Ford’s Evos introduces the catchily-titled ‘Kinetic 2.0′ design language, stepping off from what the company has been hinting at recently with the Start and Vertrek.
The overall vehicle fails to startle in the way that many of the concepts in Frankfurt do, but what’s most interesting about it is the ‘premiumization’ of Ford’s design language. It might not be exciting, but there’s a lot of Aston Martin tones in the haunch and shoulder line. More pertinently, the new and more aggressive DRG is – we’re told – close to what we’ll see on the next Mondeo.
If this is true, Ford is intent on moving its DRG closer to the the premium brands, with its future cars. Blue collar premium anyone?
Back at the Geneva motor show, we were subtly impressed with Laurens van den Acker’s custom Adidas tennis shoes that paid homage to the DeZir concept. Fast forward to Frankfurt and yet another pair of custom three-stripes have been rolled out. Suitably finished in three shades of green, the ‘Z27 Work’ shoes are a worthy successor to the red items he sported back in March.
The Opel is the third of three urban mobility concepts on show in Frankfurt. While the VW Nils follows a spare, glider-like product aesthetic and the Audi Urban Concept has a minature race car feel, the Opel is more like the kind of thing one might expect when someone mentions the words ‘urban’, ‘mobility’ and ‘concept together in the same sentence. Developed with Kiska, there are some clever, logical elements to its design. We were particularly impressed with the interior package and layout. But as a vision of the future of mobility, its aesthetic is a little too reminiscent of projects we’ve been seeing in this space for the last 10 years or so.
Many we’ve spoken to have gushed with praise over the Peugeot HX1. It’s not altogether clear why initially – can a super-long, super-low luxury sedan really be all that relevant when all around abound new mobility, urban pods? Yes.
Because the HX1 isn’t just a dumb, egotistical display of excess, it’s a brilliant reordering of the MPV paradigm. Rather than placing emphasis on the middle row of seats – as is the norm in every current car that can carry more than five people – here the rearmost row takes priority, with occasional seating provided by a pair of rumble seats that stow in the rear surface of the front chairs.
Peugeot’s concept exterior design language also continues to impress and if the interior presents the idea of land-based private jet travel, the understated, aero-centric exterior is the perfect match.
There’s a subtlety, deftness of touch and depth to the car that it’s no surprise it’s near the top of so many lists.
Head of Interior Design, Amko Leenarts and Senior Designer Adam Bazydlo, present the different zones of the HX1′s interior:
The new Fiat Panda is a deeply impressive step up in perceived quality over its predecessor, yet the most alluring part of the display (for me, at least) is the very early Giugiaro Panda 30 looking down on its bigger, more refined yet less pure forebear.
The new Fiat Panda has caused a bit of a stir here in Frankfurt. There’s a split view on the exterior design. Some designers we’ve spoken to have bemoaned the loss of the pure, utilitarian form of the previous generation car. Others, however, think it’s an intelligent update, one that brings a more high quality feel without sacrificing any of the last car’s charm.
One thing they all agree on is the impressiveness of the interior design. The Panda is the most obvious example in car design today of taking a theme, the squircle (a slightly rounded-edge square or squashed circle) and simply running with it. Nowhere is this more evident than in the interior, which is an absolute joy to behold by small car standards. The squircle shape is everywhere – it forms the door pull, the HVAC controls, the gauge pack instrument surrounds, even the seat height adjustor.
You get in and just smile. That’s before you notice little details – like the plastic grain on the door tops, whose graining actually spells out Panda in miniature.
The VW Up may have taken small car quality, in a Germanic sense, to a new level, but the Panda shows that the Italians can still teach the world a thing or too about how you do small cars on a budget. Bravo!