It’s been about six months since we’ve looked at some Design Details and, as I’m a bit burned out from Uni at the moment, I’ve decided it’s high time to look at some again.


Today, in light of the XC40's official release, we’re looking at a rather marked trend in recent automotive styling—the “floating roof”, or the idea that painting a C/D pillar (or more) black is somehow aesthetically pleasing. Now, the XC40 is far from a perfect example of this as its color schemes are entirely selectable options and the “floating roof” isn’t thoroughly embedded in the car’s design language, but that’s not the case for most interpretations of this styling cue. Take Nissan, for instance.

The Maxima is possibly my least favorite “floating roof” out there; it really loses the plot of blending the side beltline into the rear windscreen and instead goes for a black plastic strip that is poorly integrated and better removed—a shame, as the Maxima is quite attractive otherwise.

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On the other hand, Citroen has nailed it with the DS3—a lovely, well integrated alternative color roof panel with a very distinctive “shark fin” pseudo-pillar to accentuate the door panel and help resolve some of the car’s body lines rather than having rigid character lines go along the entire length of the car.

So there you have my two cents, what does Oppo think?

What are the best/worst/most distinctive examples of “floating roof” design in the automotive landscape?