Blade Lamps: Changing the Facial Read of the Car

Previously, we’ve reported on the headlamps of cars aping the human eye as a graphical device. With full LED clusters now feasible and appearing more commonly on production designs, we’re seeing a new type of lamp appear – the blade of light. Horizontally orientated and slim, these present a much wider, meaner DRG. An emergent sub-trend is the vertically orientated blade, which defines the corner of the car.

But in moving away from the circular, oblong or stretched ovoid form, the car’s lights – its “eyes” – no longer look human. Instead, the car is becoming more insect-like in appearance and in extreme cases looks more machine-like – triggering associations with the robots and mechanoids of sci-fi films.

Kia Cross GT concept

Kia Cross GT

The Cross GT concept’s lamps flank the latest interpretation of Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille. Cleverly recessed under the hood surface, they are reflected in the chrome.

Citroen C4 Picasso

Citroen C4 Picasso

The new C4 Picasso, with its slim DRLs above the main lamps, are cleverly linked to the grille and chevron logo by an extended, full-width chrome strip. Its front end follows on from that of the Juke, with the main lamps below a smaller LED unit that creates its strong facial identity. The upper LED lamp unit links to a full-width chrome strip, widening the C4 Picasso’s front end.

Cadillac CTS

Cadillac CTS

Cadillac’s traditionally more upright lamps get a DRL strip that runs vertically up the front of the car, emphasizing a more ‘chiselled’ corner. The lamps add to the CTS’s longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportion for Cadillac’s landmark sedan, evolving the brand’s Art & Science design philosophy.

Trends: Q1 Spring 2013

Volkswagen XL1

The Volkswagen XL1’s horizontally orientated lamps present a much wider, meaner down-road-graphic (DRG). The daytime running lamp (DRL) itself is an ‘L’ shape, which kinks down and round the corner of the car.

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee

The new Cherokee’s blade lamps help deliver a dramatically different new facial identity for Jeep. Commented upon extensively when first unveiled, the blade lamps appear as part of the front fender.

This article originally appeared on Car Design Research and was republished with permission. Read more of their insights here


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