What is a Floating Rooftop in a Car?

Floating Rooftop

A floating roof in cars is the design in which the car stylists make the roof visually appear as a separate entity. They separate the car’s rooflines from the body pillars on the front and back. This makes the car look sporty and distinctive with the roof looking to be floating above.

Car Rooftop

The rear pillars more usually than the front pillars (and at times all four) are blacked out or painted in a different tone from that of the roof. This trend can be traced back to as early as the 50s and we can see it come and go every few years.

Read Related Article: Is it Worth Buying a Car With a Sunroof in India? Let’s Find Out!

Floating rooftops through the years

Not a very popular style among car enthusiasts, this floating rooftop design has been adopted by a lot of manufacturers. Do you all remember the 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air? You could call it an inspiration for all the ones that came after it.

Classic Vintage Car

Apparently, the separate floating roof design was all the rage in the USA during the pre-war period. The trend changed trajectory to more monocoque construction after the war which is still the more commonly used design style in cars all over the world.

Before they lost their appeal, this style actually had a successful run on the Mini Cooper and Ford Flex for many, many years. There was also Avantime in 1999 from Renault which was a bold move by the company towards a more modern approach.

Models with Floating rooftops

Dual Tone

Here is a list of models that wore this design through the years.

1950 Chevrolet Bel Air 1955 Citroen DS and ID19 1959 Austin Mini
1969 Land Rover Range Rover 1980 Renault Fuego 1980 Audi Coupe (B2)
1982 Citroen BX 1985 Ford Granada/ Scorpio 1999 Renault Avantime
2003 Fiat Panda 2009 Citroen DS3 2011 Citroen DS5
2012 Opel Adam 2013 BMW i3 and i8 2014 Citroen C4 Cactus
2016 Aston Martin DB11 2016 Lexus RX Ford Flex
2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer Chevrolet Bolt EV GMC Terrain
Honda Odyssey Jaguar XJ Jeep Compass
Lexus LC 500 Mazda CX-3 Toyota CH-R
Mini Cooper Nissan Maxima Nissan Murano

Looking at this pretty long list, we can see that the floating rooftop has been on the rounds through the decades. Citroen has used this design in almost all its models from the DS. It also worked on the Nissan models if we are being fair. But as for the others, with more and more designs coming up with the same concept, the models however excellent tend to look more copied in their designs.

BMW i3

Let us see if the auto stylists come up with more unique style features than the floating roof in the future.

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Also Read:

7 Most Budget Friendly Cars With Sunroof

Various Types of the Car Sunroofs in India


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