the automobile. Jeon was in the sixth grade, about 1978, and his family lived in the Korean countryside. He was 13, and he had never seen a car.
Designers get more respect
Jeon Byung Kwon's six-member advanced exterior design team handles the early stage of exterior design. It then turns the vehicle model over to a production exterior design team, which adapts it to a production model.
GM designer wants engines uncovered
One General Motors designer thinks it is time to stop hiding engines behind plastic. The auto industry has been using nylon for so-called beauty covers that hide the working parts of vehicles, said Ken Parkinson, executive director design, body on frame for GM.
Edgy design tough to do for mass market
Pity Detroit's auto designers. They walk a fine line between trying to be edgy without turning off mainstream America, not to mention winning approval from their own top executives. Get it right, and you've got the next Chrysler 300. Get it wrong, and you've got the now-dead Pontiac Aztek.