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.”
Highlight: A replica of the “Manuela”, a Horch 853 Coupé. In 1937, Auto Union had this luxury car made for Bernd Rosemeyer, its most famous racing car driver.
The first Audi Coupé of the post-war era: The Audi 100 Coupé S had its market launch in 1970.
Coupés seemed to have been created solely for long-distance races – like the DKW Monza from 1956 at the Mille Miglia in Italy.
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.
IED and Quattroruote in Geneva present the latest concept car by the Master in Transportation Design, a self-driving vehicle that focuses on the user experience. After an initial collaboration started in 2015, the two organisations have partnered again on the occasion of their anniversaries: in 2016 they celebrate 50 years since the first IED creative graduate and 60 years from the first issue of the magazine that would become an international leader in the automotive world.
Shiwa (4,700mm long, 2,000mm wide, 1,500 high and with a 3,660mm wheelbase) is a noiseless zero emissions self-driving vehicle with four seats and four electric motors integrated in the drivetrain. Shiwa – a Japanese word meaning “fold” – indicates the form/action able to transform a surface without resistance into a self-supporting object, as in origami: the fold gives form and function to a surface which otherwise would lack them. This is the initial concept from which the Korean student Youngjin SHIM drafted her project, which was then developed by a team composed of her and eleven other Master students, including the Italian Luca MENICACCI and the Indian Jaykishan Vithalbhai LAKHANI. The external structure of the concept is inspired by the fold/origami idea.
The concept car highlights a new idea of an object strong through its form, redefining the idea of chassis and of external structure, which in this case encloses the cabin shaped like a suspended “diamond”. The exterior origami protecting the diamond-cabin is made of metal composite material with an aluminium finish and is connected to a frame. The Shiwa cabin interior surfaces are designed to project multimedia contents towards the passengers, outdoors or to create an augmented reality. The cabin is designed to bring people together, thanks to the seats configuration disrupting the traditional passenger-driver hierarchy and delineating different spaces and uses and reinterpreting the concept of conversation and interaction inside the vehicle. Shiwa envelops the passengers both physically, in their sensory dimension and in all the relational aspects among themselves and with the outside world.
The vechicle uses an all wheel drive system with 4 brushless motors mounted directly on the wheels, a totally electric power unit. Shiwa is an IICV – Individual Identity Companion Vehicle: it learns the identity, interests and habits of its occupants, it recognises their features and adapts its behaviour to circumstances and to passengers. Among its features is a fingerprint keyless entry system. Shiwa also features full-LED headlights and a front OLED display indicating the charging level of the car and allowing the opening and the insertion of the charging plug-in.
“The automotive world is on the verge of a paradigm shift that will revolutionise processes and archetypes – says Gian Luca Pellegrini, director of Quattroruote. Shiwa wants to be a starting point on the road towards a future in which the role of manufacturers and motorists will undergo an ultimate transformation: a world where the self-driving vehicles will introduce a new way of intending private transport as well as a different interpretation of design”.
“Shiwa is a self-driving vehicle but talking about it today means facing obstacles that are more psychological and organizational than technological – declares Riccardo Balbo, Director of IED Turin. With Shiwa, IED and Quattroruote raise their eyes towards the horizon on a temporal space of the city spanning over the next 15 years. Shiwa proposes scenarios and solutions that automotive brands are starting to face today in order to address the industrial market of urban mobility towards 2030, in a world very different and certainly not predictable today, but where the comparison between mobility, habitat and society will require more radical answers. The concept car subverts the established approach of the automotive world: it is designed starting from the user experience and from the inside, imagining a micro-habitat for the individual. A space where the experience, time, information and quality of life become central and prevail over the exterior design, becoming direct expression of the internal design”.
The project is the result of a creative process involving students in a process replicating that of a contemporary automotive design centre. All Master students submitted an individual proposal; the projects better suited to answer the brief for the interior or exterior area were selected and combined for designing the final version. The class then created a core work team which completed the final full-scale concept design. The show car was constructed by Cecomp, for over 30 years the European leader in the production of models and prototypes, which has always cooperated with the Institute in the prototyping process. The SHIWA project was also supported by various technical partners including Newcast Services, Model Resine, OZ Racing and Pirelli.
