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Eight Design Overhauls
  • Eight Design Overhauls

    Eight Design Overhauls

    Many times, new car face-lifts are merely a nip here and a tuck there, but in general most aspects of the previous model remain. Some car makers, though, go all out to create something new, something that turns heads in the street and creates a whole new identity for a favorite, often high-selling brand. Those are the types of makeovers we took a look at for this story, listing the Eight Great Design Overhauls on today's models. Take a look.
  • Toyota Tundra

    Toyota Tundra

    Brief: Create breakthrough product in crowded full-size truck sector.

    Design: Toyota's biggest truck was rebuilt from the rutted ground up and restyled with a mix of attitude, innovation and old-fashioned heft. Calty Design research of Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. ensured this one did not in any way resemble its predecessor, except that it was big ... super big. And super bad.
  • Ford Focus

    Ford Focus

    Brief: Introduce compact model to mainstream market. Prove that small can be big.

    Design: Lon Zaback, Focus chief designer, raised the Focus' beltline to give an air of solidness and create a sleeker profile. Exaggerated features and a wider stance give hints of muscularity and definition missing from its bland forebear. Zaback aimed for "movement, tension and drama."
  • Chevrolet Malibu

    Chevrolet Malibu

    Brief: Style at a competitive price. Think Camry, Cadillac, Corvette.

    Design: Malibu chief designer Clay Dean, now a director at Cadillac, also sculpted the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Aura. He brought a wealth of experience a more than a hint of sports refinement -- including inspiration from the Corvette -- to the Malibu, to break it free from its image as a stodgy, dull midsize.
  • Chrysler 300C

    Chrysler 300C

    Brief: Create a classic silhouette to house a V-8 engine, five passengers

    Design: Chief designer (and car legend) Ralph Gilles sought to work with Chrysler engineers and executives to create a timeless product that at once looked to executive cars of the past with a sharp nod to the future. Think Bentley and Mercedes. Don't think curvy, bland 300C predecessors.
  • Honda Civic

    Honda Civic

    Brief: Focus on the fundamentals

    Design: Design chief Dave Marek, who also led the Ridgeline truck and Acura TL teams, pointed out to that "package and proportion" are starting points for all Honda design. The focus then shifts to clean and simple lines, larger glass for visibility and tight panel gaps. Though every facet has been radically restyled, this one is perhaps more conservative than its predecessor.
  • Scion xB

    Scion xB

    Brief: A bigger and better box

    Design: Nearly a foot longer and three inches wider than its precursor, not to mention much more rounded than its cubicle-like previous model, the xB's height shrank by an inch to give it a more low-profile look (and improve its ride). Comfort and lifestyle played a part in Scion's in-house design team looking to create a lounge-like atmosphere inside.
  • Cadillac CTS

    Cadillac CTS

    Brief: Harmony without harshness

    Design: From CTS exterior design leader Erwin Angala, who also worked on the Hummer H2, you can always expect radical redesigns. The 2008 CTS, however, mildly tweaks the lines of the massively successful 2002 roll-out and it's the interior where the major resculpting has taken place, courtesy of GM interior chief Dave Lyones.
  • Toyota Camry

    Toyota Camry

    Brief: Refine, and define, perfection. Nothing boring!
    Design: Toyota's Japan-based design team aimed to increase the "athletic" look of the car, to break free of the brand's traditionally conservative styling, aiming for a longer cabin with strong, rounded planes. Wheels are pushed to edge of the longer, wider chassis. Character line swoops from the back three-quarter around the headlights to define the deeper front grille.
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