New visions in car design

Designing cars is tricky business. Not only do designers have to comply with strict safety regulations, they are also restricted by company guidelines be it in terms of budget or aesthetics. Which is why college years are the best, and possibly the last ones, for them to explore freely. At this year’s Royal College of Art graduate vehicle design show students exhibited a number of inspiring ideas. This London post-graduate college provides the... Read More

Twizy electric mobility pod

The Twizy sets out to carve a new niche in personal mobility. Producer Renault refers to it as a ‘UDO’ as in unidentified driving object. Essentially a quadricycle, the diminutive hub is 2.34m long and 1.24m wide, can sit two and is available with or without doors. An all-electric engine powers the car, which on the more powerful model of the two accelerates to 28mph in six seconds and offers a top speed of just over 50 miles. The battery... Read More

Car design trends from Geneva

The Geneva Motor Show is one of the main yearly international exhibitions that tend to focus primarily on design studies and future trends. This year, sadly, the displays were generally of ‘real’ cars – automobiles that are made for today’s world but tend to lack the visionary insight to make them relevant to the bigger picture of mobility. This is a real shame as for the last few years we have been teased with a promise of a future... Read More

Book review: Intersection Cars Now

Books on cars tend to follow a simple formula – a pretty straight narrative that is either sequenced historically or by company. In this context, Intersection‘s Cars Now maintains this by guiding the reader through a selection of today’s most notable cars via alphabetically organised car companies. ‘We go make by make, model by model, to capture a snapshot of a species evolving,’ say the authors. And as a reference book,... Read More

Klaus Bischoff: Volkswagen’s Up

Volkswagen has a strong history of building solid, well engineered and modestly designed cars. You know you’re in reliable company with VW if not always in an exciting one. This is why project Up has been an interesting one to follow. This is a family of affordable cars designed for cities around the world. The project has been brewing for a few years. Our first teasers came in 2007 in the shape of the Up Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show... Read More

BMW i: Designing electric cars

A little while ago we reported on BMW’s new e-mobility sub-brand i. Announced at the start of the year, it was created to focus entirely on finding sustainable driving solutions. Last week the German marque showed us the first two cars the i3 and i8 to be produced under the BMW i brand. Though still study pieces, they reflect some of the design and engineering thinking that we should expect from the BMW’s eco-arm. The cars represent the two... Read More

Shared transport: Two conflicting views

In our increasingly urbanised world, finding innovative and practical solutions for shared transport systems makes complete sense. Here emerging designers from the Royal College of Art present their very different propositions. #gallery-7 { margin: auto; } #gallery-7 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 25%; } #gallery-7 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-7... Read More

RCA students on Citroën’s electric aesthetic

With electric driving a reality it seems fitting that carmakers should find a suitable vernacular that represents a new era in mobility. It is also a golden opportunity to voice their unique approach to clean, green driving. With this in mind French firm Citroën asked final year masters students of vehicle design at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London to imagine a small car that could establish a unique electric vehicle aesthetic for... Read More

In talk with J Mayer H’s Jürgen Mayer

Back in June carmaker Audi sponsored a group of progressive architects from around the world to conceive of a cityscape for 2030 where urban planning, building design, wireless digital technology and vehicle design work together for sustainable mobility. Berlin practice J Mayer H has won the Audi Urban Future Awards for his clever and practical vision for such a utopia. In this 2030 urban setting, founder Jürgen Mayer has concentrated on utilising... Read More