About the Project & Course
THE AUTONOMOUS DRIVING VEHICLE: NEW ENGINEERS COMPONENTS IN TRADITIONAL SOLUTIONS OR DESIGN SOLUTIONS FOR A MOBILITY FUTURE?
Design an autonomous car or vehicle. Imagine how many opportunities designers can bring in terms of concepts, solutions, philosophy and perception open in such a scenario, where lots of rules are changed or up to: interior layouts can drastically affect the main body concepts, technology can define different uses, fashion, even the inner sense of property of a vehicle. The challenge designers should tackle is jump a step ahead and imagine an autonomous car starting from design rather than technology.
Students on the two year course come from different design backgrounds. Admission to the course is restricted to professionals with at least two years work experience in the sector or graduates from IED or colleges in a similar field as well as other design graduates.
Shiwa is the brainchild of: Youngjin SHIM (Korea); Luca MENICACCI (Italy) and Jaykishan Vithalbhai LAKHANI (India)
Interior Design development: Jose Ignacio MARTINEZ FLORES (Ecuador)
Project contributors: Chen LUJIA (China); Charles Frederic Nestor CARRUPT (Switzerland); Mikhail D. SOUZA (India); Qichang LI (China); Kejin PAN (China); Alparslan TURHAN (Turkey); Gaurav UDAVANT (India) and Honghu ZHANG (China), students of the Master in Transportation Design IED Turin AY 2014/15.
Shiwa was realized under the coordination of Alessandro Cipolli, Master in Transportation Design Coordinator and Davide Tealdi, IED teacher. The project was carried out under the supervision of Fulvio Fantolino, Coordination of Transportation Design.
Mercedes-Benz will be attending the Retro Classics in Stuttgart, offering visitors a journey through time in the fascinating world of the brand’s cabriolets and roadsters. The exhibition covers everything from the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) from 1952 and the classic sports car 300 SL Roadster (W 198) from 1957, the 190 E 2.6 Cabriolet prototype (W 201) from 1990, to the new SL (R 231) and the recently premiered C-Class Cabriolet (A 205).The 300 SL racing sports car (W 194) and the 300 SL Roadster (W 198) bear testimony to the successes of the 1950s and the SL legend. The racing sports car stands for the overwhelmingly successful return of Mercedes-Benz to motor racing in the 1952 season for the first time after the Second World War. The vehicle proved an outright winner, securing impressive double victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. The racing sports car also gave rise to the famous standard-production “Gullwing” 300 SL (W 198) from 1954, which made its debut in spring 1957 in the open-top variant, the 300 SL Roadster. Together with the 190 SL (W 121) launched in 1955, the 300 SL Roadster started the tradition of open-top Mercedes-Benz standard-production sports cars with the magical abbreviation SL, which the new generation of the SL (R 231) propels forward into the future.
A glance back at 1990 reveals how the Mercedes-Benz development department was toying with the idea of producing a cabriolet to join the compact saloon (W 201). The original prototype on display at the Retro Classics is the road-going result of these deliberations. Even if the open-top “Baby Benz” did not enter series production, the study was a key decision-making aid for the 124 series Cabriolet unveiled in 1991 and today ranks among the forebears of the new C-Class Cabriolet (A 205).
For those looking to buy..
The ‘All Time Stars‘ from Mercedes-Benz Classic have their own stand in Hall 7 at the Retro Classics. The line-up features all cars made by Mercedes-Benz and the predecessor brands. The focus is on classics that are suitable for everyday driving. Maximum transparency was the guiding principle behind their selection: the Mercedes-Benz Classic experts subjected each vehicle to a comprehensive 160-item checklist.
