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Bugatti’s one-car stand receives top award at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

This 2017, the committee noticed Bugatti’s “efficient design”, “details” and “quality of workmanship” to be very convincing ---despite having only one vehicle for the entire duration of the two-week event. It also indicates how the rather small-sized show area proved to be so much more impressive for the jurors than those which had a bigger floor area for their exhibit.

For the past fourteen years, the Club de publicité et de communication de Genève has been giving out the same award in Switzerland’s yearly car event. The jurors consist of communications and publicity specialists who are members of the CPG committee.

Bugatti’s show stand stood out at the exhibit hall for its unique design. In this case, the stand consists of a curved roof that looks highly “convincing”. The judges had noticed it primarily for its arrangement-- wherein the curves were positioned exactly where the beaming light shines towards the show model. Aside from the curved structure, Bugatti’s creativity in turning a small area into one spectacular edifice not just won the judges’ approval but also appealed to the hearts of the many audiences who attended the 87th Geneva Motor Show.

Read the entire article Bugatti’s one-car stand receives top award at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

2016 Concept Car Design of The Year Award goes to Renault Trezor

After making its debut at the Paris Motor Show last year as a concept car, the Trezor by Renault managed to bring home the 2016 Concept Car Design Of The Year award. Winning against other great concepts such as the Mercedes-Maybach 6 Concept, Volkswagen’s ID concept, and the Citroen CXperience concept. The all electric coupe presented an overall futuristic design with an impressive automated one-piece clamshell roof.

The Renault Trezor must offer something incredible as it has won over the approval of no less than twenty renowned car designers who stood as the panel of judges. Some of the judges were Peter Schreyer of Hyundai-Kia, Gordon Wagener of Daimler, Ralph Gilles of FCA and Mamoru Aoki of Nissan. They were also joined by the Nio and Lynk & Co design directors. Each of them had to choose their top three favourites amongst 12 concept cars that were shortlisted by the staff of Car Design News. And the decision was made after totaling all the votes. The award was given out to Anthony Lo, the Vice President of Exterior Design, along with Stephane Janin, Concept Car Director, at the fairly recent 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Showcasing itself with its diamond logo and a muscular body, with voluptuous front and rear fenders, the Trezor isn’t just about how it looks. At 4.7 meters long, and with a 2.7 meter wheelbase, its entire body is made out of carbon fiber, keeping it lightweight. Its shape was well thought of - as a result of extensive aerodynamic tweaks to minimize drag to only 0.22, for a much improved performance and efficiency. Combined with a power output of 350 horsepower and 280 pound-feet torque. It can definitely fire up to 62 miles per hour (100 kph) in four seconds flat. And as you can see in the debut video, the car glides very smoothly against the ground at a very fast rate. So smooth, it almost looks like it is floating off the ground.

Read the entire article 2016 Concept Car Design of The Year Award goes to Renault Trezor

Opel Flextreme Concept takes the “Red Dot Award”

An international jury has acknowledged the outstanding design in the Flextreme concept car and presented it with the prestigious red dot award during a ceremony held in Singapore. This award is considered as one of the world’s largest and distinguished design prizes. The award is given to the best design concept with the ability to improve the world for a better future.

The red dot award is judged by an international jury of design experts and presented to a product based on the different criteria like functionality, innovation, and formal quality. It was back in 2007 when the Saab Aero X concept won the same award. President of the red dot design award Ken Koo relates that a large number of entries showed high quality and this made the competition very challenging.

Being granted the red dot is indeed an extraordinary achievement, he adds. Development of the Flextreme was started at General Motors’ European Design Center and it was first launched during the Frankfurt International Motor Show in 2007. This concept is a good example of how the monocab segment could be designed in the future. Proof of this is the bold style that has been integrated with an alternative energy propulsion.

Read the entire article Opel Flextreme Concept takes the “Red Dot Award”

Aston Martin shows interior of new Valkyrie hypercar in newly released images

The upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie is definitely one of the new cars that the automotive world is waiting for. With a total output of whooping 1,130 hp from its immensely dynamic powertrain, the Valkyrie is touted as a hypercar from the gods, and Aston Martin is making a case of it by posting official images of this new creation on Instagram.

