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Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Ford Mustang/ Nelly Edition


        The last autoshow I attended was the Philadelphia International Autoshow in Philadelphia, PA. I had attended the previous year as well, but this one was special. Have you ever been on a lucky streak before? Well I ran into one. It began with me winning two tickets to the Philadelphia International Autoshow from a contest held on the Philadelphia Autoshow Facebook page. I was so elated when the tickets came in the mail. I wanted to attend the show, but I was still in collge back then and broke too. My plan had been to take me and a girl I was dating to the show and you know, have fun! With me winning the tickets I spared some change, and was able to treat my date to a luxurious dinner at a fine Jamaica restaurant after I came back from visiting the show. (Uhmm yeah, girls and cars is good stuff lol). But anyway, winning the tickets to the car show was the first part of my winning streak, the other would be fulfilled later.
        During my hours and hours of looking at some of the hottest cars I could rest my eyes on, as well as posing besides the splendid vehicles and taking pictures, I ran unknowingly into the Dub booth (Dub is an affiliated trademark of Dub Magazine, an automotive lifestyle magazine, and which also does, car customizations, and car show tours). Here my vision was snatched away by a splendiferous "all blacked-out" automobile of the most highest level of gorgeousness. I immediately went over to this car and immediately evolved into a trance! I repeatedly shuffled back and forth from different sides of the car in a daze, while astonishingly admiring the beauty of the vehicle. I was literally speechless! What took my breath way most, however, was the rims - the Dub rims! These were of a style I had never seen before. I don't even know or (if I was told) remember what the name for the particular rim style was. They were all black too, and the front rims were different from the rear in that they were less recessed than those at the rear. The effect of this style was an appearance of depth. A heavy, gripping depth. (Some aspects of design just can't be explained normally, there's just not enough words in the English language). But man oh man, these rims just dazzled the crap out of my eyes. And the lovely Dub customization of the vehicle itself just made it pop more. It made it bang! This Dub Edition of the Ford Mustang is the best looking Mustang I have ever seen! Period! What I was wondering while observing the car though, is why the expletive won't Ford just make the Mustangs like this directly out of the factory! This car is HOT! It's so f**kin' HOTT!!
        Now, moving on, here is where the second streak of my luck came in. As me and my friend, Jamal (co-founder of SeraniTafari Street Team) were roaming to and from around the Ford Mustang, we caught the attention of Myles Kovacs (the co-founder and CEO of Dub Magazine). He enjoyed how we were admiring his car, and decided to have us critique it for his TV crew. I was like, "What!  Ok!" I was besides myself with happiness, and in addition, I was caught off gaurd too.(Hahaha) But we both went for it. Infact, describing that car for the camera is what I believe gave me the preliminary idea of writing a blog about cars. I love to talk about a vehicle's design - the intricacies about its design concept that give it character.
        Anyway, after the critique of the Ford Mustang for TV, we met with Myles Kovacs and conversed for a while - mostly about the his Mustang design/concept that sat before us, as well as other topics like how he started out. He was cool as hell! Too cool! I felt the urge to just tell him about all kinds of car design ideas that I have in mind. We posed and took some pics. I'm like "yay! I'm getting a picture with a celebrity!" Finally, before leaving, and ofcourse - as an aspiring car designer and wheel designer, I asked him for his businesscard. I'm so glad he had one that day, because hat card is one of my most prized pieces of contact information, I call it the gold card (Haha).
        Well, yall readers, try to enjoy digitally what I enjoyed in the flesh that day. The 2011 Ford Mustang Dub/Nelly Edition!




Can't you just hear the exhaust note!!



"All Black Everything!" Yeah mon!

CHECKOUT THE HIPS AND DERRIERE! :)

DUB RIMS IS BOSS BABY!!!!!!!

