Acura ZDX: Design, Deconstructed

Illustration for article titled Acura ZDX: Design, Deconstructed

Well into the second century of the automobile, new vehicles can't help but be a portmanteau of earlier designs. Even those that believe they're a new segment. Let’s see some of the recently-revealed Acura ZDX’s forefathers.

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The BMW X6 was the first SUV to address the needs of people who desire urban combat stockiness and a coupé profile in the same vehicle. The X6 has since become the most recognizable of this attempted creation of a new breed of vehicle. The ZDX appears to borrow both its roof profile and its side windows from the Bavarian monstrosity:

Illustration for article titled Acura ZDX: Design, Deconstructed

Look close and you can even see its slightly nipponized Hofmeister kink:

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Rear Window

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The huge, sloping pane of glass paired with a thin vertical strip at the back as a rear window was most likely invented by Marcello Gandini for his 1967 Lamborghini Espada:

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It has since appeared on cars as diverse as the Pontiac Aztek:

Illustration for article titled Acura ZDX: Design, Deconstructed
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—and the Honda CRX, showing that the styling is not alien to Acura’s mothership:

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Gandini’s solution is an elegant way to increase rear visibility in a profile which tends to reduce it.

Rear Doorhandles

Illustration for article titled Acura ZDX: Design, Deconstructed
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To steal from Alfa Romeo is forgivable, as they are without doubt the masters of styling details. Like many Japanese carmakers, Acura is no stranger to this practice. The inspiration for the ZDX’s rear doorhandles looks like it comes straight from the Alfa Romeo 156:

Illustration for article titled Acura ZDX: Design, Deconstructed
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The 156, one of the greatest sports sedans ever made, is a 1997 design by Walter de’Silva, currently head of design at the Volkswagen Group.

Photo Credit: Acura, Balázs Fenyő (Lamborghini Espada), NetCarShow.com (Pontiac Aztek), Wiros/Flickr (Honda CRX), nordschleifenfan/Flickr (Alfa Romeo 156)

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DISCUSSION

UglyDuckCar
UglyDuckCar

When I was a younger, more eager lad back in highschool I dreamed of being an automotive designer, who would one day either work for Pinafarina or have his very own design studio. But alas, such dreams were crushed when reality pointed out certain facts like salary wages or more importantly how "only 10% of car design students are hired." And that was before the economic crisis. However, the one thing I took from that is to understand and appreciate the beauty of design in all cars. I mean imagine how nice your car looked on concept before being beaten down with cost cuts, government regulations, and "design committees." I can only imagine how wonderful looking the Acura ZDX looked in concept form on paper. It probably looked awesome. But translated into reality something got lost. Going through the same dream destroying process, proportions became altered until it was made to be awkward.

That all said, I think this car is ugly overall, which is a shame, cause I see all the beauty it could have had. And hell, I'm a caliber owner after all.