A recent Instagram post by GeneralMotorsDesign showcases a sketch of GM SUV design perfected. Artist Youngho Jung sketched out an uncompromised coupe-like SUV that fits in perfectly with General Motors' design language. Would you purchase an SUV that looked like this sketch?
Modern SUV design has split into two schools of thought. First, we have the road-focused coupe-like designs that dominate many family-oriented luxury SUV lineups. These stylish SUVs are the anthesis of the rugged boxy function-focused SUVs built for off-roading that make up the second school of thought for SUV design. This diversity of SUV design gives customers a host of unique SUV options that fit any lifestyle.
The real question comes down to which SUV design will drive the largest amount of sales. Let’s not forget that it is the goal of automakers to turn a profit, so anything that can do to improve their chances of success is taken seriously. From an enthusiast's point of view, chunky purpose-built off-road-focused SUVs may seem like a clear winner but in the eyes of a profit-seeking organization that is not always the case.
A clear example of this is the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer. Both of these SUVs built their reputation as off-road capable truck-based SUVs. Recently both GM and Ford decide to revive these classic SUV nameplates with two very different strategies. Ford chose to remake the Bronco into an even more capable off-roader while GM chose to cater the Blazer name to pavement-focused families.
As SUV design continues to evolve we are seeing a diversification of platforms to meet every possible customer niche. This allows automakers to cater to every type of customer while generating more revenue and amortizing the cost of developing an SUV platform.