Aston Martin released not just one but three official images of the Valkyrie on Instagram. One of these images show the Valkyrie as viewed from top, while another presents the hypercar from the side. Aston Martin was also kind enough to offer a glimpse of the interior of the Valkyrie. The British carmaker said the cabin of the new Valkyrie is minimalistic.

As the image show, the interior of the hypercar is dipped in carbon fiber. Interestingly, the driver takes on a reclined “feet up” position once he or she is behind the steering wheel of the Valkyrie, as inspired by the current Formula 1 race cars.

Read the entire article Aston Martin shows interior of new Valkyrie hypercar in newly released images

The Hyundai Motor Group – a multinational conglomerate that includes South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia -- will have a new head of design. Luc Donckerwolke is the new Chief Design Officer of the entire Hyundai Motor Group, replacing erstwhile design head Peter Schreyer. Donckerwolke commenced his new role in the company on Nov. 1, 2018.

Prior to his promotion, Donckerwolke used to be the Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor’s design center. In this role, Donckerwolke was practically working with Schreyer in influencing the design of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis vehicles. Now, his appointment means that he is taking over Schreyer’s work as chief of design operations at Hyundai Motor Group. He is now the primary overseer of the group’s global design team, which means that he will be the man behind the overall design direction of the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands from now on.

The appointment of Donckerwolke as the new chief design officer at the Hyundai Motor Group comes as Chung Euisun - company chairman and chief executive Chung Mong-koo – was promoted to a higher role in the company in September. The younger Chung is now the executive vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group, a position that allows him to oversee the entire conglomerate. He is also the heir apparent to the position currently held by his father, which means the younger Chung is now being groomed to become next chairman and CEO of the Hyundai Motor Group.

Read the entire article Luc Donckerwolke is the new Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group

As Peter Schreyer, a former BMW executive, is now with Kia, it now appears that the Korean automaker is in a familiar path when it comes to styling and performance. Since the beginning, the Kia Stinger GT had always been a hit, and rumours of a performance sub-brand, similar to Hyundai’s N line, are on the table. Speaking of styling, Kia’s current look will remain, especially their signature “Tiger Nose” grille, says Schreyer.

As has been confirmed, the Tiger Nose grille will not be changed any time soon. If you haven’t noticed, this design element can be found in most Kia models, from the new K900 to the Stinger, and even the entry level Rio. Schreyer is adamant that this design is what will make Kia models identifiable, similar to BMW’s kidney grille that sets it apart from the others.

Schreyer shared how the tiger nose grille should serve Kia similar to how effective the kidney grilles were for the BMW brand. The design element is not just appealing as Schreyer says that it is also flexible. He then added that he could not say the same about BMW’s styling element.

Read the entire article Kia’s very recognizable Tiger Nose grille is here to stay

BMW went through a decidedly boring phase wherein a lot of the cars they were offering looked similar to one other. Apparently, the automaker saw the downside of their cars sharing a certain look and so they chose to put an end to it. Similar to Audi’s long term plan to give each car its own identity, BMW seems to want the same for its models as well. This was confirmed after Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group styling boss, said that their future lineup will eventually feature a more varied appearance.

In an interview between Automotive News, van Hooydonk said that their next generation vehicles will have stronger characters that are easily distinguishable from others in the lineup. As for the styling of the future models, he described them to have fewer and flatter lines, but they will be sharper and more precise.

The very first model that will benefit from BMW’s new styling elements will be the upcoming X2 crossover. It will demonstrate van Hooydonk’s latest design principles and will be rounder despite the sharper lines. As you can see in the next generation 8 series that is pictured here, it combines a curvy appearance with sharper lines. That’s all for the exterior at least.

Read the entire article BMW’s future products will be more varied, new design ethos will appear first on X2 crossover

When looking at the new lineup of Lexus cars, many would agree that it looks very different from their previous models and other luxury brands, in terms of the design and styling direction. While BMW and Audi stick to handsome, yet conservative design elements, Lexus vehicles veer from that and instead have a more aggressive look, with the latest evolution of the spindle grille.

This is particularly true on models like the LC500 and the LF-1 Limitless Concept. The automaker knows that this won’t look attractive to everyone, but it has a contentious shape that will attract the right buyers.

