Designing a modern car is the complex and thorough struggle to come up with a result that – most of the time – needs to function well for its intended reason.

Whether you like it or not, the fundamental design law when it comes to constructing automobiles is “form follows function”. Yes, it probably isn’t as glamorous as you’d expected, but the car – like any other day-to-day object – must pursue the purpose for which it was built; it has to make sense. Porsche doesn’t develop cars for rally racing and Nissan doesn’t develop SUVs for track use. Oh, wait…

Anyway, somewhere along the road, some rules have changed; function started following design and turned some notions upside down. That’s why “fashionable” coupe-style SUVs exist.


Are they SUVs? Are they coupes? Are they sport-cars? Are they off-road capable? Are they offering enough room in the back for the passengers? Are they offering enough visibility? Are they dangerous? No one really cares, as long as they look different and captivating (or polarizing), although Citroen’s design lead Frederic Duvernier seems to think that these automobiles are hazardous.

Speaking to CarAdvice, the designer expressed his concern about the fashionable slant-down roof styling, stating:

“There’s lots of SUVs you can’t [see out the back of] because of this fancy coupe stuff for example. Okay, but what’s the point? You can’t put stuff in your trunk and you can’t see outside, so, they’re dangerous cars basically.”

“So I would ask myself, ‘Am I doing a dangerous car?’, and if it is the case, I would have my conscience to say to me, ‘No, that’s not good’. It may be fashionable but I think it’s wrong.”

Duvernier, the man responsible for the Citroen C4 Cactus Project and the recently revealed Cactus M Concept – two original design pieces – even had something to say about the general design approaches in this particular segment:

“Maybe today, I’m sorry to say so, but there’s lots of copy cats. These copy cats, they’re really… They bore me, really. And our job is made to just have fun creating something new, but I think if it’s new for the sake of being new, it’s not going anywhere. If it’s new for the sake of good function, comfort, visibility – if you really understand the people’s needs – I think then it’s a good answer.

The French automakers were known for their airy green-house design-approach, and even if Duvernier’s teachings are commendable, there are Citroens with thick C-Pillars and reduced rear windshields. By: Carscoops