For this project Armada Model Designs Ltd were required to use existing
CAD information to create a model of an original concept car. The Concept
Coupe highlights the problem of poor visibility in modern vehicles and
promotes the idea that the windscreen pillar (A-pillar) should be eliminated.
Card was chosen as an effective method of disseminating this idea, since
the finished kit is easy to distribute electronically and provides a
tangible - and therefore more compelling - representation of this innovative
The problem with modern vehicle design is that it is largely guided
by a distorted system of assessment that is illogically selective. A
significant influence on vehicle styling today is crash protection.
A relatively cheap method of improving crash protection is to increase
the thickness of the windscreen A-pillar. This creates a particularly
unpleasant driving environment with its associated reduction in visibility.
The problems associated with A-pillars are not widely appreciated.
Drivers of road vehicles are generally unaware of the many physiological
factors that make it difficult to identify a risk of collision in the
direction of the A-pillar (unlike private pilots who are required by
the Civil Aviation Authority to pass an exam in human physiological
limitations before they receive their licence). Unfortunately the handful
of safety studies conducted on A-pillar obscuration have been fairly
inconclusive - not too surprising given the complex nature of road safety.
Although the designers of the Concept Coupe have a strong conviction
that primary safety will be enhanced through an unparalleled level of
visibility they also recognize the fact that this remains a contentious
For this reason, the selling point of the Concept Coupe is not improved
safety but the sheer joy of driving a vehicle with an eye-opening degree
of visibility. Once consumers witness what can be achieved demand for
the product will follow. On a technical note, the Concept Coupe's massive
window area is facilitated by the unique cantilever roof. Its rigidity
is derived from a boron-steel structure, while modern seals ensure reliable
glass-to-glass joins in the vicinity of a conventional door.