Archive for the ‘design study’ Category
The line between muscle cars and sports cars is blurrier than ever, with models like the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro being able to compete with Models like the Porsche Boxster, Jaguar F-Type, and even the Aston Martin Vanquish – at least in terms of style, anyway. But, there was a time when muscle cars were exactly that – cars with big muscle under the hood and chiseled bodies. For the younger crowd out there, the term American muscle means a completely different thing than it does to those of us that grew up around big blocks, carburetors, and engine bays without miles of wire routed every which way. To those of us who remember what muscle cars used to be, it’s easy to see that today’s “muscle cars” are slowly losing their heritage in the style department. Just take a look at this Mustang design that is based on the current Mustang, but tweaked with lots of old school cues, giving us a glimpse at what the current-gen Mustang should look like.
The designs you see here were submitted to us by one of our long-time readers, Chris Cyrulewski, and is a modern interpretation of the Notchback design Ford has used in the past. It’s not his first rodeo when it comes to designing Mustangs, as he has had his hand in designing a GT350 Concept car for Ford as a freelance digital sculptor a while back as well. Needless to say, Ford should probably get in touch with him and work out a deal because this thing is gorgeous. Join me a little farther down the page to learn about the specifics.
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The Michelin Challenge Design has been going on ever since 2002 when designers from around the world were challenged to design a car that would fit in with Italy. Since then, the challenge has focused on other locations like China, California, France, and Germany. Other years including the design of electric cars (2010) and Mobility for All (2016.) For 2017, however, Michelin and Automobile Club de I’Quest challenged entrants to design a car that would win Le Mans in the year 2030 and, as expected, the creativity of some of the designs is out of this world.
There was a total of 1,600 entries for this challenge, of which Michelin has showcased the top 20 that you see here. First place went to Tao Ni of Wuhu, China and his “Infiniti Le Mans 2030.” Second place went to Daniel Bacelar Pereira of Vila Real, Portugal, and his “Bentley 9 Plus Michelin Battery Slick. Third place goes to the Cierzo C1 that was submitted by Kurt Scanlan from Toronto, Canada. Of course, all of the designs were nothing short of amazing, but you can’t award first place to everyone.
Thom Roach, Vice President of OEM marketing for Michelin North America, said, “The winners of our 2017 Michelin Challenge Design presented numerous highly innovative features for the Le Mans race in the year 2030 and the quality of work from this year’s entries was truly outstanding. We congratulate the winners for their thought-provoking, visually captivating designs for the world’s greatest endurance race, Le Mans 24 Hours.”
The jury that was tasked with choosing the absolute best designs was comprised of some of the brightest minds in the automotive world and included people like, Damien Michelin of Michelin North America; Chris Chapman, Chief Designer for Hyundai America Technical Center; Dave Marek, Acura Global Creative Director for Honda R&D Americas; and Richard Plavetich, General Manager of Design Business for Nissan Design America; among others from BMW, GM, Ford, and PSA Peugeot Citroen.
Of the Top 20 designs, first, second, and third place will be invited to Michelins stand at the North American International Auto Show where they will be recognized and will participate in a private portfolio review. The first-place winner will also be recognized at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hour Race.
The way Nicola Soprano sees things is that if you own a Ferrari 250 GTO or a Ferrari P4 you don’t really want to drive them on the street every day. So, Soprano sat down with a pen and a napkin and designed the car you see here – the Sensuale Prototype. To be quite honest, the car is pretty awesome and well thought out. It features a vintage Ferrari engine, a tubular steel chassis, and a hand-formed aluminum body, among other things. And, even more importantly, the car has its own unique style.
In an interview at the 2016 McCall Motorworks Revival, Mr. Soprano said, “The car is extraordinary in every respect. That’s what the name suggests. It’s sensual to drive and is equally as fun, not only to look at but to drive. That’s what it was designed to be.”
Despite the fact that the car looks complete, it is a prototype, and Soprano himself has said that the work is never really done. His inspiration came from classic Italian design of 1960s motorsports, which explains the gorgeous look and feel of this car. So, with that said, let’s take a good look at the Sensuale and talk about all the fine details that make this car a true one-of-a-kind.
Keep reading for a video interview with Nicola Soprano and our full review of his hand-built Sensuale
In just a few days, Cadillac is set to debut its newest design concept during the festivities of Monterey Car Week. And, to really rub it in, Cadillac has released a short teaser video showing off the digital instrument cluster and driver information center in this new concept. The video is only 30 seconds long, but if it is any indication, this concept is going to be off the chain. There isn’t much known about the concept as of yet, but Cadillac has said that it will feature an array of curved OLED screens that were co-developed with LG Electronics. The technology is derived from what some of LG’s latest home electronics, but is being developed for a “future Cadillac production vehicle.”
