Automobile Design Obsession with C-Pillar!


Those interested in car design have points of reference while discussing design elements. While most points of reference are related to the front, back and side, even to an extent the A pillar, but automobile manufacturers have recently found love in the most leveraged pillar – C-pillar.

Even though A-pillar has been stylized for quite some time, and is more relevant as it gets integrated with the hood lines. But, following recent trend manufacturers have now started to innovate and come up with some good C-pillar designs. BMW made the C-pillar (or D-pillar considering it’s an SUV or an MUV) their own with a distinctive curved design on all their cars long back known as the Hofmeister kink, after Wilhelm Hofmeister, BMW design chief from 1955-1970. Other iconic C-pillar designs can be seen on the Ford Mustang and Coupes for a seamless shape.

With the modern era of floating roofs, C-pillar is now seen as an important factor where adding a sliver of black visually made the roof look distinct from the body. 2006 FJ Cruiser’s roof was seen painted in a different colour than the body. Nissan added a dash of black to the C or D-pillar on the Murano and Maxima. Range Rover Evoque has a floating roof with the roof and C/D-pillar in a distinct colour as compared to the body. Most manufacturers are now following this theme and widespread distinct examples can be seen.

Now everybody gotta flaunt and we can easily count this theme from black/distict colour pillar, door handle placement to design patterns on the C-pillar by manufacturers in Indian and global market.


Elite i20 – Thick Veloster-like C-pillar in gloss black finish with a floating roof design

Hyundai Elite c-pillarChevrolet

Bolt EV – Distinct curvy C-Pillar in black similar to the MuranoChevrolet Bolt EV - C-pillar


Bolt – Carbon fiber look-a-like black C-pillar

Tata Bolt C-pillar

Nexon – Thick rear pillar – most jazzy i must say in white and black

Tata Nexon C-pillar


Mobillio– flotation down at shoulder level

Honda Mobillio C-pillar


Ignis – Three slits from the Fronte Coupe – Japanese sports car

Suzuki Ignis C-pillar

2018 Swift – Balcked out door handle with a blade like black rear pillar

Suzuki Swift C-pillar

Brezza – Floating roof with distinct colours on the roof and pillar

Suzuki vitara Brezza C-pillar


LC 500 – Did you just say its a Prius?? Well Brother and Sister..Lexus LC500 C-pillar


Jaguar XJ – Call that huuuugeeeee (Was mentioning about the pillar)

Jaguar XJ C-pillarRR Evoque – Needs no introduction. One of the finest profiles.Range Rover Evoque C-pillar



BMW i3 C-pillarBMW i8

BME i8 C-pillar


Toyota Prius – Somewhat resembles Nissan design

Toyota Prius C-pillarFortuner 2017 – Thick black applique on the C and D pillar giving a totally distinct look to the rear windowToyota Fortuner C-pillar












C-pillar black way up by the drip rail

Toyota C-HR C-pillar


Q2 – or Cute

Audi Q2 C-pillar


Yeti – blacked out pillar treatment for a dynamic profile

Skoda Yeti c-pillar



New three pillar design across range for a coupe like lookMercedes CLA C-pillar


Mercedes CLS c pillar


XC40 – Spectacular or similar to a HondaMini Cooper C-pillar



Mini Cooper C-pillar

Will it continue? Or will the cloud burst? Visual separation is a key to vehicles identity but, would this tiresome theme be ‘that’ differentiating factor? We are nearing the Auto Expo 2018 and expect more such designs.

There are many more such examples. Comment below to contribute to this design rage.




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