Posts Tagged "design"

Video: Mini Rocketman in detail

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

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.

Eric Gallina

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Video: Marco Tencone takes us on a tour of the 4C concept

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

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.

Eric Gallina

Exterior

Interior

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Video: Pininfarina on the De Tomaso Deauville

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

Guglielmo Cartia, Design Vice Director at Pininfarina, tells us about the brief the carrozzeria received from De Tomaso for the new Deauville.

Eric Gallina

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Comment + details: Nissan Esflow

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

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.

Joe Simpson


 

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Comment: This is not a Lancia

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

It’s easy to be convinced by the Fiat-Chrysler group rhetoric about the future of brands, and what’s going on with badge engineering right now. Yes, we know that badging Chryslers as Lancias in Europe is an intermediary step. Yes, we know it’s needed to cover holes in the product portfolio. But at what cost to the brand? And why – if the company is going to pursue this – does it not have the confidence to bring the Lancia brand back to the UK? In a bizarre twist, the British market therefore gets a Chrsyler-badged Ypsilon. Confused yet? We are.

Lancia, like SAAB, has a small but loyal group of followers, to whom we suspect this will be a complete anathema. Brands can no longer pull the wool over the public’s eyes, and to attempt to do so risks doing untold damage to the brand. The 300C/Thema, we could perhaps just about have stomached. But a 200C, badged Flavia? It made some of the CDN team want to cry.

Joe Simpson

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Comment: Mazda’s Minagi pushes sporting intent

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

The Minagi concept is the last vehicle to have been created under the direction of Laurens van den Acker, though Mazda’s new design boss, Ikuo Maeda, has also made his mark on the design.

Very near production ready, the five door crossover features a Z- shaped character line on the bodyside as well as a new front and rear end design, which incorporate many of the design elements first seen on the Shinari concept last year.

The concept’s interior is perhaps the most appealing. With a clear sports theme – again reminiscent of the interior design of the Shinari – the detailing is both elegant and technical.

Rich black leather and contrasting red stitching on the seats and IP combine with swathes of chrome and recessed lighting throughout the cabin, while transparent glass elements (through which the HVAC system is operated) adorn the center console.

Maeda’s sports car experience and enthusiasm for racing is showing through in this new crossover.

Eric Gallina

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Video: Anders Warming shows us the Mini Rocketman

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

Mini Design Director, Anders Warming, gives a brief tour and overview of the Mini Rocketman Concept, focusing on some of the more interesting aspects of its interior design.

Joe Simpson

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Comment + gallery: Toyota’s Yaris HSD concept

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

The HSD concept previews the design direction for the next generation Yaris, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here…

Showcasing Toyota’s proprietary hybrid technology in a B-segment package, the monovolume exterior design features some hybrid-specific styling cues previously seen on the Prius and Lexus RX450h. These visual identifiers include the LED headlamps and taillamps and blue Toyota badges.

Within compact exterior dimensions is a ‘spacious practical interior’, Toyota claims. We would have liked to see this for ourselves, but the blacked-out windows of the show car demonstrate that it’s not yet been finished.

Eric Gallina

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Comment: Volkswagen Bulli – the surfaces, the scowl and the lie flat bed

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

The Bulli has proven to be a conversation-provoking concept in Geneva this year. Not all are impressed with it, something we suspect is due to fond memories of the MicroBus concept from 2001 and the fact that it references the original microbus in a more conscious and obvious manner than the previous SpaceUp! Concept.

Nevertheless, this is yet another impressive Up! platform variant, and – perhaps most excitingly from the consumer’s perspective – appears to be 85 percent production ready. The pressings, door cards, secondary lamp units that provide mandatory illumination for when the tailgate is lifted at night, and the mouldings and seals all speak real road more than show stand.

Surfacing impresses – note how the outer surface runs out of the flipped hockey-stick graphic inside the taillamp

One aspect that deeply impresses is the simple, elegantly resolved tailgate surfaces you can see in the picture above. A beautiful, undercut bevel surface which marks the colourway division and runs continuously around the car also impresses, yet it creates the biggest design detraction as it runs into the DRG.

The issue is caused by this bevel line turning down to form the edge of a positive surface between the lamps, on which sits a huge VW logo. The overall impression of the DRG references the original Microbus, but looks oddly aggressive. The problem is that, as the bevel surface turns from horizontal to vertical, it overcuts above the lamps, turning the Bulli’s DRG expression into a scowl.

 

 

Bevel surface (seen running at the junction of the colour ways, runs around the car but turns down  at the inner edge of the lights, creating a scowl

It’s an appearance that’s completely at odds with the ethos of the rest of the car, which features a show-stoppingly cool interior, complete with iPad interface and two rows of three-abreast bench seats, which fold out to create a double bed. It’s a lovely reference to the past, but more importantly, this too appears close to production – it’s similar to the system used in the bigger California.

(Top) iPad slots into a on the IP, which swivels on an arm that – iconically – seems similar to the one used in the previous generation iMac. (Bottom) Owen Ready of Car Design News helps put the Bulli’s interior into its double bed configuration

If this car does make production relatively intact, VW could have a huge hit on its hands. It’s easy and obvious to see how vehicle this would appeal to the empty-nesting baby boomer generation who remember the original with such fondness. Yet it’s also easy to see it tugging at the at-once emotional and rational-thinking Gen-Y, that’s otherwise falling out of love with the car and also to young families looking for space and practicality without sacrificing style. But what really sets the Bulli apart is a sense of light-hearted fun and freedom of movement, that’s straight from the copy book of the original. As a riposte to the current atmosphere of austerity, it is a perfect antidote and a real breath of fresh air.

Joe Simpson

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Image: Renault wishes the 4 a happy 50th Birthday…

Posted by cdnlive March 3rd, 2011

…by cutting it in half. In its lime green paint, fixed to the wall of the Renault stand, this 4L struck an arresting visual image as you made your way up the stairs between halls one and two. And as Renault ‘drives the change’, we suspect there’s still much the company can take in inspiration from this innovative small car.

Joe Simpson

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