Until the 30th June 2016, the Design Museum London is hosting it’s Cycle Revolution exhibition.
“As an assembly of bicycle porn the Design Museum’s new Cycle Revolution is absolutely filthy. ” The Times
Highlights of the bikes on display include:
Sir Bradley Wiggins’s 2015 Hour Record bike and 2014 World Championship Time Trial bike
A number of Team Sky’s Pinarellos from the 2015 Tour de France, as well as kit and equipment from the team’s 2015 Tour de France win
Sir Chris Hoy’s Great Britain Cycling Team London 2012 Olympic Track bike
The Lotus Type 108 ridden by Chris Boardman at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games
Eddy Merckx’s 1972 Hour Record bike
Francesco Moser’s 1984 Hour Record bike, loaned for the exhibition from the personal collection of Sir Bradley Wiggins
The earliest prototype Brompton in existence
A 1978 Breezer Series 1
A 1969 Raleigh Chopper.
Bike builder’s workshop – showing the tools, materials and skills that combine to create a bespoke machine. Six independent British bike builders are profiled – Donhou Bicycles, Toad Custom Cycles, Hartley Cycles, Robin Mather Cycles, Mercian Cycles and Shand Cycles.
High profile cyclists including Lord Norman Foster and Sir Paul Smith discuss their passion for cycling and hopes for its future in the closing film.
Now in its 9th year, the annual residency programme promotes new and emerging design talent. It’s open to all designers who have graduated from Higher Education within the last five years (in the academic year 2011/12 or more recently) and who have been working professionally (either paid or voluntarily) in some form of design or architecture practice for a minimum of one year.
This year the Design Museum opens the doors to its new home in Kensington. The Designers in Residence of 2016 will join the museum on this journey. Through a focused and rigorous proposal, the museum asks for designers to submit creative responses to this year’s theme OPEN.
Design is no longer exclusive but a process in which many voices can participate. The spirit of open design offers new and exciting ways to shape and experience the world around us. Design has become more inclusive. Tools that were once the preserve of professionals are now available to amateurs. Through hacking, co-creation, downloadable designs, and sharing of knowledge, more people than ever can take on the role of the designer.
At the 2016 New Delhi Auto Show, Renault is taking the wraps off two show cars, namely Renault KWID Climber and Renault KWID Racer. While the former is bred for venturing away from the beaten track, the latter is more at home on the asphalt of race circuits, providing still more evidence of the potential of this unique model.
With its high ground clearance, wide track, short overhangs and the specially designed pattern of its tyres, the Kwid Climber is built for adventure off the beaten track. It has all the qualities of an off-roader, including a compact footprint, high ground clearance, big bumpers, side protective mouldings, and generous, diamond-effect wheels. Its deep Flame Orange finish underscores the sculpted lines of the body.
The wheel arch extensions are highlighted in electric blue. This draws attention to the robust features which have become the Renault KWID’s hallmark. The special protective housings of the car’s lights heighten its all-terrain feel. The Climber draws on the DNA of the Renault KWID to develop its SUV capability to the extreme.
The Renault Kwid Racer is intended for an entirely different category of car and targets the world of racing, with 18-inch alloy wheels, low-profile tyres, honed aerodynamics, bucket seats and a roll cage. Its wide air intakes are suggestive of performance, while the spoilers and diffuser guarantee push for improved handling. The C-shaped LED lighting signature and the high-tech treatment of the lights signal that the Renault Kwid Racer is clearly in tune with Renault’s new design strategy.
The inside of the car features materials like Alcantara, aluminium and ‘carbon’. The Titane Black trim is emphasised by touches of anodised red that is suggestive of the world of motor racing. The totem console in the centre of the dashboard displays the telemetry data so the driver can track their performance in real time.
Tightly strapped into a four-point harness in the bucket seat, the driver benefits from a digital rev counter and a leather-trimmed steering wheel which boasts an alloy frame specially designed for racing.
Both the show cars are two distinct cars, which complement each other perfectly.
“At first glance, Renault KWID blends an emotional design with the need for reassurance expressed by customers. Its SUV lines mirror its tough, robust character and underpin its distinctive, modern look. Both of the show cars are based on the Renault KWID platform. The front end is distinctive and immediately recognisable as a Renault. The wheel arches are generous and the unique body colours bear design touches common to both vehicles.” Laurens Van Den Acker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design
Blue most widely used chromatic colour on Europe’s roads
Distinct differences in colours used in the various automotive segments
In BASF’s European colour Report for Automotive OEM Coating, BASF’s Coatings division has presented the colour distribution for 2015. BASF, Europe’s market leader for colour development for automotive OEM coating, provides detailed evidence for the consumers’ favourite colours. For example, the report shows that there are distinct differences between the individual automotive segments with respect to colour. The smaller the car, the wider the colour range, while larger cars more frequently feature special effects.
