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Wheels Automotive Design Awards 2008

Jesse Taylor
8 May 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

Does form follow function or do superstar looks corrupt great design? Our judging panel sorts good from bad in the third Wheels Automotive Design Awards.

If, like me, you’re a car nut and a child of the 1970s and 80s, it’s likely your bedroom walls were overlaid with automotive posters. My preferred interior decorating touches were supplied by UK outfit Athena, who did a supercar series that included such design icons as Ferrari’s 288 GTO and Testarossa, Lamborghini’s Countach and Porsche’s 911 Turbo.

Around Australia and across the globe, these and other static images fired the collective imaginations of young car enthusiasts, wannabe motoring journalists and budding automotive designers. Indeed, at the launch of the Nissan 350Z in 2003, the Z-car’s car’s designer, 30-year-old Ajay Panchal, told me he had a Lamborghini Countach Athena poster on his bedroom wall as a lad growing up in England.

But while many designers would love to have their signature adorn the flanks of an Italian supercar, the reality is that most will only ever work on somewhat more prosaic conveyances. One glance at the entry list for the third Wheels Automotive Design Awards (WADA) confirms that few of the assembled cars would qualify for poster status – Audi’s futuristic R8 being the obvious exception.

Though hero cars may be thin on the ground at WADA, our judges can be sure they’ll be asked to consider cars from across the breadth and width of the Australian market. This year our list of contenders takes in the aforementioned Audi supercar, through a Holden ute, to a decidedly unsexy Renault Grand Scenic people mover, with a half dozen others in between. Judges will be asked to name a best interior design, best exterior and best overall design.

Of course, good automotive design is about much more than whether a car moves you to Blu-Tack a picture to your wall or, as the case may today, save it to your computer’s screensaver. Judges need to consider aesthetic appeal, of course, but they must also consider if the design also works on more pragmatic levels. In design-speak, it’s called ‘fitness for purpose’ and many great looking cars – quite a few from the Athena poster series, in fact – would fail this basic test.

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This car looks great.
They should bring it to the states and sell it as an El Camino - but here's the twist - as a Pontiac!
 

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I hope we get the outrageous color choices they get in Oz. Mine will be either that green, the yellow metallic, an orange metallic or maybe a purple. The flashier the better. :D
 

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HEY GUYS JUST WOUNDERING IF THE HSV W427 WAS GOING TO THE UK AND THE MIDDLE EAST BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE COOL AND WHEN DO U THINK THEY WILL PUT THE LS9 IN IT OR A TWIN TURBO LS7 IS THERE GONNA BE A W427 UTE,WAGON,etc HEARS SOME CHOPS IV'E BEEN WORKING ON
 

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LOL, when you stop typing in CAPS LOCK :p The Ute looks the goods but i don't know if it'll win. Does look pretty slick driving by.....
 

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HEY GUYS JUST WOUNDERING IF THE HSV W427 WAS GOING TO THE UK AND THE MIDDLE EAST BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE COOL AND WHEN DO U THINK THEY WILL PUT THE LS9 IN IT OR A TWIN TURBO LS7 IS THERE GONNA BE A W427 UTE,WAGON,etc HEARS SOME CHOPS IV'E BEEN WORKING ON
WHEN R THEY GONNA BUILD THE SEXY TORANA AND GIVE IT A BIG V8 IN IT IT WOULD LOOK COOL IF IT LOOKED LIKE THIS
HSV SHOULD DO A WAGON THEN SELL IT IN THE UK,MIDDLE EAST AND PUT A LS7,LS9 IN IT I KNOW THE UK WILL LOVE IT. AND DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE COUPE60 IS GETTING BUILT BECAUSE ITS THE BEST HOLDEN THEY HAVE EVER BUILT STUFF GLOBEL WARMING YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE GM SHOULD SELL ALL THE DUMB BRANDS THAT ARN'T MAKING MONEY THEN THEY COULD PUT MORE V8 ON THE ROAD


I know you're only 13, but could you please lay off the caps lock.


Good work on the chops BTW:)
 

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Cap Locks off!! lol:D..

Nice chops mate i'm pretty hopless at them:D.


I went to my local holden dealers to see the new ute, Jumped in and it seem to have a better seating position then the sedan, Even better seating for the A pillar.
Hard to do over the sedan which has i thought a pretty perfect seat position as it was.
I though there was something differnt about it overall, Must admit it's the best Holden ute i have been in, Felt like a sedan all over. But once you glance over the shoulder you remember where you are in a ute.
 
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