Cars exhibited by Mercedes-Benz Classic at theRetro Classics 2016
Nürburgring, 3rd August 1952. Fritz Rieß in car 22, the Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL Roadster (W 194, 1952) in 3rd place.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL racing sports car (W 194, 1952)
300 SL was the designation of the competition racing car from Mercedes-Benz with which the brand returned to international motor racing in 1952 for the first time after the Second World War. Following the triumphant double victory in Le Mans and the previous double victory at the Bern Grand Prix, the 300 SL also won the two other races where it had lined up on the grid. The 300 SL took the top four places at the Nürburgring Great Jubilee Prize in the weight-reduced roadster version, while the Carrera Panamericana, a gruelling endurance race covering more than 3100 kilometres through Mexico, saw the car finish with a double victory. Karl Kling and Hans Klenk took first place in Mexico despite colliding with a vulture that smashed through the windscreen during the race. Even if the successful racing sports car was not sold to the public, it did light the fuse for the development of the subsequent Mercedes-Benz SL, which was launched at the end of 1953.
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 125 kW (170 hp)
Top speed: 230 km/h
Mercedes-Benz Typ 300 SL Roadster (W 198 II, 1957 bis 1963), 1960. Posing does not get better than this.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (W 198, 1957-1963)
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 300 SL Roadster as the successor to the 300 SL Gullwing Coupé at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1957. On a technical level, the open-top sports car was very like the Coupé, although the modified space frame allowed the installation of conventionally attached doors, which were necessary for open-top driving. The suspension was likewise modified: the single-joint swing axle with lowered pivot point on the 300 SL Roadster was equipped with a compensating spring for the first time. From 1958 onwards, the Roadster was also available with a detachable coupé roof. It was from the standard-production 300 SL Roadster that the Mercedes-Benz engineers developed the 300 SLS racing variant with which Paul O’Shea won Category D of the American Sports Car Championship in 1957. Production of the 300 SL Roadster was discontinued after seven years in 1963, during which time precisely 1858 examples of the highly exclusive sports car were built.
Displacement: 2996 cc
Output: 158 kW (215 hp)
Top speed: up to 250 km/h
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6 Cabriolet prototype (W 201, 1990)
Following the facelift of the Mercedes-Benz W 201 series, which was unveiled in 1988, the brand turned its attention to a cabriolet. The result was a road-going prototype, which stood out with its four fully-fledged seats and enhanced body with subtly higher, slightly more angular rear where the large folding top was concealed under a metallic lid. The two-door cabriolet also boasted an elegant side line even with the roof closed. The car ultimately failed to make it into series production, yet the study served as a decision-making aid on the way to the larger 124 series Cabriolet, which was launched in 1992 and was among the forebears of the current E-Class Cabriolet. The compact cabriolet prototype features a 2.6-litre six-cylinder engine in tune with the sporty, exclusive aspirations of the open-top two-seater. This powerplant has been available in the 201 series since 1985, propelling the most powerful model in the compact class after the “V16 engine”.
Displacement: 2597 ccO
utput: 122 kW (166 hp) at 5800 rpm
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet (A 205, since 2016)
The new C-Class Cabriolet premiered at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show in early March 2016. It is the first standard-production cabriolet in the history of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which started with the W 201 (“190”) in 1982. The Cabriolet is closely related to the C-Class Coupé (C 205) whose silhouette it adopts along with the striking front end featuring a diamond radiator grille, LED High Performance headlamps, long bonnet and high beltline. The soft top with glass window transitions harmoniously into the distinctly styled rear end with its highly sporty look. With a capacity of 360 litres (285 litres with the roof open), the boot is capable of holding an exceptional amount of luggage for a cabriolet, thus offering high everyday practicality. Inside, the C-Class Cabriolet with its high-quality materials provides a fresh, sporty reinterpretation of the interior of the C-Class Saloon. Added to which are extensive assistance systems tailored to safety and comfort – through to solutions for semi-autonomous driving. The automatic AIRCAP draught-stop and the AIRSCARF neck-level heating are available as options. Altogether eight different engines are available for the market launch in July 2016, including two diesel models and the C 43 4MATIC Cabriolet as the top-of-the-line model.
