No matter where you are from, you most likely find a week away to be energizing.  For me that is especially important this time of year as we are in the middle of the sunless season in Michigan we call winter.  And so it was off to Miami last week for some much needed  sun, sand, surf and whatever else you can think of that starts with “s”.  So we are back and re-energized as we start the week off with the Auto Design Week in Review.  Later this week we will have my ratings of the Superbowl Car Commercials and Friday we will have 10 Questions with Bruce Youngs.

Ferrari F2012

Formula 1 Launches

Another reason this week is exciting is that we have just finished the launch of the 2012 Formula 1 cars.  My favorite site to keep up with the circus that is F1 is Auto, Motor und Sport, the German enthusiast car magazine.  Unfortunately, many of you can’t read German but Google Translate can help and the pictures are worth a thousand words.  Or read the BBC version here.  For those who don’t think F1 design influences the production car industry haven’t seen a 2004 Mercedes SLK.  I love the comments the nose on the new Ferrari has brought about such as “designed by the technicians at Playmobil” and “Not so much Maranello as Manilow”.  Lotus’ James Allison explains the unusual nose designs here.

New eBook: Design Voices

One thing I love to do is hear the sometimes outrageous but often thought-provoking ideas designers have about the future.  A new eBook compiles the musings of eight of the most well know and relevant designers today in one place.  From my personal favorite Stefan Sagmeisterto Milton Glaser (of I Love NY fame), the book by Anna Carnick is a gem.

Lincoln Channels Past in Brand Revival

None other than the Wall Street Journal has a brief review of Lincoln’s new design direction and a timeline of its most significant vehicles as reported by Ford: From the 1938 Lincoln Continental concept to the 1956 Continental Coupe, 1961 Continental Convertible and finally the 1969 Continental Mark III.  Common theme?  They are all named Continental.  What does Lincoln sell today? S, T, X, Z and Navigator.  Am I the only one who sees a disconnect?

Jay Schuster tells a story of a Ladies Shaver

Jay Schuster grew up in Detroit and that influenced his work on both Star Wars and the Pixar Cars franchise.  Unfortunately in the film industry, like the car industry, budget trumps design intent.  Like the time a “women’s shaver turned Jedi communications device”.  Read about it here.

BMWish cronicles the history of BMW Design

Every wondered who was responsible for the Z4?  The answer is here (hint, she beat all the boys at one of the west coast Designer Night at the Races events).  Wonderful list full of wonderful people.

Polk Releases Luxury Brand Loyalty Study

Bear with me on this one, it does cover automotive design.  While styling ranks at the top of reasons a person buys a car, it also ranks near the top when analyzing why people stick with their brand.  The Captain Obviously Obvious statement of the week:  “Audi loyalists rank styling and design significantly higher than other brand loyalists as a reason to stay”

XSeed Concept

“Part Sports Car, Part Buggy, All Hybrid”.  This article from The Motoring Authority covers the concept developed by  Marcos Beltrao.  One interesting feature is a return to magnesium wheels.

Want a Masters in Car Design?

How about going to a school where Design and Business measure each other in a workshop.

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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