Danny Chang's review of car designs

Friday, December 12, 2008

I like the Ferrari F430

I like the Ferrari F430. The Dark blue one. The convertible. A lot. Especially at the LA Auto Show. On Press Days. Just like this one. On the Ferrari stand. Just like this one in the picture.

The Good - the styling. The design. Of the back. I like the 3D shape of the tail lights, it's a nice evolution of the 4-round tail light design. The matching two dual horizontal tailpipe stacks are a nice touch. Oh and the booth babes.

The Bad - The front end. The headlights are so unimaginative they make the ones on a Hyundai Genesis Coupe look more inspired. And that is sad. This is a Ferrari for God's sake! I don't much like the air intakes, how there're four of them. Ferrari should've made one huge opening on each side of the car, like the Enzo. I'm not saying the Enzo's a beauty, but I like the huge air intakes. The Enzo is kind of like a "butherface," everything good but her face.

The Ugly - I abhor the tacky big ass Ferrari badges on the front fenders. It's screaming, "Hey I know I'm already compensating, but just in case you didn't notice, it's a Fucking-erari. Byotch!" Very useful for picking up dates who can't tell their Ferraris from Corvettes.

In conclusion, no single car is perfect (except for the 2005 Infiniti G35 S sedan), not even the mighty Ferrari F430. A friend of mine actually owns one of these, and I got to drive it once. It is awesome to drive, the engine screams. I still don't like the air intakes and the big ass badges though.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I dig the new 2009 Ferrari California!

The Ferrari booth at the LAAS was one of my favorites, for obvious reasons - the cars are simply awesome! I was delightfully surprised when they let us sit in the cars (I love press days!). I made a beeline for the new California roadster.

The Good
- The folding hard top of the California is so beautifully crafted that when it's up, you can't tell it's a convertible. It looks even better than the folding hard top on the new BMW 3 series convertible. The LED lights in the headlight assembly look great and add a high-tech feel to the car. I also like how the front corners of the car are chiseled and point towards the classic Ferrari grill. The proportions of this front-engined GT are also very classic, unlike that of the Porsche Boxster. Me likes.

The Bad - What is up with the side vents? They look very plasticky and cheap. The shape is awkward too on the fender, I don't like it.

The Ugly - Here's the worst part - yep, you guessed it, the vertically stacked double tail pipes. Need I say more?

Overall the Ferrari California is well-designed, a modern interpretation of the classic Italian Grand Touring coupe. I'll take one, but probably not in powder blue.

2003 Porsche Boxster S is pretty cool

So my friend Steve brought his Porsche Boxster S over today so I decided to review it on the blog.  

Although there's a new Boxster on the scene right now, it's really hard to tell them apart.  Steve begs to differ, he can easily tell the new one from the old.  He's smoking crack.  There's almost no perceptible differences between the two.  This 2003 Boxster was the first year they made it with a glass rear window, so you don't end up with a completely clouded out plastic window in 2 years.

The Good - The Boxster looks way better than a 911. Period. It also is one of the best looking roadsters with the top down. It's the least chick roadster of them all, way better than a Miata or a VW EOS.  Dig the red Brembo brake calipers you find on the Carrera, part of the package you pay the extra 20 grand for on the S.  I also like the whited-out blinkers on the tail lights, much classier than the amber ones. Steve swapped out the amber front side turn signals with darkened white ones.  The centrally located twin tail pipes are also a nice touch.  Also like the integrated fog lights.

The Bad - when the top's up.

The Ugly - when the top's up.  And the fact that the front wheels are so far back from the front end of the car.  There's simply too much overhang on the front end, they should've pushed the front wheels to the corners.

In conclusion, there's really not too much to pick with on the Boxster S.  It's almost as great looking as my 2005 Infiniti G35 S sedan!

2010 Ford Mustang GT could be so much more

When I first saw the new 2010 Ford Mustangs from far across the convention floor at the 2008 LA Auto Show, I swear I could not tell that they were new.   I guess Ford decided to play it safe again, God forbid they take any risks.

The Good - Well to start off, I actually really like the current generation Mustang design. I still think that Ford pulled off this retro muscle car design better than GM did with the new Chevy Camaro.  So the fact that the 2010 Mustang is not that different than the current design, it is a good thing.  I like the evolutionary changes.  The front end is more aggressive and the sheet metal looks more tightly wrapped around the front end.  The hump in the hood is pretty cool.  Frontend changes: B+.

The Bad - The flare over the rear wheel.  Hmmm, where have I seen that recently?  Let’s see, oh yeah, EVERYWHERE! They should’ve done something about the rear side window, it’s more boring than the ugly one on the new Nissan 370z.

The Ugly - Ford decided the chisel off the corners of the new Mustang, including the tail lights. The result is a disaster.  I liked the current car’s tail end with its right-angled corners. The chiseled-off corners make the new Mustang look less aggressive for some reason, which is strange because the new front end is more aggressive.

Overall I give this Mustang refresh a B.  Ford could have and should have gone further to meet the upcoming challenge from the new Camaro and the Challenger.  But I guess given the current state of the car industry, maybe Ford doesn’t have to worry too much about the Camaro and certainly not the Challenger.  Maybe they should put the new hybrid engine from the Fusion into the Mustang.

2009 Nissan 370z is less than beautiful

I first encountered the 2009 Nissan Z or the 370z at the 2008 LA Auto Show a few weeks ago in November. It was rolled out on stage at Nissan’s press conference after the new 2009 Nissan Cube, a first for North America. The new Z is a shout back to the original 1969 240z, while the last 350z was a return to the 1987 300 ZX styling.

First, the good. The overall look and feel of the new 370z is more organic and dynamic, and the shorter wheelbase makes the car look sportier. I like the fact that the roofline droops down after the A pillar, giving it the new GT-R look as well as the original 240 Z look. Dig that. Might make you bump your head more getting in and out of the car but hey, it’s a low price to pay to look good. Also like the new GT-R-like grill opening on the front, it’s much more dramatic than the 350z’s.

Now, the bad. I don’t like the beltline of the new car. I know it droops down from the A pillar and curves back up after the B pillar to match that of the original 240z, but it’s just not done right. It doesn’t have the grace of the 240z and looks contrived. Looks like the designer sneezed while drawing the line and abruptly and awkwardly finished the line behind the door. And again, Nissan, please lose that horrendous vertical door handle. This one is no better.

Finally, the ugly. I just can’t get used to the weird headlights like the ones you see on the new Maxima, it’s just weird. Worse than the Maxima, the new Z’s tail lights also have the strange swoosh shape that for some reason just rubs me the wrong way. Kind of like wearing matching colors - a green hat and green shorts, which my wife informs me is a major fashion faux-pas.

In conclusion, I feel that the Nissan designers could have done much , much better with the new Z. C’mon, this is such a great car to work with. It has such a rich history with very distinctive designs, I think the designers just should’ve done better. Maybe they had, but the execs or Carlos overrode them. Sigh…The car does get the awesome 3.7 liter V6 from the Infiniti G37, however, but this blog is all about being 100% superficial and not about the underlying awesomeness of the mechanics or lack there of. Chang out.

Lamborghini gallardo