What has happened to streamlined car designs?

What has happened to streamlined designs for cars? Traditionally, an aerodynamic shape seemed to be the key to better performance and fuel consumption. But, increasingly, car shapes are getting more boxy and brick like (Lexus NX, for example). Surely this must make the car very inefficient?

Asked on 17 June 2022 by Michael Miles

Answered by Lawrence Allan
There is still a focus on aerodynamics in car design, particularly with electric cars where enhancing range is vital. But, fundamentally, car companies exist to sell cars, and the buying public have really taken to SUVs which are by nature boxier and more imposing. Cars like the Lexus NX are also designed to appeal in Asian markets such as China, where customers like cars with large and elaborate front grille designs. The way the airflow is directed over and around the body can be just as important as a streamlined shape, though: the NX has a drag coefficient figure of 0.35, which is actually the same as a Mk2 Toyota MR2.
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