T Nation

Car Design


Why don't car companies like Toyota, Kia, Honda, etc. design cheaper cars that look as sleak as more expensive cars like Ferrari, Jaguars, Teslas etc.?


All those bends cost money. Concave surfaces melding into convex ones (ala BMW's flame surfacing) cost money as well.

Parts on less expensive cars are used throughout the model line-up, parts on expensive cars may be unique to one model.

More complex designs tend to be polarizing, it might be easy to sell 3000 models a year of a particular design, but impossible to sell 30,000 units.

More complex designs are made possible through more expensive materials: carbon fiber, aluminum body panels, magnesium frame castings, etc.

Newer advances in lighting (LED projectors, LED running lights) look cool but are terribly expensive.


Yeah, generally more expensive. Harder to repair. More polarizing.

But also, proportions just don't work out the same. The proportions of a Ferrari lead to an utter lack of utility. 2 seats, large engine compartment, 2 doors, very low to the ground, no trunk. Low roof line. Riding position on the floor. People wouldn't by a civic like that.

Though there are some good looking cheaper cars coming out. The BRZ comes to mind, but you won't see those selling like focuses or civics for the reasons above.


But do those bends come at an extra cost of 100k-200k?

I can see Ferrari design attracting certain people but, is anyone looking at a new Jaguar and saying that is gross I am going to go buy a Camry instead.

*I thought of this when looking at comparisons of classic cars vs replicas (Cobras, Porches) and the obvious astronomical price difference.


Hundreds of dollars make a difference in the lower end car market, let alone multiple thousands of dollars.


There is a lot more involved in the pricing of classic cars and replicas aside from just how it looks. People are paying more because it's a classic. And very well done replicas are just as expensive as an original. For example, look at Equus models.

And while the direct manufacturing costs might not equal the 100 to 200k sticker price, companies have to get back the millions they spent in researching and developing that car.