Throughout Europe, white is the most frequent colour used for automotive finishes. Since 2007, the percentage of white vehicles has risen continuously and now stands at 30%. Together with black, gray and silver, these “uncolourful” finishes account for over 75% of the colours used for new cars. While the use of this colour range has remained steady in recent years, considerable changes have evolved among the chromatic colours. In this area, blue stands out as the most popular colour on Europe’s roads, and this is true for all types of cars. Red and brown are also frequently represented, with brown especially popular for SUVs and red for small and mid-sized cars.
But colours aren’t the only way people express themselves; special effects offer another option. Achromatic colours such as black, silver and white in particular develop a completely individual colour behavior through targeted special effects. The geometry of the body is visually enhanced and the colours take on a new effect, as Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive OEM colour Design at BASF in Europe points out. “The targeted interaction between colour and special effects is making automotive colours more complex and multifaceted. This development will continue to accompany us for a few years. We haven’t yet exhausted the possibilities in the special-effect palette.” In 2015, more than half of all cars throughout Europe were coated with luxury paints with metallic effects and 16% featured pearl effects. Nearly one in three cars has a pure solid finish, mostly in the small car segment.
With the analysis of the current colour distribution in the European automotive market, BASF’s European colour Report supplements the facts contained in the colour Trend Collection published annually by BASF’s Coatings division. While the trend collection provides an outlook on the colour areas that will play a role for cars in the future, the report reflects market development and summarizes the status quo.
The iconic Caimano concept car will be featured in a special exhibition dedicated this year to the revolutionary designs of the 1970s.
The “wedge on wheels” thought up by Italdesign is based on the chassis of the Alfasud, another of Giugiaro’s creations, and is a fine example of the extreme design of its time.
The only example of the model belongs to the Alfa Romeo Museum.
The Motor Show will take place from February 5 to 7 in Bremen and will open the classic car season. It will bring together some 650 exhibitors in eight halls covering an area of over 45,000 square metres.
The special exhibition entitled “Die 70er: Einfach Keil”, dedicated to the revolutionary designs of the 1970s, will be the climax of the Bremen Classic Motor Show which will be taking place from February 5 to 7 and will open the classic car season. It will be the perfect opportunity to admire a parade of wedge cars which are typical expressions of the extreme design concept of their day. Together with the Lancia Stratos, the Maserati Khamsin and the Lamborghini Countach, one of the stars of the show will be the Alfa Romeo Caimano made in 1971 by Italdesign on appointment by Alfa Romeo. This one-of-a-kind concept car today belongs to the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese (Milan), which is also known as the “Time Machine”. The car was built on the chassis of the Alfasud and presented to a stunned crowd at the Turin Motor Show in 1971.
Established by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani, Italdesign had recently designed the Alfasud, which interpreted the hatchback concept in novel manner: the car featured a low front end and a compact front boxer engine (unique in its segment). It had superior room inside, a generous boot and – as naturally expected from an Alfa Romeo – its handling and roadholding were best-in-class. The Alfasud Sprint – the coupé version of the range – was presented precisely 40 years ago in 1976. In that case, Italdesign designed a light, streamline car that enhanced the dynamic qualities of the Alfasud even more.
The appointment to design the Caimano came with the brief to create a car which had no chance of actual production. Perfectly in tune with the unshakeable trust in progress of the day, Giugiaro designed a “wedge on wheels” which relegated to a secondary role everything that came before it.
Italdesign created a body that appeared taken directly from a science-fiction book on the Alfasud chassis shortened by 20 centimetres. The two-seater passenger compartment was closed by a forward-opening glass dome that made the car look like a space capsule. The A pillar was entirely eliminated, while the B and C pillars joined to form a roll-bar behind the passenger compartment. The rear part of the roof formed a spoiler which could be adjusted to four different positions to a 32 degree angle from the inside.
Under the dome, driver and passenger reclined in stretched basin seats with built-in head restraints. Instead of opening windows, the car had two small openings on the side edge of the dome to allow contact with the outside world and ventilation inside. The cylindrical dashboard had two large instruments with unusual displays on which it was the dials not the hands to turn.
A bulge on the bonnet made room for the 68 HP, 1.2 litre Alfasud engine, which being a low-height four-cylinder boxer was particularly suited to equip the wedge car. Finally, seventies signature pop-up headlights embellish the front.
The Peugeot Fractal has been awarded the Creativ’Experience Grand Prize at the International Automobile Festival. Gilles Vidal, PEUGEOT Head of Styling, received this trophy at the prize-giving ceremony for the 31st International Automobile Festival, held on 26th January at the Paris’ Hôtel des Invalides,
Each year the International Automobile Festival rewards the most beautiful automotive designs. These prizes are awarded by a panel of experts and enthusiasts that is chaired by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and includes well-known figures from the automotive, media and fashion worlds.
