Fisker Buzz Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent about 4 hours at the Detroit Auto Show yesterday. Here are some observations:

1. Most of the concept cars were electric and the implication was that this is where the future of automotive design is going. This may be obvious to most on this board, but it should serve as somewhat of a smack in the face to those gasoline advocates who are still claiming that "the earth is flat".

2. People love the idea and looks of electric cars. The largest crowds were surrounding electric cars, both concept and production cars.

3. American car design has come a long ways in the past couple of years. Cadillac really stood out in terms of design.

4. The design of the Tesla S is okay but pales in comparison to the Karma. Nonetheless, people were very enagaged and asking a lot of questions.

5. Highlights for me where the BMW i8 concept, VW e-Bugster concept, Audi R8 Roadster, Cadillac CTS, and Mini Roadster.

6. I didn't look at any Asian cars so I cant comment on them.

7. Where was Fisker, Land Rover, and Jaguar? Conspicuous by their absence.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,975 Posts
I'd be surprised if the production i8 ends up looking like the concept. As has generally been the case with concept cars, they rarely have any resemblance to their production descendants. Take the Volt concept and production car. Even the Model S design was dumbed down from concept to Beta.

Concept car:







Production car:





The production car looks like a much cheaper Chinese-knockoff version.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
SoCalGuy said:
I'd be surprised if the production i8 ends up looking like the concept. As has generally been the case with concept cars, they rarely have any resemblance to their production descendants. Take the Volt concept and production car. Even the Model S design was dumbed down from concept to Beta.
The production car looks like a much cheaper Chinese-knockoff version.
But this is BMW (i8) rather than GM (Volt), and i8 is probably to be a high-end performance car in the 100k+ range rather than a 40k car with mediocre performance..... The i8 was spotted int winter driving testing, it makes not much sense to extensively test a car far from the production version. I think the Audi Etron and BMW i8 will be close to the concept versions, but in a rarefied price range. I also think that when released they will probably have significantly less bugs than Fisker (just like the Volt did) - big companies can afford a full development schedule and have extensive techological expertise

My next car is either i8 or Karma (the latter if Fisker get the bugs cleared out).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,662 Posts
svp6 said:
I also think that when released they will probably have significantly less bugs than Fisker (just like the Volt did) - big companies can afford a full development schedule and have extensive techological expertise
The big companies also have a lot of technology sitting on their shelves that has already developed and debugged over the years, such as Engine Control Computers, Nav and entrainment systems, traction control, ABS, etc. that they can just slightly modify and use in subsequent models, all of which Fisker had to have designed and built from scratch. The subsequent generations of Karma and Nina are definitely going to be less buggy just because the technology they use would have been already refined and tested for the earlier Karmas.

-- Fab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
svp6 said:
SoCalGuy said:
I'd be surprised if the production i8 ends up looking like the concept. As has generally been the case with concept cars, they rarely have any resemblance to their production descendants. Take the Volt concept and production car. Even the Model S design was dumbed down from concept to Beta.
The production car looks like a much cheaper Chinese-knockoff version.
But this is BMW (i8) rather than GM (Volt), and i8 is probably to be a high-end performance car in the 100k+ range rather than a 40k car with mediocre performance..... The i8 was spotted int winter driving testing, it makes not much sense to extensively test a car far from the production version. I think the Audi Etron and BMW i8 will be close to the concept versions, but in a rarefied price range. I also think that when released they will probably have significantly less bugs than Fisker (just like the Volt did) - big companies can afford a full development schedule and have extensive techological expertise

My next car is either i8 or Karma (the latter if Fisker get the bugs cleared out).
The i8 is scheduled to be a 2014 model year car. It is predicted to cost around $150,000 and look very similar to the concept, albeit without the glass doors. Currently, the i8 has scissor doors, ala Lamborghini, but those will probably be scrapped as well. Personally, I think the i8 looks unbelievable and I hope it to be my next car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
744 Posts
I seriously doubt the i8 will look as radical as the concept. First and foremost, I dont think it will pass rollover tests without a B pillar and a single piece of glass for the windshield and roof. Unless they plan on using transparent aluminum. lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
SoCalGuy said:
I'd be surprised if the production i8 ends up looking like the concept. As has generally been the case with concept cars, they rarely have any resemblance to their production descendants. Take the Volt concept and production car. Even the Model S design was dumbed down from concept to Beta.

