Step-by-step instructions to how cars are designed

Here is you can get designed a car. When a car maker decides to supply a new model, the styling, or design, of the new car is one of variety of things that require to be decided.

The first decision to be made concerns the market category that the new model will fit into – will the car be a little hatchback, family saloon or luxury executive model? Once this choice has been made, along with engineering and packaging decisions like whether to use front- or rear-wheel drive, the details are often worked out.

In earlier days, it had been simply a matter of building a chassis then styling a body to suit it. With today’s space- and energy-efficient cars, the design is now a part of the integral design.

Lead time

Once the design is finalized, there’s likely to be a delay of about three to 5 years before the finished car appears within the showroom which means that the designers need to forecast the future trends. If the new car looks too dramatically different, the general public may take an extended time to urge wont to it and not pip out in enough quantity.

On the other hand, it must not look too old-fashioned as soon because it is announced. The designer’s freedom of choice is far greater if a totally new car is being created, instead of an existing model being face-lifted to offer it a new look.

Traditional method

If the car goes to be an all-new ‘clean sheet’ design, the manufacturer’s team of stylists will prepare drawings to point out their ideas for the new models. At this stage of the exercise there may be a few dozen different sketches which can be evaluated to see how suitable they’re for production.

When these decisions are taken and therefore the choice has been narrowed right down to one or two designs, scale models are made in clay. This method of model making, which was introduced by General Motors, is usually still used even in today’s computer-controlled design studios. The advantage of using clay is that it’s easy to feature or remove small amounts of clay to form detail adjustments to the model.

Next, a full-sized clay model is formed and painted to resemble a true car as closely as possible. Some manufacturers have styling `clinics’ to measure public reaction to the car. Some can also commission full-size plastic models to offer a more realistic impression.

Once the manufacturers have finalized the design for the new model and decided to travel ahead, it’ll be planned intimately for mass-production. this is often where computers inherit play because designing cars, like many other areas of car production, has been considerably influenced by computer techniques.

The modern method

A car designer with a sufficiently powerful computer and the appropriate software can design a new car on screen, make it any color, and rotate it in order that it are often viewed from any angle. The computing power needed to try to to all this is often considerable. One program that makes the color on the computer picture of the car uses tens of times the maximum amount memory because the average computer contains.

Once the designer is satisfied, the pc can feed coded information to a miller which can cut out a three-dimensional, solid version of what has been designed on the screen. This method is far quicker than the traditional process of drawing by hand then fashioning a clay model.

The computer also can be programmed to act as a structure in order that the form on the screen are often tested for aerodynamic efficiency. Other computer design techniques can analyze the strength of any body design and may predict the behavior of the car within the event of an accident.

Design specialists

For many years variety of firms are specializing in styling cars. the foremost famous were Italian Ber tone, Vignale, Ghia and Pininfarina are some examples. These companies grew up when styling was more divorced from overall design, when it had been common practice for a manufacturer to ask a designer to style a body to suit a particular type of chassis. Many of those companies are still in business today, albeit in several forms. Ghia were documented for being closely related to Ford, before being bought out by Ford within the 1970s. Ford still uses the name Ghia on its top-of-the-range models.

Having designed the X1/9, Bertone took over its manufacture when Fiat lost interest. Aston Martin and Zagato recently worked together on a replacement model (below). Zagato produced design sketches before the project went ahead, then built a full-size wood and steel skeleton of the car. The metal body panels are formed by hand around this template then assembled on the car’s chassis. within the case of the Aston Zagato only 50 of which can be made —the cost of hand-building each car wasn’t important. In any case, it might be uneconomical to tool up with mass-production machinery for such alittle run of cars.

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