Here’s the thing, some people may find the new design polarizing, and these are mostly composed of people who have been around since the beginning (longtime owners or Lexus enthusiasts). This is because they saw how the brand changed its design, says Jeff Bracken, General Manager of Lexus. He even told Carbuzz that it would sometimes take him 45 minutes to an hour just to listen to customers express how disappointed they are with Lexus’ new direction.

Read the entire article Former Lexus fans are not happy with the brand’s new designs

The Fusion is Ford Motor Co.’s mid-size five-passenger four-door sedan. In 2017, it has been reported that 209,623 units of this model have been sold. While this means that the Fusion is the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S., it may not be enough.

According to the Detroit News, Ford will not only be cancelling the redesign program of the Fusion but will also be reevaluating the midsize sedan’s future. Such actions are seen to be among the changes that CEO Jim Hackett, appointed in May 2017, will be bringing to the table.

The news of the cancellation of the North American redesign program of the 2020 Fusion, dubbed as the CD542N, was revealed by the Detroit News to come from a letter sent to a supplier back in November. Although this does not mean that Ford will be surely terminating the Fusion badge, it does put in limbo any other plans for the segment.

Read the entire article Ford cancels redesign plans for Fusion, reports say

Audi has got a new plan for their future vehicles, and that is to make them look distinct from one another, veering away from its cookie-cutter design philosophy. We think that this an awesome way to kick off the year, plus customers will not have to deal with just one design when choosing an Audi.

It’s difficult not to notice that the German automaker has released a number of vehicles in the past few years that all have similar looks. In fact, some of them look very identical to one another. If you’re not an expert and if you don’t look closely, you’d easily mistake one model for another. And because of that, Audi said that it is will begin making vehicles that look quite different from the rest of the cars in the lineup, giving them their own distinct character.

However, to defend the reason why they had a unifying design for many years, Rupert Stadler said that it was so that Audis would be more recognizable in newer and emerging markets like China. And because they are already recognized in China, they can already change their philosophy and start something new.

Read the entire article Audi vehicles will soon be more distinguishable from each other

During the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in late October and early November, Subaru unveiled the Viziv Performance Concept. Described by the carmaker a sports sedan that builds on its race as well as on its rally heritage, the attention-grabbing Viziv Performance Concept provides a glimpse into the next generation of the Subaru WRX. Now, it seems the next-generation Subaru WRX would be heavily influenced by the design of the Viziv Performance concept.

As revealed by company design chief Mamoru Ishii to British auto magazine Autocar, Subaru is expected to release the next-generation WRX sports sedan in 2020. Ishii noted that when the Japanese carmaker unveiled the Viziv Performance at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the concept received very positive feedback. Thanks to the affirmative response gained by the concept, Subaru decided to transfer many of its design and styling cues to the next-gen WRX, Ishii added. This means customers could expect a number of similarities between the Viziv Performance concept and the next generation of the WRX sports sedan when the latter is launched to the market by the end of the decade.

The Viziv Performance concept is gifted with an aggressive yet elegant front end. Its decidedly aggressive front grille, taut body shape, sporty bonnet scoop and angular wheel arches as well as flared front fenders and sleekly sculpted waist all point to the kind of performance the concept might offer while pointing to Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” design direction. Overall, the Viziv Performance concept features a geometrical shape that would really look great when carried to the new Subaru concept. As Ishii remarked, these design elements would allow the next-gen Subaru WRX to look fast even when at a standstill.

Read the entire article Next-generation Subaru WRX to adopt styling of Viziv Performance Concept

Formula 1 fans know that this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks the end of the 2017 season. However for this year, it also marks the beginning of something new. For the 2018 race season, F1 revealed that it will be using a simpler design moving forward.

According to Sean Bratches, who is the F1 Commercial Chief, the main reason for the change in the design is that the current design was no longer effective for both merchandise and the contemporary digital platforms. In order to be more functional for the digital age, many big name companies have gone on to simplify their brands. One such company is Coca-Cola. Bratches added that even Starbucks went that route in order to have a place in the digital age. He added that it meant that company needed to go a little further and retool in order to position itself well.

