Archives for : April2016

Stunning, Classic Audis on Display in Mobile Show

Running from May 3 to September 18, the Audi ‘museum mobile’ is presenting 12 coupés from the 1930s to the present day, in an exhibition titled “Dynamic Sculpture – the Tradition of Sportiness and Elegance at Audi.”

 

When vehicles with the coupé body type first appeared on the scene, they were often known as “Les Désobligeantes” (the unobliging ones). The style takes its name from the idea to “cut” (“couper/coupé” in French) a four-seater coach body to create a two-seater. The result was a body type that aroused the interest of the elite set. And in the years that followed, the high-quality interior equipment and trim installed in coupes made them the favorite vehicles among the high society of major European cities.

With the initial attempts at streamlined design in the 1930s, the roof form sloping downward to the rear began to catch on. The criteria by which we define a coupé today emerged only gradually, however: a short, flattened roof resting on two posts, with a two-seat interior. The coupes really hit their stride in the 1950s and 1960s. A key factor behind this popularity was the long-distance races of the period, like the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Liège-Rome-Liège race and the “2000 km durch Deutschland” (2,000 kilometers though Germany), which almost seemed to have been conceived specifically for coupes. Typical of coupe design was the combination of a great looking exterior and the best technology. Still today, the coupe is seen as the jewel in the product lineup of every automaker.

At the show will be 12 coupés from Audi history. A particular highlight is a replica of the “Manuela,” a unique coupé version of the Horch 853. The car was specially built for Bernd Rosemeyer in 1937. The most successful and most popular Grand Prix driver for Auto Union back then, Rosemeyer loved this luxury automobile – a passion clearly captured in countless photographs. This and the fact that the motorsport star was killed while attempting a world record run just a few months after he got the car, exalted the Horch “Manuela” to its legendary status. It is believed the original coupe disappeared without a trace during World War II.

Other treasures from the annals of company history trace the body type through the 1950s: a rare DKW Meisterklasse Coupé with a body by the specialist company Hebmüller, a DKW Monza (1956), the Auto Union 1000 Sp (1958) and an NSU Sport Prinz (1959). Also included in the exhibition is the first Audi coupe of the post-war era, the Audi 100 Coupé S from 1970. Representing the historic return of the four rings to the premium segment are the Audi Coupé GT (1980), the Audi quattro (1981), the Audi Sport quattro (1983) and the Audi Coupé from 1988. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the first edition of the style icon Audi TT from its debut year 1998. And finally, the path to the present culminates with the Audi A5 from 2007.

GM Design Chief Ed Welburn To Retire July 1

Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design will retire on July 1, following a 44-year career with the company.

Michael Simcoe, a 33-year veteran of GM Design and vice president of GM International Design, based in Australia and Korea, has been selected to succeed Welburn. He will be the company’s seventh design leader and begins transitioning into his new role on May 1. His replacement has not been named.

Welburn, 65, has been celebrated inside and outside the industry for his extraordinary achievements. He has led GM Design since 2003, and globally since 2005, the first African American from any automaker to do so.

“GM Design is among the most respected and sought-after organizations in the industry because of Ed’s leadership. He nurtured a creative, inclusive and customer-focused culture among our designers that has strengthened our global brands,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO.

Under Welburn’s leadership, GM built a network of 10 GM design centers in seven countries. His team of more than 2,500 creative men and women – based in the U.S., Germany, South Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and India – collaborate on the design development of every GM concept and production car, truck and crossover globally.

Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, announced Simcoe’s promotion and commended Welburn.

“Given his deep global experience and passion for breakthrough design, Michael is the right person to lead GM Global Design,” said Reuss. “He is known for his ability to take diverse ideas and mold them into great products that surprise and delight our customers.”

Reuss recognized Welburn for his creative imprint on four decades of iconic vehicles and his leadership in identifying and developing world-class talent.

“Ed’s team turns out one award-winning product after another … and his strong bench will keep GM Design on top for years to come,” Reuss said.

Simcoe has been in his current role since 2014, overseeing GM’s production and advanced studios in Korea, Australia and India. He is known for applying global design excellence and creativity to the company’s distinct brands.

He joined GM in 1983 as a designer at Holden in Australia, and is Holden’s brand champion. In 1995, he became director of Design for GM Asia Pacific and in 2003, was named executive director of Asia Pacific Design and led the development of the new GM Korea design operations under Welburn’s leadership.

The following year, he became executive director of North American Exterior Design, responsible for critical and commercial successes like the GMC Terrain, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox and Cadillac CTS.

More recently, he led the team responsible for the award-winning Buick Avenir Concept. Last month, he introduced the Chevrolet Colorado Xtreme and Trailblazer Premier show cars at the Bangkok International Motor Show.

More information on the achievements of Wellburn during his tenure at GM can be found at WelburnDesign.com

Design Museum Talk: Is Beauty the Engine of Design?

Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic, join in a talk presented by creative editor and writer Hermione Crawford, about how design evolves, beauty versus utility and the very future of cars to be held on 20th April in London.
How does Aston Martin create an iconic car? What is beauty, and is a mechanical structure like an automobile beautiful? What is the future relevance of an independent luxury sports car brand, and how will it evolve? These and many other questions will be discussed at this exclusive and unique event. – See more at: http://designmuseum.org/is-beauty-the-engine-of-design#sthash.VyTUlMkt.dpuf

Find out more/book tickets