Oh how Cadillac likes to really rub it in and tease us, right? After watching the video, I think you’ll agree that the concept is going to be pretty wild. At first, the Cadillac CT8 popped into my mind as a potential candidate for this impressive new technology, but then I remembered that those plans were apparently cancelled for one reason or another. At this point, we’re not sure what that future production model will be, but you can bet it will probably be the top-range offering from Cadillac. For now, I’ll leave it at that. What are your thoughts on what this future production vehicle will be? Let us know in the comments section below. Otherwise, click play and check out the teaser video for yourself. It certainly got me a little excited.
Design house Italdesign is looking to broaden its horizons by launching partnerships with new automakers and technological giants in an attempt to reduce its reliance on the Volkswagen Group, of which it is a part of. Company CEO Joerg Astalosch made the proclamation to Auto News, hinting that the company would be open to working with the likes of Tesla, Google, or Apple in the event any of these companies are looking to partner with an automotive design firm.
The company’s goal is clear: it wants to expand its customer base after becoming too reliant on working with automakers that are a part of the Volkswagen umbrella. That has been the case since 2010 when the company was bought and placed under Lamborghini to keep VW’s Italian holdings bundled together. Since that time, a majority of the company’s concept models have been based off of the Volkswagen Group’s 12 brands, including Lamborghini and Audi.
It’s a sound business methodology for a time, but it also doesn’t foster the kind of growth that the company is after. So now Italdesign is prepared to do business with automakers outside of the Volkswagen Group. It’s unlikely that it will go as far as working with rivals of some of the companies under the VW Group like Ferrari, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz. But other than that, the company is now open to working with “major players in all relevant markets” in order to diversity its own offerings. It’s a smart, low-risk, high-reward business strategy that gives Italdesign more options to work with as it attempts to increase its own business portfolio.
There’s no word yet on what company Italdesign has already teamed up with, but with this new direction, it’s exciting to see what the design house is capable of if, say, Apple jumps on board and asks Italdesign to develop the look of its future autonomous vehicle.
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With an annual output of more than 1.5 million vehicles, Thailand has one of the largest automotive industries in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia. So it’s not exactly surprising that several important carmakers build vehicles over there. General Motors, for instance, has been doing it since 2000, especially under the Chevrolet badge. But, on top of getting a number of affordable, locally produced cars, Thailand is also enjoying a few nameplates that GM isn’t selling in the U.S. One of them is the Trailblazer.
While U.S. production of the said SUV ended in 2008, the nameplate was revived in 2012 for markets in Southeast Asia and countries such as South Africa, Saudia Arabia, Brazil and Australia. It was developed on the same platform as the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado and offered with a pair of Duramax diesel engines in Thailand, where it became the largest SUV wearing a “bowtie” badge. The Trailblazer became an instant hit in Southeast Asia, and Chevy is now looking to build on its success with the Premier concept.
Unveiled at the 2016 Bangkok Motor Show, the Premier concept looks like a fancied up Trailblazer with new features inside and out, plus an exclusive, glossy paint. More importantly, the concept’s front fascia is heavily based on Chevrolet’s new design language, which means that this show truck could preview a facelift for the four-year-old, second-generation Trailblazer. Although GM didn’t say whether all those fancy features will become available in dealerships or not, chances are that the Trailblazer Premier also previews a range-topping trim for the local market.
“This show car is a result of strong collaboration to ensure we understood the demands of each market. Our research told us that our customers, particularly in the Thai market, appreciate luxury, upmarket finishes and sophisticated detail. Therefore, our focus was on ensuring we enriched the driver and passenger experience,” said GM International Vice President of Design, Michael Simcoe.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Chevrolet Trailblazer Premier Concept.
Mercedes-Benz just offered up a teaser image of a new concept car slated to drop cover next week at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. So far, Mercedes has been tight-lipped when it comes to offering hints about what the image actually shows. All we know is what we can see: silver curves, a band of glowing red, a three-pointed star and the words “Concept IAA.” IAA is an acronym for Internationale Auto Ausstellung, the Frankfurt Motor Show’s formal German title, but the German-language publication MBpassion suggests it could actually mean “Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile.”
Here’s what we can speculate: The concept will likely preview Mercedes’ upcoming design language, or alternatively, a futuristic technological brainstorm ala the 2015 Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion.
Either way, expect more details this coming Monday just before the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show formally gets under way.
To be completely honest — and this is coming from the biggest admitted Tesla fanboy in the Southeastern United States — I just don’t really get the point with Tesla’s new Home Battery. Maybe it’s a West Coast thing. Like Katy Perry, 26-inch rims on Jeep Wranglers, or measles. But something about Elon’s newest non-automotive venture just does not make sense in this neighborhood.
Essentially, it’s a cool-running, lightweight, compact battery pack. But here’s the twist: It’s for your…HOUSE! Wait. House? Yes, just what everyone always wanted and could never do without: A big, rechargeable battery pack in their homes. It’s amazing nobody ever thought of this before, considering the fact that people have been doing exactly the same thing with cheap, sealed lead-acid batteries for the better part of a century now. Yeah. So, what’s the point here? Why does Tesla think this newest non-automotive venture will reach a market that’s had its needs met with cheaper battery technology for a hundred years or more? What’s the assumption here, Elon? Are houses suddenly worried about their power-to-weight ratio?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Or maybe Elon’s assumed assumptions aren’t the question here.