Talking about the new logo, F1 Marketing Head Ellie Norman shared that the basis for this new design was all about two cars racing on the circuit doing a battle on who reaches the finish line first. She added that aside from two cars that are crossing the finish line, another inspiration was the car’s low profile form. The new logo is both simple and bold, she said, and offers more versatility and flexibility. As such, she continued, this enables to company to apply it easily to the market today, especially one led by digital and mobile.

Read the entire article Formula 1 unveils new and simplified logo

A lot of people have been questioning BMW’s design direction lately, albeit the beautiful Z4 concept and the alluring 8 Series concept are excluded from this narrative. This began after the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show when BMW revealed the X7 iPerformance Concept and i Vision Dynamics Concept that didn’t please many people, because they did not evoke the signature styling the automaker was hoping to see.

Having said that, an ex-BMW designer, Chris Bangle had to call them out regarding this matter, according to Automotive News Europe. For a total of 17 years, Bangle acted as the company’s Chief of Design, before leaving in 2009 to form Bangle Associates. This is a design firm that has delved in everything from liquor bottles to nursing homes.

In an interview with Bangle, he said that the concepts have a wonderful stand and use a great amount of technology. But from his point of view, and as a designer, he said that he is accustomed to a set of uniqueness, freshness and change. He further added that he does not want the concepts to be the subject of criticism.

Read the entire article Former BMW Design Chief Chris Bangle slams brand’s new design concepts

That there’s bad blood between Mercedes-Benz and BMW doesn’t surprise anyone. The fierce competition between the two brands may have stemmed from the fact that they both have German roots, and have been in the automotive industry for a very long time. Nevertheless, it’s quite unusual for either automaker to bash the other in public.

During the Frankfurt Motor Show, Motoring witnessed Hendrik von Kunheim, BMW Senior Vice President for Asia and South Africa, criticize Mercedes’ new X-Class pickup calling it “appalling”, while being interviewed by the Australian media.

Furthermore, von Kunheim said that he was very disappointed when he saw the pickup at Geneva a couple of months ago, adding that “they can do better”. Though he did say that Mercedes-Benz builds fantastic cars, he said that this particular one was a “disappointment.”

Read the entire article BMW executive describes the Mercedes-Benz X-Class as a disappointment

Recently, Autocar revealed that a Ferrari SUV is on the way, after the company continuously denied that they will not build one. And unlike the usual crossover styling, Ferrari will give it rear doors that will not be visible, to make it look more like a coupe. Well, we think it’s brilliant. Many will disagree.

Ferrari calls it the “F16X”, a Ferrari Utility Vehicle (FUV) that gets its inspiration from the GTC4 Lusso, mechanically. For instance, the F16X can have a twin-turbo V8 or a naturally aspirated V12 that produces either 602 or 681 horsepower, giving power to the all-wheel drive setup. There is a possibility that this model will get a hybrid powertrain too. And just like the GTC4, it will probably have a liftgate with four or five seats, except it sits higher on the road.

So how will Ferrari introduce an SUV to us if they have been saying that they will never produce one? Well, they can always call it something else. This model, for instance, is said to be an FUV. Just like when they said that they were not building an entry-level Ferrari, but they actually were - it’s just that they called it something else. It is all about branding. This is very ironic as Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne once said that you would have to shoot him first” before the company builds an SUV. Rumours say that the crossover is being developed for a 2021 launch.

Read the entire article Ferrari SUV will arrive in 2021 with rear doors that are not visible

Frank Stephenson might not be a household name, but he is one of the most revered car designers of our time. He had been the Design Director at McLaren Automotive since 2008 where he helped oversee the styling of most of the British company's current gen vehicles including the 12 to the trendy 720S. However, this stage of his McLaren's designer career has come to an end, as leading German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport reported that Stephenson is allegedly quitting his position and will supposedly rejoin Mini where he was the designated chief designer until 2002.

McLaren recently announced to the public that Rob Melville will be appointed as the new McLaren's Design Director. Melville had been handling Sports Series and second-gen Super Series of cars leading up to the promotion which includes the P1, 570S, 650S, 675LT and the most recent responsibility of leading the design team of the new 720S. He joined the British Company as a Senior Designer in 2009.

But before working with McLaren, he served at Jaguar Land Rover as part of the Advanced Design team that worked on penning the dapper Range Rover Evoque. Melville also became part of General Motors in U.K as a Senior Creative Designer in 2006, and at that time he assisted in designing cars including the Hummer H2, Chevrolet Corvette and the Cadillac Converj.

