Smashed Rooflines

With the Detroit Auto Show underway for the press, some manufacturers have been “fighting” broken embargo agreements with the press. The general issue is that they are releasing photos of new vehicles whether they be concept or actual production revisions.

There’s just one question I have for every auto designer out there if they ever even read this blog. Can you explain why virtually every new vehicle that is coming down the line has what looks to me like a smashed roofline? Here’s an example from my favorite brand:

This picture of the Jeep Trailhawk concept vehicle is helpful in illustrating my point because you can get a sense of scale with this normal height person (DCX’s head of design).

Regular readers of this blog know that I drive a Wrangler which has TONS of headroom and my wife happens to drive a Pacifica. The Pacifica has lots of headroom too but awful blind spots because of the tight intersections of the roofline and the rear of the vehicle.

I just can’t imagine driving this Trailhawk anywhere without wondering what’s behind me and why I have such a narrow field of view from the front. To me this resembles the H3’s lack of view all around except the rear passenger door window and I just don’t understand the trend.

And the super wide C pillar just screams “blind spot accident” all the way. I mean, it’s f’n huge.

This can’t be simply assigned to a design style or whatever because it just smacks of the designer’s total lack of forethought in visualizing the future ride in this vehicle. I understand this is strictly a concept but come on guys. There seems to be a weird line that designers cross into “totally impractical land” that just really bothers me and I’m surprised the design chiefs even let designers spend their time refining such shapes when you KNOW they’ll be seriously revised in production.