This is the second prize won by the Peugeot Fractal, which was already selected as “Best Concept Car” at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show by Auto Plus readers and RTL listeners last 25 September.
“I am very happy to receive the Creativ’Experience Grand Prize for [the] Peugeot Fractal as it’s a prize that highlights the driver’s experience behind the car’s steering wheel. This prize rewards the prospective study on the sound design and 3D printing technology embodied by this concept car.” – Gilles Vidal, Head of Styling at PEUGEOT
The Peugeot Fractal concept car presents the brand’s vision of an electric urban coupe of the future. It pushes the Peugeot i-cockpit® even further by using sound to make driving more intuitive.
The Opel GT Concept will be unveiled to the World at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show (March 3 to 13, 2016). The GT Concept is a front mid-engine and rear-wheel drive is a direct descendant of the Opel GT and the Monza Concept and evolves Opel’s sculptural design philosophy. The car is very simplified and pure in form. The GT Concept has no door handles or exterior door mirrors.
“We are taking the next step towards even more emotion and driving pleasure with the Opel GT Concept. The GT Concept shows what Opel stands for now. We are confident, ambitious, innovative and we want win over more customers with every new car,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann who is already looking forward to the world premiere in Geneva.
Avant-garde: The Opel Motoclub 500 motorbike from 1928.
The Opel GT Concept will follow in the footsteps of the famous Opel Experimental GT at the Geneva Motor Show. In 1965, only one year after the foundation of the first design studio run by a European car manufacturer, Opel presented this sleek and expressive coupé based on the technology of the Kadett B at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The GT incorporated innovations such as retracting headlamps and displayed a slim form along with perfect proportions without unnecessary decoration. The uncompromising concept by Erhard Schnell mainly wanted to be one thing – a design statement. The reactions from the public were so overwhelming that the series production Opel GT was at dealerships only three years later. The rest is history – a success story, an automotive icon.
The GT Concept incorporates a red signature line that splits the vehicle body horizontally. The distinctive red front tires – mounted on rims with a roller skate design – are reminiscent of the Opel motorbike Motoclub 500 that was also avant-garde at its time and was the proud owner of two red tires in 1928. Apart from that, the GT Concept does not have many links to the past. The long bonnet, the absence of a trunk lid, the central dual exhaust and of course, the name all refer to the original GT. Apart from that the Opel GT Concept is independent with no sign of retro-design.
“We created the GT Concept to capture the bold, emotional spirit of the Opel brand. It is dramatic, sculptural and full of innovations, which is our great tradition that we intend to continue. Back in 1965, Opel developed the Experimental GT, a thoroughly modern vehicle that also boasted a pure sculptural shape. It’s certainly difficult to reinvent an icon but just as the Experimental GT was avant-garde back then, so too is this GT Concept today – absolutely pure, minimalistic, yet bold and uncompromising. This coupé impressively demonstrates the continuous development of our Design philosophy – ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German precision’,” said Mark Adams, Vice President, Design Europe.
A key innovation of the Opel GT Concept are the large doors with the integrated side windows that show a seamless transition from glass to painted surfaces. Both the driver and the front passenger gain access to the unexpectedly spacious interior after pressing the touchpad for the electric doors that is integrated in the red signature line of the roof. Even tall drivers have enough room inside. The doors immerse considerably into the front wheel arches when opened. This space-saving and patented mounting allows a large opening angle – particularly in relatively tight parking spaces. The compact athlete is therefore optimized especially for urban areas. Two cameras mounted behind the wheel arches ensure a safe overview while driving in the city. They transmit their images to two monitors on the left and right-hand side of the cockpit – the days of exterior door mirrors and blind spots are therefore over. The windshield flows into a glass panorama roof enabling the occupants to enjoy a driving experience similar to that offered by a targa with a removable roof.
The stretched bonnet reveals the powertrain concept of the GT Concept: Just like the first Opel GT and Corvette, also made by GM, it has a front mid-engine. The vehicle’s centre of gravity is therefore low and central – ideal for sporty handling and excellent cornering dynamics. The Opel GT Concept has a powerful 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine based on the ultra-modern all-aluminium engine used in ADAM, Corsa and Astra. The extremely efficient direct injection petrol unit develops 107 kW/145 hp and maximum torque of 205 Nm in its sporty trim (consumption values for the Opel GT Concept are not available yet). The turbo power is sent towards the rear axle with mechanical differential lock via a sequential six-speed transmission that is operated by shift paddles on the steering wheel. The low weight (below 1,000kg) allows the GT to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than eight seconds, with a top speed of 215 km/h.
