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Car Design Online > Miscellany > Terminology

Car Design Terminology & Jargon

Beltline
The longitudinal frontier between the car's main mass and the greenhouse.

Bone Line
Designers often use natural metaphors to describe body shapes, talking of hard muscle under soft flesh.
A bone line is a suggestion of solid structure beneath the body's surface.

DLO
Daylight opening, or window. Shape and position are influential on a car's character.

DRG
Down-the-road-graphics. The frontal appearance which defines the marque from a considerable distance.

Flush Glazing
A technique, originally in the cause of aerodynamic efficiency and first seen on the 1982 Audi 100, which has the glass forming an unbroken surface effect between door panels, pillars and roof.

Greenhouse
Glazed upper part of the passenger cabin comprising of the DLOs. Padiglione in Italian.

Hardpoints
Hardpoint has an actual and metaphorical meaning. It is the stage of design after Broadbrush, or conceptual phase. Hardpoints
are also the fixed or frozen positions of, for example, the top of the radiator, top of the engine, top of the scuttle, suspension mounts and so on. Hardpoints might include greenhouse pillar sections, spare tyre location or side glass surface at a driver's eye level. Hardpoints are used in continuous comparative evaluation of competitors.

H-Point
A theoretical point (R-point in Europe) from which critical dimensions relating to legislation are measured. The h-point is
approximately in line with the driver's hip joint. The position 'eye ellipse' is derived from the h-point. The eye ellipse is used to
generate legally required vision lines.

Pillar/Post
Identified by the letters A,B,C,D (A pillar being the foremost or windscreen pillar), as they move rearwards through the
greenhouse, the vertical (almost always angled) members of the bodywork support the roof, the equivalent of glazing bars in architecture. Montante in Italian.

Razor Edge
The origami school of car design, where sharp, geometrical froms of angles dominate the overall shape.

Rocker Panel
In US English, the body part between the bottom of the doors and the ground. Sill in British English.

Shut Line
The line between panels and doors. The precision and economy of these lines is a matter of intense competition between manufacturers and is a serious test of manufacturing finesse. The way the shut lines are articulated by designers is an unconciously
powerful influence on the customer's perception of the car's character.

Swage Line
An emphatic crease in a metal panel.

Tumblehome
The angle between the vertical and the greenhouse when seen from the front. Campanatura in Italian.

Wheelarch
The aperture containing the wheels. Arco ruota in Italian.




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