The production car looks like a much cheaper Chinese-knockoff version.
One thing to keep in mind is that when putting together a concept car, by hand, nearly anything is possible. They only need to make one copy, and doesn't necessarily need to function.

A car that will be churned out by the thousands on an automated assembly line needs to be "buildable" in such a fashion. Thus there are some practical limits to how it can be put together. Also, the manufacturers will use as many proven, pre-exisiting parts or modules that is already has in its inventory, in order to maximize return on investment. Not to mention the myriad regulations that cars today must adhere to. All of these factors are going to impact what the production version ultimately looks like.

So really I find it amusing when people are surprised and all bent out of shape that the production version of a car doesn't look exactly like the one-off concept version.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,975 Posts
mattjs33 said:
One thing to keep in mind is that when putting together a concept car, by hand, nearly anything is possible. They only need to make one copy, and doesn't necessarily need to function.

A car that will be churned out by the thousands on an automated assembly line needs to be "buildable" in such a fashion. Thus there are some practical limits to how it can be put together. Also, the manufacturers will use as many proven, pre-exisiting parts or modules that is already has in its inventory, in order to maximize return on investment. Not to mention the myriad regulations that cars today must adhere to. All of these factors are going to impact what the production version ultimately looks like.

So really I find it amusing when people are surprised and all bent out of shape that the production version of a car doesn't look exactly like the one-off concept version.
True... but the Fisker Karma is actually one of the pleasant surprises... the production vehicle exterior looks even better than the concept one!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
SoCalGuy said:
True... but the Fisker Karma is actually one of the pleasant surprises... the production vehicle exterior looks even better than the concept one!
Yes, the Karma is one excellent example I can think of where the show car looked pretty much the same as the production car.

BUT...

Henrik is a designer, not an engineer. It's pretty apparent that he designed the car and told the engineers he wanted it built it that way. Engineers will tell you it's difficult to work that way, because it limits how they can execute the technical details. That's why most design departments work together with the engineers; this is what we'd like, can we do this?

With all the problems the Karma is having, what I believe has happened is that the engineering was forced to work within the constraints of the design, and that has led to the Karma being unecessarily difficult to build and heavy, a result which is exacerbated by the complicated drivetrain. So there is a lot more chance that things won't work the way they're supposed to. I'll just bet that if you told an engineer to redesign the Karma on a clean sheet it would not have turned out this way. But it also probably wouldn't look like it does. Pick your poison.

It reminds me of a couple similar examples where function has followed design. By the time the Porsche 911 was redesigned for the 993 version, it had become so expensive and complicated to build because so many things had been added to the car over the years, yet the basic structure of the car hadn't changed since the 60's. It simply wasn't designed for things like air conditioning and airbags. It was up to the engineers to figure out a way to somehow make it all fit. The new car was more or less a clean sheet redesign and as a result could be built in far less time for far less money.

The other is the Bugatti Veyron, which Ferdinand Piech basically said "It will look like this and it will go 250 mph." So the engineers had to come up with a way to make a basically unaerodynamic shape go that fast. As a result the Veyron requires a huge amount of power and weighs over two tons and needs a bunch of aero trickery to do so. If an engineer were going to build a 250 mph car from scratch, I guarantee it wouldn't look like that.

Anyway I digress. I have a tendency to do that. Yeah, the Karma looks cool. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
744 Posts
The Audi E-Tron has already been nerfed from its original concept. It is no longer the radical hotness that the original concept claimed it would be. I really don't see the point in designing concepts that rely on technology that does not exist. I mean why not design a concept car that runs off of a quantum nucleonic reactor? It is about as useful. I think Fisker set the bar for the automotive industry in concept design. The concept was delightfully inspiring and the production car lost nearly nothing. The interior actually improved over the 70's sci-fi concept. The only thing lacking in substance on the concept was the B-pillar, which it is my understanding that designers purposely leave out in concepts because it makes getting interior shots easier at autoshows.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top