Thanks for your feedback, this is interesting to ponder. I am having a hard time differentiating between 2/3 box designs and your "architecturally dedicated spacial volumes" comment.
While you are right about the hood, its height can also change because of the cowl height. (Just about every dimension changes because of the cowl height, but I digress...) I wager taller cowls happen for this reason more often than not. Taller cowls seem like a more fail-safe design to ensure a pedestrian won't smack their head on the intake manifold when being hit by a car. Or more importantly, to ensure passengers won't smack their head on the strut towers...and making a taller hood in that area without raising the cowl will have an adverse affect on vehicle design. (Unless you are a fan of the strut bumps on the Mitsubishi 3000GT.)
Good examples that prove you can still have a low cowl are the Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 (low slung boxer engines) and Lexus LC (hood poppers). But most vehicles don't have that luxury, so taller cowls were a good workaround ever since 2010 mandate came about.
It's a little bit of everything from the past and present. That's what happens when you try to modernize a traditional brand with traditional vehicles...and apparently, ultimately do a poor job of it (but who's counting).
Yes and no...and I am glad you brought it up! Have a look at this quote below from this page.
In considering the effects of increased CUV popularity on fuel economy calculations, it is also important to recognize that CUVs are classified in multiple ways by different government agencies and industry sources. For example, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) within the Department of Commerce and some industry sources classify vehicles on the basis of gross vehicle weight limits, vehicle appearance, and other criteria. In BEA's data, all CUVs are counted as light trucks.
When implementing fuel economy standards, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorize CUVs as either passenger cars or light trucks depending on their characteristics and features. For instance, one of the best-selling CUV models is the Honda CR-V. The two-wheel drive CR-V qualifies as a passenger car, and the all-wheel drive CR-V qualifies as a light truck.
Sajeev it's hard for me to believe people spent the time to argue against your point. In fact before even reading I thought "this is so obvious, do I really need to read it?" But great points made and a worthwhile read.
What we're really seeing is just another manufactured good running its course. Pick virtually any product you like; let's use "refrigerator" as an example. Early versions from the 1920s were essentially an ice box with a compressor strapped on (horseless carriage era). By the late 30s they started to get streamlined, just like the cars of the time. The 50-60s were a golden era of chrome and wildly optimistic colors/gadgets. They lasted an inordinate amount of time, because new models could be sold to an expanding market or fashion-changes. The 70-80s saw a gradual decline in styling with fewer color choices. By the 2000s manufacturer consolidation occurred as they became indistinguishable rectangles in stainless for the "haves" and back/white paint for the "poors". Now they're chip-dependent, heavily regulated, global commodity products made with low-bid parts that will last for about 3 cell phone upgrades before being scrapped. Of course concurrently, there were always commercial models. Consider those the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. Some people started buying those for home use as the residential models became flimsier.
Other than not standing out as an eyesore, who considers refrigerator styling anymore? Make the same point with radios, televisions, washing machines, furniture, etc.
Crude But Functional>
Visual Functional/Improvements Introduced>
Technology Mastered, Product Sells On Styling/Image>
Market Saturation, Consolidation Occurs>
Back To Functionality, Commodity Product Now Sells On Price>
No One Cares Anymore.
Of course it will take a bit longer because we've always bonded more with our cars than our washing machines. We don't take a refrigerator on vacation or a first date. But the change is inevitable. The Auto Industry is now at a stage where the CUV is recognized as the most practical shape and styling is just an afterthought. A few diehards want a sedan or a manual transmission just like someone was disappointed to learn "Harvest Gold" was no longer offered on refrigerators, so they settled for "Almond". When that one died, they just bought whatever was on sale.
When all cars are legislated to be electric/autonomous, and share a similar practical shape, how will you sell them on anything but price? There will be niches, just as exist now, but for the most part they'll be priced out of the masses realm. Many of us (and our grandchildren) will live in virtual worlds with nothing but memories.
Well said, and I agree. There's no direct connection between the two, only that both were popular because their design was more beneficial to a large swath of the buying population. The popularity element is what I want to focus on.
I remember you mentioned your Conti a while back! It's a shame modern sedans don't have trunks as long as the Conti (or even as long as a BMW of the era) because they are so much more practical, but still nice and low to the ground. Oh well, those days are long gone, we got what we got now.