The debut of the Lincoln MKX midsize luxury crossover in 2006 opened a new era of Lincoln style and the 2011 Lincoln MKX extends the legacy of modern, flowing design accentuated by crafted details.

“The exterior design of the new Lincoln MKX further differentiates itself from other crossovers while at the same time embracing signature Lincoln DNA,” said Hak Soo Ha, exterior design manager. “Craftsmanship, luxury and innovation define the 2011 Lincoln MKX.”

Hak Soo Ha, exterior design manager for the 2011 Lincoln MKX, brings a world perspective to the popular luxury crossover. Born in South Korea, Ha moved to Argentina when he was 14 before coming to the United States for college. He earned his degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

Throughout those travels, one consistent theme emerged.

“As a boy I always loved cars and I enjoyed drawing and painting, so my career came very naturally,” said Ha.

Ha joined Ford in 2001. Prior to his assignment with the MKX crossover, Ha assisted with the exterior design of Ford’s family of midsize cars: the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr (now MKZ)

The GMC Granite, named best concept design at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, is flanked by design team members Peter Blades, Frank Saucedo, Gael Buzyn, Clay Dean, Ray Miller, Juho Suh and Gulya Kuldjanov.

Industrial-inspired exterior
A cadre of young designers drew upon the preferences of young, urban professionals like themselves, who are very social and active. They are more likely to take friends to clubs and load outdoor gear on weekend excursions than to haul lumber or tow a boat. With those requirements in mind, they sketched out the dimensions of the Granite accordingly. Its 103.6-inch (2,631 mm) wheelbase is comparable to a Chevrolet Cobalt, but its 161.3-inch (4,097 mm) overall length is more than a foot shorter. Its size gives the Granite exceptional maneuverability, even within narrow urban streets.

The Granite's comparatively short body length is complemented by a wide, 70.3-inch (1,786 mm) overall width and a tall, 60.5-inch (1,536 mm) height. Those dimensions create unique proportions that depart dramatically from conventional minivan, SUV or crossover designs. "The Design team leveraged the best attributes from different segments: SUV, minivan and crossover, and mixed them with a commercial chic aesthetic. We feel this redefines the premium class of vehicles we call urban utility vehicles," said Lyon.

Granite has four doors, hinged on each side to open like a set of French doors. There's no pillar between the front and rear doors, making the Granite easier to enter, exit and load, even with bulky items.

"We gave the Granite a bold yet appealing design that truly makes a styling statement," said Juho Suh, exterior design manager. "For a new generation of urban professionals, it delivers the look and functionality they need."

In keeping with the vehicle's urban theme, the exterior of the Granite has a series of complex, intersecting planes and angles, creating the impression of an industrial machine - an object created out of necessity, but admired for its precision and functional aesthetics.

Toyota FJ Cruiser - Exterior Design, Jin Won Kim; Interior Design, William Chergosky

Jinwon Kim graduated from Art Center College of Design in summer 2001, and has been designing for Toyota’s Calty Design Research Inc.  Jin is the key designer for the 07′ FJ Cruiser and the 07′ FT-HS Concept car

FJ Cruiser designer Jin Won Kim has said that the new truck "[plays] off of the heritage and spirit of the FJ40," and therein lies the rub: Cupholders would have never been included with the FJ40, where drivers with two functioning thighs made their own. Nor would electric windows and locks appear, even on the option sheet. To the diehard, the parsimonious FJ40 was a pinnacle of minimalist superiority that was simple and durable enough to survive the trails of Mount Fuji and the African bush with equal aplomb.

The purists see the FJ Cruiser's front CV joints as an affront to decency, and its soft-cloth headliner as a sign of moral dereliction. But the door has closed on the era of the old FJ40, and there's no going back. Short of 4x4 shopping in a former Soviet republic, buyers will never again see the days when a carburetor feeds the engine and the bumpers are separated by only twelve feet.

Toyota FT-HS concept
The FT-HS 'Hybrid Sports' concept is a bold design direction, unashamedly advanced and challenging yet based on sound principles that many casual observers may have overlooked. In the flesh, the pearl white paint finish shows more fullness in the surfaces and larger radii than in photos, softening the spikeyness of initial impressions.

“We came up with the idea of 'subtractive mass' to express the bold and lightweight aims of the concept” explains Jin Won Kim, senior creative designer for the exterior. “For instance, the center of the roof is scooped out, as are areas below the headlamps and rear lamps, to reduce the massive feeling of the body. It's a progression of both our Vibrant Clarity and J-Factor philosophies”.

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