-Gebre Mesquitta

The 2010 Ford Taurus



1st generation Ford Taurus
        Well, another member of the Big Three has a blazing hot single out! It’s the new Taurus by Ford, which debuted in 2010. Before I begin describing the new Ford Taurus, I will give a brief history of the car. The Ford Taurus has been through many changes - four generations. The first generation was from 1986 to 1991, the second was from 1992 to 1995, the third was from 1996 to 1999, the fourth was from 2000 to 2007, and the fifth was from 2008 to 2009. The first generation Taurus was ugly and annoyingly conservative in design, and I despised the rear end of the side of the car, where the curve of the wheel well was much lower than that at the front. I absolutely abhorred cars with that style! (feels phlegm building up in throat, wants to spit).

2nd generation Ford Taurus
        The second generation Ford Taurus looked a lot better than the first. It was upgraded with slimmer headlights, smoothed out body panels, and revised headlights. I remember when I was like 11 years old my neighbor bought one of these. It had looked soo hot – in a nice darkish navy blue, similar to the one below. (picture of second generation Ford Taurus). It had the flair of a cop car, and he would drive it like one too. I remember how he would just charge into the driveway make a u-turn and then park the car vertically in front of his garage. He rarely parked the car inside; he loved to show it off! And I would always be at the window watching him, hahaha. He’d always look up (with his little beady eyes lol) and catch me at the window, and do a little presidential wave. (You know that style – that half-wave type little motion with the hand). Its like he was saying, “Yeah, I know you like ma swag lil boy”.

3rd generation Ford Taurus
        But anyway, back to the topic, the third generation Ford Taurus was from 1996 to 1999. It was an ugly redesign, just f**kin’ uggly (misspelling is intentional). The headlamps were toyish looking - almost cartoonish - with big and small oval and circle shapes. An oval/ circular-ish theme was also carried over to the taillights, and it looked just as awful! In fact, the whole shape of the car design is very oval, and egg-like and ummm, gives the car an “a**hole” appearance (lol). You know those people who just look
like a**holes, (hahaha)

4th generation Ford Taurus


        The Fourth generation of the Ford Taurus was from 2000 to 2007. The new redesign was much more stylish, and sexier. Look at that! A Ford Taurus looking sexy! Hahaha. But, what this new redesign of the Ford Taurus essentially looked like was a revision (yeah re-vision in deed, lol) produced by a designer who had previously fallen asleep, but now had awaken. He has regained some of his consciousness! He still has a ways to go, but he’s getting there!
5th generation Ford Taurus
The Fifth generation Ford Taurus was the shortest lived of all, it lasted from 2008 until 2009! See the designers were awakening from their sleep. They were realizing that, “wait a minute, what the f^*k are we doing?! The Ford Taurus introduced here was a rebadged Ford Five Hundred. It was a quick move by Ford…ummm you know like the yawns of men realizing they’re like totally f%^king around! It’s like they’ve thrown off the covers, jumped out of bed, sped to the sink and thrown cold water on their faces. Hahaha. Because at this time the Ford Taurus was going to be discontinued! However, upon their quick awakening (lol).They came up with a spur of the moment idea: rebrand the Ford Five Hundred as the Ford Taurus. Honestly, this design was more a more effortful innovation of the former Ford Taurus. It was more sexy too.. yep!JWhat it lacked however, was more design drama in the side panels and on the hood. The headlamps were also too big and plain. The same thing with the taillights – too big and plain, and the car looked a bit truck-ish, it was somewhat too highL.
Well, lets breathe a sigh of relief, we have now arrived at the sixth generation of the Ford Taurus. Okay, the stage curtain is about to open! A man in a magician-like suit says, “All rise!” (The crowd rises from its seat as the curtain is slowly drawn open). The crowd collectively gasps and announces, “Holy crap!” Holy f*^kin’ s**t, and gives a rousing and thunderous applause. The man in the magician suit says - while smiling - “The generation of fabulous-ness, and splendid-ness, and sexiness, and captivating design-ness has now come for the Ford Taurus!”. (The crowd thunderously applauds again before being seated).