Cylinders: 4/in-line to V6
Displacement: 1595 to 2996 cc
Output: 115 kW (156 hp) to 270 kW (367 hp)
Top speed: 250 km/h (governed)
Combined CO2 emissions: from 116 g/km
Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster (R 231, since 2016)
The R 231 series SL with its advanced technology and new styling was premiered at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2015. The facelifted Roadster is due to be launched in April 2016. It marks the continuation of Mercedes-Benz’s unique tradition of elegant sportiness, which began with the motorsport-inspired 300 SL in the 1950s. Compared with the first version of the R 231 unveiled in 2012, the new SL boasts an even more dynamic design and more powerful engines. Furthermore, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, DYNAMIC SELECT with five transmission modes and Active Body Control with curve tilting function elevate the Roadster’s ride comfort and sportiness to new levels. The roof, which can now be operated at speeds of up to 40 km/h, and the automatic boot separator are further convenience features which make the luxury sports car even more of a pleasure to drive.
Cylinders: V6 (SL 400) to V12 (SL 65)
Displacement: 2996 to 5980 cc
Output: 270 kW (367 hp) to 463 kW (630 hp)
Top speed: 250 km/h (governed)
Combined CO2 emissions: from 175 g/km
Nissan put an exclamation point on the start of sales of its all-new 2016 TITAN XD by unveiling a super-sized, off-road modified design study it calls the TITAN Warrior Concept. Nissan Design America (NDA) took the TITAN XD’s production design to new extremes with unapologetic, aggressive, athletic styling features that declare the concept’s off-road adventure intent and Nissan’s optimism for the truck market.
“Truck buyers have a seemingly insatiable appetite for more content and more unique offerings,” said José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America, Inc. “Even though our all-new 2016 TITAN XD just started arriving at Nissan dealers nationwide last month, we are already exploring new territory where TITAN might go in the future.”
Pushing the Boundaries
Just as the all-new TITAN XD with its Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine has bulked up the standards for customers shopping the light-duty pickup class, the TITAN Warrior Concept was created to take the production version to the extreme.
“Nissan has always pushed the boundaries of traditional automotive design and engineering, from our Nissan GT-R supercar to the new TITAN XD,” explained Muñoz. “We do this with a clear conviction that there are buyers out there who appreciate something everyone else does not have. A `work hard, play harder, get bigger’ TITAN XD certainly does the job.”
The TITAN Warrior Concept builds on the recent Project Titan, a crowd-sourced customization of an original-generation Titan that sent two U.S. military veterans representing Wounded Warrior Project® on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Alaska. The new concept truck also pays homage to Nissan’s heritage of off-road racing and adventuring, which goes back to the days of Baja “Hardbody” competition pickups and Paris-Dakar Rally treks.
“As we launch the all-new 2016 TITAN XD, the TITAN Warrior Concept was conceived to share our team’s pride and excitement to be back in the truck market in a big way,” added Muñoz. “The team delivered.”
A Warrior with a “Modern Armor” Exterior
The TITAN Warrior Concept creators had more than a strong foundation on which to build their vision of a bold and expanding future in the full-size pickup market, they had a familiar one.
As part of the group that brought the “American TITAN” to life – a group that ranged from Tennessee, Michigan, Mississippi, Indiana, Arizona and California – the design team imagined how their original TITAN design, inspired by warriors in ancient Greek mythology, might evolve to extreme levels of adventure duty.
First, while maintaining the TITAN XD Crew Cab’s standard wheelbase and length, they wanted to give the concept truck an even more powerful presence than the original. The height was raised nearly three inches, from 78.7 inches to 81.5 inches, to fit a quartet of 37-inch tall off-road tires mounted on custom 18×9.5-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The wheels’ machined aluminum surfaces feature a dark matte finish and continue the production TITAN XD’s “precision tool” design theme.
To create clearance for the new oversize tires and accommodate the new, long-travel suspension, the TITAN Warrior Concept’s width was extended three inches on each side, from 80.6 inches total to 86.6 inches. Once the dimensions and imposing stance were mapped out, the extreme makeover began in earnest.
Building on the new second-generation TITAN’s warrior-inspired styling, the designers amplified the protective look of the production exterior. Designating the new look as “modern armor” – with a stealthy, robotic quality – they continued the anatomical feel of the production TITAN, but added a more machine-like, sharper-edge appearance.
The grille and signature TITAN headlights were enhanced to offer a more technical, menacing look. The front and rear fenders have been flared and offer an extremely muscular appearance. Functional hood vents were added for cooling the powerful diesel engine. The broad hoodline is balanced underneath by the large front skidplate, which interlocks into the powerful front bumper.
