What Would a Car Designer Sketch if There Were No Rules

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AUTOS, LIFESTYLE, LUXURY, THE DRIVE, WRITING

Think all cars look more or less alike? Thank government for that, and then show a little gratitude, because that aesthetic uniformity has saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives.
The same regulations that helped automotive-related deaths on American roads drop 40 percent from their 1970 levels have also bred a certin sameness. Car design, once a venue for wild personal expression, is now a game of variations on a theme. A combination of aerodynamics requirements, fuel-economy mandates, crash-test standards and even airbags and computer sensors have conspired to create anonymity on dealer lots. Add in bottom-line pressures from corporate taskmasters and you end up with a parade of beige, mass-produced envelopes that can expand or contract to fit two to seven people. Some have roofs, others don’t. Yawn.
But what if a car designer answered to no one? Not a regulator, not an aerodynamicist, not a bean counter… nobody. Would tailfins make a comeback? How about boattail speedsters? What about Talbot-Lago’s famous Teardrop? Would the stylist go Google Car cute or custom-Jeep butch? Would we get The Homer?

The Drive caught up with Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director for Infiniti, to get his take on a pie-in-sky question.

For more on my interview with Alfonso Albaisa at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, click here. 

Photo By Abigail Bassett

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Abigail Bassett is the Executive Editor at CNTRL MEDIA, LLC. She is also a freelance content creator and curator whose work has appeared in publications like Forbes, Fortune, Automobile, Motor Trend, Money Magazine and on CNN. Her passion is telling unique stories using a variety of media and taking the visitor places that they have never been–whether it’s into the cockpit of a rare supercar, inside an exclusive home or hotel, or behind the scenes of a fashionable event. She is also a Yoga Alliance Registered 200-hour yoga teacher. She teaches at a number of public, private, and corporate venues, around Los Angeles, CA.

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