Well yep! A new designer, by the name of Earl Lucas, has walked into the building. And again, it’s another African American designer doing fantastic things at the Big Three – following in the footsteps of Ralph Giles (Chrysler 300C designer), and Edward Welburn (Chief designer of General Motors Corporation). Earl Lucas gave birth to the best Ford Taurus ever to come out of the studios of Ford Motor company. I remember when I first found out about this vehicle, I think I was in my last year of college at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. What I can’t remember was where I found out about it. I can’t remember if it was on the TV, in the newspaper, or on the internet. But, any which way, it was a “Shock and awe” moment. I was like, “What! I guess America is really getting its s***t together! YAY!! They came with the Chrysler 300C, the Dodge Charger, the Dodge Challenger, and now this?! Wow!” I now set out to track news about this car from every medium: TV, newspaper, magazine, and internet! I became a Ford Taurus addict just like I did with the Chrysler 300C, and the Dodge Charger, and the Dodge Challenger. I am just so sincerely impressed with the beauty, and the effort put into the redesign of this car. It is extremely amazing!

       Okay now, it's about that time! Like Missy Elliot says in the intro to Jazmin Sullivan’s “Need You Bad,” lets go! Lets get it in with this 2010 Ford Taurus 2010 critique! The greatest design showcase made by the new Ford Taurus is at the front. This is the first area that I was attracted to, more specifically the upper portion of the front end. What was snatching here, was the broad bulge in the hood, and this is made even more serious by another bulge on top of that! Talk about a designer serious or high on something (secret: he listens to music while he designs). This design on the hood imparts a tough, truck like demeanor to the car. Now let me mention this tidbit: you see, trucks/SUVs are cool (style-wise) regardless of their gas mileage J , and America knows it! Now, if you add elements of SUV styling to a car, it’s gonna look cool too! Ok, now that being said, lets move visually downward from the big hood bulge. Here is the grille. This here is a design piece all on its own. It essentially carries the front fascia of the FordTaurus. It’s the boss here! Everything else revolves around this grille. There are two grilles. The main one is in bold chrome, and is further up on the front fascia, the second one is only highlighted with a chrome outline. But what is unique about the second grille is that it is almost a mirror image of the upper grille. And it being placed right beneath the upper grille enforces, or emboldens the upper grille visually. Note: design is a visual thing and with intelligent composition and arrangement can make magic. And the magic is usually something that you know you see but can’t really interpret, but yet it’s why you like what you see.

Focused, assertive, and declarative!
       Moving outward from the grille, we get to the headlamps. The headlamps are slim (like those on the second generation Ford Taurus), but, more assertive, smiling-ish and sexy! The headlight within the headlamp housing is also a single circular piece – which gives the overall headlamp design this focused, assertive look. Also, aiding in making the headlamp deisgn pop is the placement of the turn signal, as it is positioned on the headlamp housing rather than on the car body. It visually ties together the circular headlamp within the housing, making the entire headlamp design fiercely appealing. To finish up on my critique of the front end of the car, I will also add that there is a convergence of tension here. Everything comes to a point, a level – right below the outline of the upper grille. Now tension as I have learned is very important in car design, because tension is like movement at rest . Tension is not static, it is a movement held at bay! Like a rubber band stretched on a slingshot! With one hand your index finger is holding the rubber band in a drawn back position - you can release it if you want hahahaha. But just for a moment, picture that rubber band stretched…that’s tension…and excitement! Now, in addition to this design tension on the Ford Taurus, there is also an element of boldness, and the particular boldness here is where I see hip hop (I heard the designer listened to music while designing). I can recognize bass lines in the hood and belt-line of the car. I love the cool hip-ness of this boldness, a beautiful derivative of urban style! And it is carried very intelligently all throughout the car.

