There is something of a mixed response to the Infiniti Emerg-E here in Geneva. Several people we’ve spoken to think it’s relatively derivative, with a mixture of things that have been seen before. That might be fair comment – conceptually it’s hardly ground-breaking.
Yet it does happily continue the design language Infiniti has been developing over its past few concept cars. You can clearly see the lineage between this and the Etherea of 2011 and the Essence of 2009.
While the Essence was more striking, original and elegant, this successfully integrates what we’re coming to understand as Infiniti design signatures (concave/convex bodyside into stepped shoulder, crescent-shaped C-pillar/DLO intersection, and the egg-timer grille) into a true, mid-engine sports car concept.
It’s not perfect; some of it feels too busy, the rear feels like its weakest angle and there are some oddly pinched and disappearing surfaces around the shut lines.
Yet it mostly feels and looks premium and is a valuable halo car for Infiniti. That’s important for a brand with great aspirations and which is still establishing itself in Europe.
We covered certain aspects of the Rocketman concept in our previous post, trend observation and photo gallery. Now it’s time to bring you the full video of new Design Director Anders Warming talking us around the car, highlighting not only the sense of occasion that comes with the simple act of opening the door, but also the rear drawer and tailgate. At 3400mm long, the Rocketman is a foot shorter than the Cooper, but has high levels of functionality and technical detailing to keep weight down.
Created in Alfa Romeo’s design studios in Turin, Italy, the 4C concept is a technical and emotional showpiece for a new compact sports car from the Italian brand. Developed in a scant three months, the show car was built around a carbon fiber tub. CDN speaks to Marco Tencone, Alfa Romeo and Lancia Design Director, about the new design.
It’s fair to say Jason Castriota’s SAAB Phoenix concept is one of the most talked-about cars of the show: opinions may have varied but one thing’s for sure – everyone had one. That of course includes Chris Bangle who you can see ask Castriota “Why is the PhoeniX a SAAB?” in our video.
If you’ve not had a chance to check it out yourself you can check out our full SAAB PhoeniX Flickr set, while 20 of said set are featured below.
Needless to say we’ll make our own opinions clear when the dust has finally settled.
Murat Guenak and David Wilkie, former Volkswagen and Bertone Design Directors respectively, unveiled a new all-electric mobility concept in Geneva.
Available for fleet sales from June this year, the vehicle features sliding doors and a three or four passenger arrangement, where the driver sits in the center with the passengers behind and on either side. The four passenger model is 300mm longer behind the rear seat, allowing the delivery variant of the same car 1500 liters of luggage space.
More product design-like rather than automotive referencing, the MIA is made from plastic body panels for lightweight. These are represented as simple honest trim pieces, which can be textured according to customer taste.
In the second phase of its new design lifecycle the Renault Captur is all about ‘discovering the world’ after that wildly passionate, visceral embodiment of ‘falling in love’, the DeZir.
On a macro scale its format fits the remit perfectly; a compact crossover with the sort of outdoorsy stance that would look perfectly at home half-way up a mountain in a nauseatingly-posed publicity shot.
Of course that’s the danger with such a vehicle: it’s easy to slip into ‘lifestyle’ clichés, with mountain bikes and snowboards attached to every possible orifice. But the Captur deftly sidesteps such sickliness, particularly in its interior design, led by Magali Gouraud-Borgers, with Kana Watanabe responsible for colour and trim.
The use of fluorescent bungee cord to support the passenger side IP as well as form the front seat centres and the inspired rear load bay/seat-base/shag-pad perfectly encapsulates my interpretation of the project: organised complexity.
The same theme runs through Julio Lozano’s exterior – the repeated boomerang graphic that lays scale-like on its fenders, flicks into the window line, through the rocker panel, inside the lamp cans – doesn’t appear in any way forced or fussy. In the same way the bungee cord simply takes up its natural form under tension, so too do the myriad of feature lines, aping the adjustment systems found on shoes and bags. They also provide structure to the voluminous but wonderfully controlled bodyside surfacing.
Of course the interior material choice is directly inspired by outdoor sports equipment and the Captur is one beautifully-executed rucksack we’d love to throw on our backs and head off to explore the world.
The Esflow polarised opinion in Geneva. It clearly has a lot of Nissan Z-car language in it, and appears to demonstrate an intention to build an electric sport car before too long. However, inside feels like a very different car to outside (we don’t mean that as a negative comment). We were grabbed by some of the details, such as the indicator stalks (below), bank of toggle switches that sit in the midst of the dual-hump of the IP, and billet-like gear selector (see bottom). Design review coming soon.