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Passenger cars and trucks aren’t the only road-going vehicles undergoing a fuel-saving transformation. Daimler has just announced its Freightliner SuperTruck has surpassed the Department of Energy’s criteria for the SuperTruck Challenge that began back in 2009. And surpass it did.
Jeep’s lineup of concept vehicles for the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari wouldn’t be complete without one of its newest products. Meet the 2015 Jeep Cherokee Canyon Trail concept. This Jeep gets a host of upgrades and off-road performance parts for tackling the tough trails of Moab, Utah.
Proving that the Easter Jeep Safari is about more than just the iconic Wrangler, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander shows what kind of potential Jeep’s popular SUV could have in store for the adventurous types. While most of these Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles tend to focus on the rigorous trails of Moab, the Grand Cherokee Overlander was built with a broader focus in mind: a perfect vehicle for any wilderness expedition regardless of terrain.
With a little over a week to go until the 49th Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep has unveiled all seven of the concept vehicles that will be making the trek out to Moab. Each of these exciting concepts help showcase the passion that exists within the Jeep brand, and this year’s lineup of concepts might even trump the Jeep concepts from the 2012 Safari, which were headlined by the Mighty FC and J-12.
Every year Jeep pulls the covers off several concept vehicles just ahead of the Easter Jeep Safari held in Moab, Utah, and 2015 is no different. This year’s crop includes seven, fully custom Jeep vehicles from the new Renegade to the trusty Cherokee and Grand Cherokee siblings and of course the rough and tumble Wrangler.
Dodge has always had a particular kind of demographic: people in their 20s, and people who think they’re in their 20s. It’s just kind of what happens when you specialize in fulfilling the most juvenile of automotive desires. So you’d think asking high-school students to design the Dodge of the future would be a no-brainer. But it’s a little more complicated than that. Mostly because people who think they’re in their 20s want the car they wanted when they actually were.
It’s a tightrope to walk, and Dodge has done it by specializing in modern interpretations of muscle-era dream machines. The Charger and Challenger are obvious examples; but even the Viper was created as an homage to Peter Brock’s Shelby Daytona Coupe of the 1960s. It’s not easy to tread that line between past and future — but Chrysler-Fiat may have found a few designers worthy of the task.
This year’s Chrysler-sponsored Detroit Autorama Design Competition was a little different than the last two. Previously, the competition was open only to Michigan high-school students; but new owners Fiat bid “benvenuti!” to all comers nationwide. The four finalists, and in particular the winner, 18-year-old Joshua Blundo of New Hampshire, proved the Italians wise in opening the national floodgates. His 2025 Viper truly does look like something we might see in 10 years or so, given the Viper’s design direction over the years.
Don’t doubt these precocious designers. Joshua isn’t the only one who’ll be in his late 20s when this beast hits the streets, assuming it does. All four are off to a fantastic start, crafting the look of things to come in the automotive world. And if this is a vision of the future, it looks like those of us who still think we’re their age then will find kindred spirits in the Mopar design department.
Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Viper.
Back in the day, the Lancia Stratos was absolutely dominant in the international rally scene, winning three consecutive World Rally Championships in 1974, 1975, and 1976. It was one of the last successful RWD rally cars before the Audi Quattro introduced all-wheel grip to the scene in the early 80s, and it’s often lauded as one of the prettiest rally cars ever made.
Nowadays, Lancia hasn’t exited from the sideways stuff completely, but has yet to recapture its former glory. As far as I’m concerned, all the marque needs is a hero car in line with the original Stratos.
It appears the folks at Boldride agree, and came up with this gorgeous rendering of a new-age Lancia based on the current Alfa Romeo 4C. Featuring the same mid-engine, RWD layout as the streetcar, it’s unlikely this thing would offer similar performance as a modern AWD rally racer, but who cares? If it came with that classic Alitalia racing livery draped over the iconic wedge design, I doubt you’d hear any complaints.
Boldride says the stock four-cylinder would probably get tossed in favor of a 350-horsepower V-6, something fans of the historical Stratos are sure to appreciate (not to mention anyone who likes more speed). Acceleration figures would clock in at 0-to-60 in around four seconds. The publication also says a manual transmission would be unlikely, given its absence in the 4C.
One look at this thing is all the convincing I need. Add my name to the petition.
Continue reading to learn more about the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Jeep has always been good for showing off its designers’ talents with a slew of concept vehicles every year, and 2015 will be no different. Headed for the Geneva Motor Show floor is the Hard Steel concept – a bare-body Renegade fitted with tons of custom work, Mopar parts, and its own little mini-me trailer.