       Well lets now move onto the side of this splendid Ford Taurus! Here you can witness the intelligent continuation of the bold styling at the front. Bold, and innovative are two words that I want to just repeat over and over again in describing the side of the car. The most notable aspect in the side styling is the dead straight crease just below the windows. On the same level as the headlamps, and beginning from a chrome gill a little bit beyond the edge of the driver’s door, it spans almost exactly the width of the two doors. I love this crease; it is such a unique styling cue! I have never seen it quite this way on any car before. In addition, there is a second crease close to the underbody of the car. This ties in the first crease above, (similar to the effect of the double grille at the front) and makes for a bold artistic impression. It is so just creative! The design of the crease, being of a deep, inward cut, also lends a very sculpturesque appearance to the side of the car. Infact, as I am looking at the pictures of the Taurus, and writing my descriptive analysis, I’m recognizing that sculpturesque-ness is a theme in the Ford Taurus’s design language. Furthermore, and as aforementioned, with the upper crease being on same level as the headlamp, it pulls the eyes into the design detail of the car and visually engages you with the artistic expression that the designer is trying to make. The visual excitement captured at the front of the car is therefore tied into the whole car. This increases the non-boringness of the vehicle and makes the viewer want to see more.

        And yes! YAY! There is more to be seen indeed! Welcome to the rear of the Ford Taurus! Hahahaha. Oooh “sensual seduction” J Over here is sexxy…lots of derriere! It’s a full perfection of feminine beauty integration. And of course, mixed in with this is additional, unequivocally, innovative bold styling. A lovely aspect of the rear design is the rear taillight design. It is beautiful! The taillights have a large reverse light, which makes the taillight housing lees boring. Also, the taillights shares its shape with the turn signal. I like this compact, unique integration. Now altogether, the taillight housing is tied together with a thick horizontal chrome piece. In the center of this chrome piece is the Ford logo. Now I tell myself, “What a gorgeous design!” This chrome tie-piece with the Ford logo in the center has the appearance of a belt – picture the Ford logo as the buckle- get it? Sexy huh? Umm yeah (lol). Now, moving down from here, the trunk lid, instead of just being flat, is instead, bent inward, adding a unique bit of design flair. (This designer is just crazy!)

Now checkout the interior:









        
Oh, and one last thing! Checkout the Ford Taurus SEMA aftermarket edition!




Now, let me tell you something here: once a car design is hot enough for SEMA aftermarket accessories, that car has made it! The Ford Taurus has made it! Imagine that! Ford Taurus being tricked out! Hahaha, Ford has come along way. Keep it up Ford, and Earl Lucas please don’t make them mess up. Keep up the heat man. I want it, “All the way turned up / All the way turned up” - Soulja Boy
       I hereby conclude my report on the all new Ford Taurus. All I can really say is just, Wow Earl Lucas! You have really cemented me as a new fan of Ford Motor Company. You took it to the highest level and really murdered this car man! (Takes off hat and bows). Your design direction and execution is superb and trendsetting. Writing this blog made me appreciate the design of this vehicle ten times more than before I began writing it. This blog was not even intended to even be half this long! Well congratulations Mr. Earl Lucas on a most well designed automobile!!




- Gebre Mesquitta

Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 Dodge Charger Vs. Previous Dodge Charger


