Every now and then you meet someone who blows you away. In the old days those opportunities were rare, unless of course you ran around in the right circles (which counts me out). With the advent of the world-wide-web, and most recently the social side of the internet, you can get exposed to many new ideas, new concepts and new things. Best of all are those occasions when you get exposed to new people. Recently I had just such an occurrence when I stumbled across some great photos of the Geneva show. A quick email and permission to re-post a few of them here was granted. I am no professional photographer (or even a good amateur), but looking at some of these shots I can honestly say I am just a bit jealous of his talent. So enough with the snarky comments and read on to enjoy a few awesome pictures ……..This closeup is the one that first caught my attention. Dealing with designers I am constantly amazed at what their artistic mind sees when compared to my engineering brain. For example, the way these lines all intersect is beautiful, but it takes special skill to recognize it and even more to capture it in a photograph. By the way, don’t you think gaps and margins have substantially improved over the past years? The mismatch here is pretty average by today’s standards, but would have been seen as brilliant just 20 years ago.
Obviously I did not get a chance to visit Geneva this year (maybe next year) but believe it or not it means you readers benefit. Why? Because rest assured this is not a picture I would have even thought about taking. The factory Ferrari mechanic is probably the only one who will ever get to see the car from this point of view.
The undisputed star of the show (at least according to most of the articles I have read) has to be the Alfa Romeo 4C GTA coupe. Aside from its striking matte red paint which showcases the concept’s lines, the shapes were at the same time aggressive and mesmerizing. The car is worth more than a single picture so I have uploaded a few.
This concept could easily be called “Opposite Day” as the matte body color is paired with high gloss wheels instead of many concepts that have recently shown matte wheels with standard gloss paint. The interior was also quite interesting as they brought the matte finish inside and combined a liberal amount of carbon fibre and contrasting accents. I wonder how the center stack holds up to fingerprints?
A great set of wheels were found on the new Audi A3 Notchback Sedan concept. It appears designers have finally gotten a handle on when and how to use carbon fibre. My past experience with carbon fibre has been that manufacturers tend to over-apply the material, resulting in a cheap boy-racer appearance. (If you want to see the worst uses of carbon fibre click here) Aside from the 4C above, Audi also showed a tasteful amount of the material on the new A3 Sedan’s exterior. Especially intriguing were the carbon fibre inserts on both the outside and inside of each spoke on this wheel .
Another great vehicle on display was the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive roadster concept. This BMW takes the flame surfacing theme in a new direction. Obviously the influence of Adrian van Hooydonk is taking hold.
The exterior was done by Juliane Blasi. If you don’t remember her she is the woman who kicked all the guys’ butts at the Designer Night at the Races Karting event a few years ago in California.
Another vehicle with carbon fibre inserts on the wheel was the Mini Rocketman. The exterior of this concept went in the opposite direction of recent Mini vehicles which have been getting progressively bigger in size. However the large center speedometer keeps getting bigger (I prefer the smaller one like in my 2004 Cooper). But that wasn’t the coolest part. The awesome dual hinged doors seem to work surprisingly well and would have saved me a few door dings over the years.
My vote for the interior of the show is the new Pagoni Huayra. Then again, maybe its just Daniele’s pictures. I will never have the money to buy a car like this, nor would I even if I had the money (I am more likely to buy a bunch of project cars). But if I did, I would want to make sure it looks like it was built using the amount of money I spent on it. This last point should not be overlooked as I have seen many cars that cost a lot of money but all you do is sit in them and wonder where they spent the money (other than on the exec’s bonuses). The Huayra literally screams “Show me the money!“
Just so you don’t think Daniele is interested in just cars, here are a few more of his pictures from the show. Undoubtedly a very talented guy.
Due to my travel schedule the blog will be taking next week off . When we come back we will have the final details of the next Designer Night at the Races event. And we will spend a post or two talking about the lighting market (trends and fashions).