Custom LED lights, front and rear, add to the TITAN Warrior Concept’s stealthy presence. The headlights carry a sense of the new Nissan signature boomerang lights, but with a more precise, upright, robotic feel. In the rear, the integrated LED taillights take the form of a TITAN “T” logo, split by the wide tailgate. As a finishing touch, a quad-tipped exhaust system is integrated into the rear bumper.
Despite its massive bulk, TITAN Warrior Concept adds several aerodynamic elements, including carbon fiber rear cab spoiler and tailgate spoilers. Additional unique body elements include integrated, roof-mounted LED off-road lights.
The TITAN Warrior Concept is covered in a custom matte-gunmetal paint called “Thunder” and accented in special “Magma” orange and black color highlights.
“There’s a sense to the exterior design that the TITAN Warrior Concept could drive right off the auto show stage and retrace the historic route of Nissan’s off-road racing victories in the Baja Peninsula,” said Muñoz. “And given the high-torque Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, extensive suspension modifications and TITAN XD heavy-duty durability, it certainly could.”
A Polished, Premium Sport Interior
Inside the TITAN Warrior Concept’s rugged performance-focused exterior is an interior conceived to handle the abuse experienced on an extended off-road excursion in comfort and style.
“Today’s truck enthusiasts don’t just use their trucks for weekend adventures, they do double-duty as daily drivers,” explained Muñoz. “Therefore the TITAN Warrior Concept’s interior reflects a premium outdoor lifestyle, closer in look and content to a new TITAN XD Platinum Reserve model than a stripped-down pre-runner.”
The interior design team at Nissan Design America wanted to give the vehicle a unique polished “chronograph” look and feel, focusing on materials and detailing while remaining true to the TITAN Warrior Concept’s active performance theme. For example, the seats are covered in a carbon-colored high-strength seat fabric trimmed with “Magma” orange accents. Interior surfaces utilize material, such as carbon fiber, polished chrome finishes, leather with accented Magma orange stitching.
The TITAN Warrior Concept’s steering wheel is custom-built, continuing the technical adventure theme, milled from one block of aluminum. Other interior details include unique hot-and-cold drink containers integrated into the center console. Robust auxiliary toggle switches are integrated into the center stack for additional off-road accessories. Instrument panel-mounted auxiliary gauges are provided to easily monitor truck performance.
As an extreme adventure version of the new 2016 TITAN XD, the TITAN Warrior Concept utilizes the factory fully boxed ladder frame and Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine and the standard heavy-duty 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission as its base.
Where the TITAN Warrior Concept departs from its production counterpart is in the full custom suspension design. In the front, the standard suspension has been replaced with custom upper and lower control arm with performance ball joints, along with racing-style internal bypass reservoir coil-over shocks with custom reservoir mounts and tie-rod extensions.
In the rear, the modifications include custom internal bypass reservoir shocks with custom reservoir mounts. Adjusted-length prototype axles were installed, along with a custom sway bar, relocated sway bar brackets and rear lift blocks and U-bolts. Hydraulic pressurized bump stops were also added front and rear.
Exploring New Boundaries
The debut of the TITAN Warrior Concept at the North American International Auto Show comes exactly one year since the debut of the production TITAN XD on the same stage. TITAN XD has been named “Truck of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in their annual Texas Truck Rodeo, which puts the industry’s best trucks, SUVs and CUVs through a grueling two-day evaluation. In addition to the competition’s top award, Truck of Texas, the TITAN XD won three other honors – Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas, Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas and Best Powertrain for its standard Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine.
Now that TITAN XD Crew Cab with a Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine is in Nissan showrooms, the rollout of new models continues. In December, Nissan announced that advanced gas-powered Endurance® V8 producing 390 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque will be available in both TITAN and TITAN XD models beginning in early spring 2016.
Ultimately, the new TITAN will be offered in three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels (more information on the full lineup will be available at a later date).
“While Nissan still has many roads and trails to travel as we continue to launch additional production versions of our bold new TITAN, this new TITAN Warrior Concept gives an important signal to American truck enthusiasts that our vision for exploring new boundaries remains strong,” concluded Muñoz. “Truck lovers are never static and neither is TITAN.”