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LAAS 2012: C-Pillars of the Community

Robert Emslie December 4, 2012 Car Shows, LA Auto Show 16 Comments

Media days at an Auto Show are a whirlwind, and it’s sometimes hard to remember everything that was said, all the new cars that were introduced, or which maker offered the best food and drink. Well, that last part is actually easy – thanks Jaguar/Land Rover and Kia! It doesn’t help any that a lot of cars today – the four doors at least – all seen to have this sloping backlight, tapering back door glass styling trope that while not exactly the same car to car, is still is so common as to make it difficult to figure out which one belongs to which car after seeing a hundred or so.

This C-pillar sameness appears whether the sedan in discussion is a 4 or 6 light, as the ubiquitous sloping line is almost always accompanied by a fat bit of brightwork defining the divide. Here, we’ve gone around the LA Show and have shot a number C-pillars all around the floor, with hopefully too little additional information to allow easy identification. Now after the jump, see if you can name them all from just their Cs. Some are easier than others while a few still require me to look back at the following shot of the entire car to confirm what it is. 


Images: [©Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved]

  • Preludacris

    Now I see the why behind the HA.
    Is anybody not using a Hofmeister kink-style C pillar solution??

    • Devin

      Cadillac doesn't use it at all, and Mercedes only uses it on the C-class coupe.

  • Scandinavian Flick

    Sometimes it seems like I'm the only one who actually likes chrome, especially around the side windows. Using chrome or some sort of dividing line around the windows does well to break up the slab-sided monotony of the styling and adds some much needed definition and detail, in my opinion. I'm glad to see it still being used.

    As for what car is what, I have no idea… I'd have to guess they were all Lexuses and Mazdas…

    • Depends on the car in my opinion.
      BMW, for instance, for years have been using chrome or silver accent on their mainstream cars, where the sport package or M cars got the dark "shadow line" trim. They're doing it right in my opions. Some exceptions apply, such as the cheapest of 3-series, which sometime came with black trim.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        I agree with that. As a general rule, chrome denotes more luxury and class, while black trim is more of a hallmark of sport and performance. The 3 series really is the prime example.

  • buzzboy7

    I hate how C-pillars have gotten so big. I know it's for rollover protection and all, but you loose so much sight out the back. Especially with a lower seat where you are almost looking up at the wide part of the pillar. I'll go back to my Comet, which I think had less C pillar than a convertible with the top down.

    • Scandinavian Flick

      Overall visibility has taken a huge hit in the name of increased impact safety on newer cars. Not only with the advent of huge C-pillars, but with the rising belt line for increased side impact protection. While I'm sure it does have an impact on crash safety, I think it's reasonable to assume that it is partially responsible for some accidents as well due to not being able to see other cars/pedestrians. Blind spot monitoring and rear view cameras have helped to an extent…

      • buzzboy7

        I agree wholeheartedly. I spent a week or two driving my mom's '09 Mazda 3 after I'd been driving my 62 Comet and her old 04 Forester. I just couldn't get used to it. The beltline was high enough that I couldn't rest my left arm comfortably for one thing. The window sill is too high and the door handlethingy(arm rest?) is too low. Plus it felt like I was looking up out of the car. Then there are the massive pillars. They're big in all dimensions, worst of all being how far they stick into the passenger compartment. It renders the quarter windows useless for the driver. I like being able to see out my quarter windows for things like blind-spot-checking and backing into parking spots.

    • loose roof, add a roll bar!

      i can see for miles and miles….

    • Kogashiwa

      I personally have no use for rear visibility.

  • Trick question. The NSX doesn't have a C-Pillar (kinda). Booyeah.

    <img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vPjQexJElwA/UGEwApzvHkI/AAAAAAAA4wY/uRyD3Ofwjtw/s1600/05-acura-nsx-concept-detroit-761563.jpg&quot; width=550>

  • Devin

    For all the times people talk about Lexus being generic, the C-pillar on the GS (#8) was the only one I recognized immediately.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Plus ça change, plus ça la meme chôse.

  • UDman

    OK, since I wasn't at LA, I am going to guess… (Hopefully, I'll be in NY or Detroit)
    1) New Toyota Avalon
    2) Buick Verano
    3) 2014 Impala

    6) Infiniti G Sedan
    7) Volvo S60
    8) Lexus GS Sedan

    11) New Kia Forte
    12) Jaguar XF (And that was a wild guess at that!)

  • BobWellington

    I couldn't identify a single one. Now I'm depressed.

  • Kelly Williams

    The first time I saw this line (in modern times) was a bunch of years ago on the Dodge Charger. I immediately recognized it as being the line on the Kaiser Henry J, which had always struck me as putting unneeded sheet metal in the greenhouse for no reason other than some designer trying to be different. Seeing it leak out onto all these other cars just makes me lose interest in looking at those cars.

    <img src="http://www.oldcaradvertising.com/Kaiser-Frazer%20Ads/1952/1952%20Henry%20J%20Ad-05.jpg"&gt;
    from <a href="http://www.oldcaradvertising.com/Kaiser-Frazer%20Ads/1952/1952%20Henry%20J%20Ad-05.html” target=”_blank”>http://www.oldcaradvertising.com/Kaiser-Frazer%20Ads/1952/1952%20Henry%20J%20Ad-05.html