Well ok! So just like Chrysler’s remix of its hit single, the Chrysler 300C, Dodge Charger also did a remix of its hit single, the previous Dodge Charger. When that Dodge Charger came out, I was stunned! It was a most beautifully designed car with splendid and thorough design execution. It is in a class all by itself, and is an icon of beautiful, competition-beating automobile design. No words can describe this car when I see it. It just exudes all kinds of mad sex appeal. It is just so witheringly sexy. It’s a sexy beast! If this was an animal, this would be the first sexiest animal ever! (laughing uncontrollably)
        Well now lets get on to critiquing the new remix of the previous Dodge Charger – the all new 2011 Dodge Charger. The first sight of recognizable difference is at the front of the car. Here the front fascia of the car has a more raked-upward look. However, there are some displeasing aspects of this new redesign. The original shape of the headlamp housing was not retained in the new design. Instead, the headlamp housing is more rectangular-ish, in contrast to the previous design in which the top of the headlamp shape had a more striking upward slant. In addition, the headlamps have been pushed in further, giving a more drawn back or relaxed look to the front end. This is in contrast to the previous design, in which the headlamps were pushed further out, and almost in line with the grille. This positioning made for a bolder in-your-face look, and in combination with the grille and headlamp housing design, aided in an aggressive, ferocious cat appearance. Furthermore, the headlamps within the housing are too big, as well as too square-ish! The headlamps take up almost all of the space in the housing. It leaves no visual breathing space, so to speak. There always needs to be a little “air” in the headlamp housing so, you can appreciate its shape design – well if there’s anything nice about it to begin with. However, there is one positive aspect about the front end design of the new Dodge Charger, and it’s also one that I had predicted. They pulled in the sides of the grille – gave it a lower inward angle. This is a good progressive design update J . All that would have been needed to accompany this is raked – up headlamps, but at the same time, still retaining most of the former headlamp shape.
        Ok, now lets move on to the side of the car. OMG! WTF! What happened here? Are you kidding me? No, holy crap, are you really kidding me? This just aint right! Say it aint so! They removed the crease that used to be on the rear shoulder! L This was a defining design aspect of the Dodge Charger. This is a famous crease! And the thing about it is that it wasn’t just any type of crease. It was a meticulous crease – like a little mixture of a Nike swoosh and a lightning bolt. It was banging! I'm going to go a little bit further, it was snatching! Whenever a Dodge Charger would pull up besides me on the street, I would stare endlessly at that striking rear shoulder panel crease. Also, another disappointment with the design of the side of the car, is the shape of the rear passenger window. The former design was more interesting, it added drama, and accented the fore mentioned crease on the rear quarter panel. Lastly, the rear end of the side of the car has a vertical profile compared to the previously slanted style. This re-design delays the look of visual movement on the car. On the previous Charger, both the front and rear end of the side profile was slanted, or leaning forward. This gave the car a look of motion. It had a leaping, or pouncing look. (When standing still, it looked like it was in transition). At present, however, the new Dodge Charger only has the front end of the side profile of the car slanted. Therefore, this has the effect of the front end of the car appearing like its moving while the rear end is at a standstill. This in combination, gives the car a stagnant profile – a look of no motion. But, however, there is one positive design aspect of the side of the car. It does have a large crease in the panel – albeit a different type. The only thing is that, it’s sort of a plane Jane indentation, and would probably be more complemented by the addition of the previous crease from the previous charger (on the rear quarter panel). I think that combination would be kickin’! It would be new, different and innovative – umm yeah, the way I came to think of Dodge after they first came out with that re-designed Dodge Charger. (lol)
        Ok, well now, lets head on to the back of the car. The redesign of the rear of the car is awesome, I must say. It’s really decent! It’s tight! It’s neat! In fact, (hahaha) the rear end is my type of what I call good-‘ol bold innovative Dodge styling!
        Now here comes the final grade. All in all, in regards to the improper front end re-design and in addition to the removal of the rear quarter panel crease, and the boring reshaping of the rear passenger window on the side, I’ll give the 2011 Dodge Charger a C. For me I am a crude street (SeraniTafari Street Team lol)critique of automobile styles. You either hot or you not. In my crude design vocabulary, good = hot, and ugly = not hot. But because I still have some love for Dodge (because of the hot stuff they have made before) and respect other lovers of Dodge, I won’t just outright say its ugly – and that would be a little bit ignorant, because there some good design additions to the car. So umm yeah J .


 



A designer must be observant..design is money! The Big Three have what it takes to be successful, and money is at stake..if you need help, holla at the SeraniTafari Street Team!

- Gebre Mesquitta