Read the entire article Rob Melville gets promotion as McLaren design chief upon Stephenson’s departure

Not a few agree that the Volkswagen Polo news a styling overhaul. While this supermini still looks good as it is now, the latest facelift was around three years. With rumors and speculations that Volkswagen is primed to replace the current Polo with a new generation in 2018, several visual artists took their sweet time trying to render the looks of the next generation of VW’s smallest car.’

One of these visual artists is Kleber Silva of Sao Paulo Brazil. As an automotive designer, Silva had rendered a number of cars and concepts like a pickup version of the Mini Cooper S Countryman and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan. His visual artworks were published at Behance, a Web site that allows designers to showcase their works and for companies to discover them.

Silva’s rendering of the new VW Polo represents an evolution, if not a revolution, of the design of supermini. Its overall looks are very far removed from the current iteration of the Polo. However, there is one current or new VW model that the rendered VW Polo is taking inspiration from in terms of design – the new VW Arteon.

Read the entire article Rumored new VW Polo rendered with looks derived from Arteon

Karim Habib, former Head Designer of BMW, replaces Alfonso Albaisa as Head of Infiniti Design, effective July 1. As Albaisa has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Global Design for Nissan.

The 47-year-old Habib, who went to the Art Centre College for Design in Switzerland, has been an automotive designer for almost 2 decades. He began his career with BMW, and spent a few years working for Mercedes, and back to BMW, before deciding to join Infiniti. Some of his works while at BMW are: the 7 Series, the X2 concept, the 3.0 Hommage concept, and his most recent one, the 4 Series (launched in January).

Albaisa seems quite ecstatic that the Canadian designer will be joining the Infiniti team as he could be an influence for the next generation. [Albaisa] even said in an interview that Habib was “skilled at capturing the heart and passion of the brand” while giving each model its unique characteristics. He is good at creating “modern and inspiring designs”.

Read the entire article Former BMW head designer Karim Habib moves to Infiniti

And the best car brand for this year goes again to Audi! If there’s anything we can count on to tell us which among the automotive brands makes the best cars, it’s Consumer Reports. For two years in a row, Audi claimed the highest spot in the annual ranking of car brands. Audi is trailed closely by Porsche, BMW and Lexus. Audi has the highest overall score of 81 against Porsche with 78 and both BMW and Lexus getting 77.

The fifth spot went to Subaru with the score of 74 while the remaining six out of ten spots went to Kia Mazda, Tesla and Buick. Luckily for Porsche and BMW, the two were able to show significant improvement in their ratings as compared to last year. The overall scores are basically a combination of several factors such as safety, predicted reliability, road tests and owner satisfaction rating. So while Audi got the highest total score in the overall ranking, Porsche got a higher score in the road test with 88 points while both Audi and BMW got 86 in the same category.

The top five car brands from last year are actually the same group this year. Only the rankings changed. Subaru has lost two spots this year. Porsche and BMW went up by two slots while Lexus has moved down by one. Meanwhile, Tesla takes the lead when it comes to the highest US automotive brand this year after having earned the 8th position with a road test score of 88 points and overall score of 73 points.

Read the entire article Audi is named best overall car brand for 2017, Tesla is ranked highest among US brands

Looks like Chevy Bolt went into full speed--- almost immediately after its production version was officially launched. To keep the momentum going, it beat Volvo S90 and Hyundai Genesis G90 in bagging the 2017 North American Car of the Year award.

This week’s event in Detroit has also included the announcement of several winners in other categories. The 2017 Truck of the Year went to Honda Ridgeline, beating its closest competitors ---the Nissan Titan and Ford’s Super Duty F-Series pickup. Chrysler Pacifica meanwhile bested Mazda’s CX-9 and Jaguar’s F-Pace for the Utility of the Year award, which was divided into separate categories under minivans, crossovers just to name a few.

It’s undeniable that Chevrolet’s latest entry is the real gem out of the many contenders for this year. The small yet affordable electric hatchback with 238 miles of range was also named “Green Car of the Year” and “Car of the Year” by Motor Trend and Green Car Journal.

Read the entire article Chevrolet Bolt EV is named 2017 Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto Show