The first DVN Quarterly Report on recent auto launches goes live today. Some models were launched at virtual online motor shows, some in model- or marque-specific livestreamed events, and some in coördinated tie-ins with other new products. We’ve compiled this quick list of eight takeaway points from recent auto launches:
• Very impressive cars considering styling, functions, and trends.
The innovation curve keeps on growing steeper and steeper, as it seems, with innovation in functionality.
• Front lamps are growing slimmer and slimmer.
There is a definite trend toward slit-shaped headlamps. To some degree it’s fuelled by a sort of look-what-we-can-do-now exuberance as LEDs, laser diodes, light guides, and other technology expands the horizons of what’s possible.
• Rear lights, too, are becoming slimmer and slimmer.
Here again, as at the front, even on large SUVs and big cars the trend is inexorably toward slimline lightstyling—probably driven by the same technical factors as the front lamps, reinforced by stylists’ desire to tie together the front and rear of the car:
• Lights increasingly put forth and amplify brand signatures.
3 examples: SEAT’s triangular DRL signature, BMW’s J-hook, and Peugeot’s triple-claw design are strongly characteristic of those brands’ visual signatures.
• New lighting functions are moving from the lab to the road.
Message display panels, selectable-signature OLEDs, blue accent lights, matrix-effect decorations, and much, much more:
• More and better 3D effects in the design of front and rear light units.
We have come a very long way from the days when the only three-dimensionality of a lamp was its outer lens contour; take a look at these beautiful deepies:
• Full-width light lines.
Here again, light is the new chrome. We’re seeing more and more linear arrays tying the left and right lights together—both at the front and at the rear:
• Interior lighting is continuing its strong upward trajectory.
Look at the beautiful deep blue accent lighting making the interior elements in the new Mercedes S-Class appear to float, for example, or the lightning-bolt effect in the Range Rover Evoque, or Rolls-Royce’s magical Starlight headliner: