- Mercedes EQC 2019

Have you ever looked at a brand new car and thought to yourself: What a stunning machine… but why the heck did they have to make the front look that way?!

Recently I noticed that there are a lot of cars with an overall decent appearance, or even some of outstanding beauty, that unfortunately destroy all their styling with very specific problems.

Sometimes it‘s the overall proportions or the placing of the headlights that makes the car look a little bit odd – in these cases it‘s a problem that cannot be fixed so easily. But sometimes, the whole styling is destroyed by tiny little details like flaps, wings, weird lines, ugly air intakes and so on.

This bothered me so much, that I decided to do something about it. In this article, I took some cars with generally known design-problems – and some that I find to be guilty of said crimes – and tried to re-design them a little bit.

First of all, I want to say that I have great respect for all car designers and I have no intention in discrediting their work in any way. Often it is due to manufacturing and engineering reasons that the styling has to be changed during development, which may lead to flaws in an otherwise stunning design.

I’m also neither a pro in photo editing, nor in car design. I did these mods manly with the help of the Sketchbook-App on my tablet. And most importantly: design is highly subjective. An improvement to me might be an awful abomination to you. So let me know in the comments which changes you would have made or which cars you'd like to see next!

With that being said, here are five cars I tried to improve:


The 2019 BMW Z4 sparked a lot of controversy amongst car enthusiasts. Not only because of the Bavarian companies' cooperation with Toyota that famously lead to the new Supra, but mainly because of the styling of the Z4's front end. Recent BMWs are famous for their ever-increasing kidney-grilles, as can be seen especially on the 7-series its SUV-relation, the X7. BMW also increased the grille-size on the new Z4, but it's nowhere near as ridiculous as with said examples.

Nevertheless, I reduced the grille-size by scaling down the silver frame. In addition to that, I got rid of some lines in the front bumper that seemed to go all over the place to reduce the overall aggressiveness of the front end. With the previous generations of the Z4 and older BMW Roadsters and cabriolets such as the Z8 in mind, I think the new Z4 should much rather favor beauty over sportiness. Calmer facial features seem to be more appropriate here.

To round things up, I also kind of normalized the cut-out of the door and granted the car immersible door-handles (just like the ones from the 992) and black side-mirrors to match the a-pillars. The original car (left) and the result of my re-design (right) can be seen below:

Mercedes CLA

Unlike many people, I really liked the design of the first-generation CLA. Yes, even the weird butterfly-backlights. On the 2019 CLA however, Daimler decided to get rid of the weird looks and the CLA adapted the more mature styling of it's bigger brother, the CLS. Personally, I think it works really well. Even though we deal with a small car here, its lines mediate a lot of tension whilst also seeming very elegant. But I think they shouldn’t have done things by half-measures and go all-in on the switch to more elegance. Especially the back of the car could take some inspiration from the higher-class Mercs like the E-Class Coupe.

As I like the general shape of the new CLA, my changes are rather small. I thinned the backlights to make the car look more classy and straightened out the plastic bit on the rear bumper, which makes the rear end look more sophisticated in my opinion. All the other parts remain unchanged – good job Mercedes!

Mazda MX-5

This one is very special to me, as I happen to drive a 2016 MX-5 myself. To me, the ND-Generation is perfect in many ways. It successfully revived the spirit of the original Miata everybody loves: it's light, sporty, affordable and I still catch myself smiling now and then for reasons only true petrolheads can understand. It also perfectly transferred Mazdas "Kodo“ design-language from the concept to serial production – a task they arguably struggled with on the new Mazda 3.

Almost everybody likes the ND and its styling, but I always thought the rear lights made the car look smaller than it really is – and the ND is already a very, very small car. The round main-taillights sit so far in the middle of the rear end, that the MX-5 seems very narrow, especially if it's driving in front of you on the motorway at night time and you see absolutely nothing but the tail lights.

To make the back look wider and the MX-5 not so much like a toy car, I re-designed only the backlights. In my view, this minor change makes my beloved MX-5 look more mature and a little bit more aggressive. Again, this is only my personal view. Do you agree?

Mercedes EQC

As this happens to be the car that sparked the idea of this whole re-design-thing, I have to address the EQC. The moment I saw the first pictures of it, I knew something needed to be done. From the side and the back, it looks like typical, stylish modern Mercedes-SUV (with the addition of a brake-light borrowed straight out of the Cayenne-factory in Leipzig). But if I look at its front grille, I can’t help but seeing an oversized piggy bank.

The main reason for that is the piano-black panel under the EQC's grille, so I decided to get completely rid of it. Also, I made the lower air intakes bigger, shrank down the headlights, and got rid of the black badge on the side. The smaller headlights might take some time to get used to, but in my opinion these changes combined make the car look a lot cleaner and more elegant – like a Mercedes should be.

DS3 Crossback E-Tense

Let's be honest here – if you think that a regular Citroen is too boring for someone like you, and you make the decision to go for a model of their even quirkier luxury-sub-brand DS, you most likely won't have a problem with the weird design of the new DS3 Crossback. You also most likely are French. Although I always like seeing new shapes and ideas in a world of more and more similar looking cars, the design team has pushed it too far on this one.

Most of it comes down to the funny S-shaped light strip in the front bumper of the car and the indented shape of the DS3s headlights. I guess "unusual" doesn't necessarily means "good-looking". Once again, I would have preferred simpler shapes over such complicated ones. Let me know in the comments if you agree.

To close things up, I’d like to thank you for reading all the way through! This is the first article I ever wrote, so I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed working on it. Please let me know what you liked/disliked and where I can improve, especially since I'm not a native speaker. Also, I have to give the Sketchmonkey some credit for his work which inspired me to post this article. You should definitely check out his re-designs on YouTube.

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