A further highlight of the Opel GT Concept are the main headlamps with integrated indicators. Thanks to projection technology, these shine very three-dimensionally. The next generation adaptive full LED light is obviously the perfect match for this technology. The Opel IntelliLux LED® matrix light, which allows glare-free high beam driving, already made its debut in the new Astra in 2015 and won the SAFETYBEST Award. The Opel GT Concept sees the introduction of the next stage of development of the intelligent light system. The design of the lights is rounded off by the three-dimensional design of the tail lamps that make the new GT distinctive at night.
At Ford, ensuring materials and upholstery are up to the mark is crucial for everything from the first impression all the way down the line to the perception of the vehicle after considerable use – and thus resale value and reputation. We knew about Ikea’s kitchen drawer tests, now Ford are shedding a little light on their processes for testing and selecting fabrics and materials.
Ford engineers scratch, snag and stretch all the different materials that go inside a vehicle to help ensure their durability and suitability to long-term customer use
Fabrics that are used inside Ford vehicles are stained with everyday substances like hot coffee, soda and dirt to evaluate how well they can be cleaned afterward, testing their overall stain resistance
A team of examiners smell various samples of materials used inside Ford vehicles and rank them to help the engineers achieve interiors with a perceptible but not disturbing odour
Soiling and Cleanability Test — putting Ford’s interior materials to the ultimate stain test to help ensure accidental spills and smudges don’t ruin the car’s interior in the long run.
Odor Test – All materials, leather or fabric used in Ford vehicles are put through this meticulous sniff test to help the engineers achieve interiors with a perceptible but not disturbing smell
Five Finger Scratch Test – scratching samples of different plastics to see how strong, sturdy and as resilient are they to scratches
Resistance to Dye Transfer Test – rubbing materials of different colors against the leather used for car seats to see if any stains are left behind.
Mace Snagging Test – spinning seat fabrics on rotating rollers by spikey iron ball to test their strength.
Soiling and Cleanability Test — splashing different substances on seat fabrics to evaluate how well they can be cleaned afterwards, testing their overall stain resistance
Throughout a vehicle’s lifetime, it’s inevitable that the materials inside a car show signs of wear and tear. Wear occurs in all contact areas from sitting on car seats, leaning on arm rests, gripping the steering wheel through to fiddling with the instruments.
So what does Ford do to ensure interiors will hold up?
To help guarantee the durability of these fabrics, leathers and plastics, Ford engineers subject every material used inside Ford vehicles to a series of meticulous and unrelenting tests where they are stretched, scratched, snagged, sniffed and even splashed with the likes of grease, dirt and hot coffee, to see how they will stand up against the test of time.
These tests are done to help ensure it takes a lot more than a spilled cup of coffee, the graze of a sharp edge or any accidental scrapes and scuffs to break down these materials. Some of the unusual ordeals Ford materials need to go through include:
The Five-Finger Scratch Test, which is used to scratch samples of different plastics to see how much abuse they can take
The Soil and ‘Cleanability’ Test, which splashes different substances on seat fabrics to evaluate how well they can be cleaned afterwards, testing their overall stain resistance
The Resistance to Dye Transfer Test, which rubs materials of different colors (i.e. those dreaded new blue jeans, long-term destroyer of white leather sofas around the world) against the leather used for car seats to see if any stains are left behind
The Mace Snagging Test, which spins seat fabrics on rotating rollers roughly 600 times while they’re repeatedly struck by a spikey iron ball to test how strong they are
In addition to the poking, prodding and scratching, a team of examiners smell various samples of materials used inside Ford vehicles and rank them to help the engineers achieve interiors that are free of disturbing odours.
The purpose of these tests is to create and maintain a level of quality in Ford vehicles that can be expected to last through the vast majority of scenarios of car usage for years to come.
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.”
“The world would be a sad place for me, without great design” – Gerry McGovern.
Modern automotive design is, by necessity, high-tech and computer-led – leading to the belief that the human touch has largely been lost. But it is no coincidence that the imaginative mind behind one of the most successful car marques in existence takes influence from beyond the computer screen in order to design cars that provoke thought, interest, emotion and affection.
The Range Rover is just such a car. Launched in its original guise in 1970, it truly deserves to be called a ‘design icon’ – a status it has achieved through four model generations, the latest of which has even been hailed as ‘possibly the best car ever made’.
And now, as Range Rover celebrates its 45th anniversary, Land Rover’s Design Director and Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern gives an insight into five objects that have inspired and influenced the way in which he approaches his work.
1. Round Café, Coventry
This cylindrical café, which opened in the late 1950s, was a symbol of the modernist design philosophy introduced by Coventry town planner Donald Gibson, and has been regarded as a city centre landmark ever since.
The building, like many built in Coventry at the time, stood as a symbol of post-war optimism. Gerry says: “During the 1960s, the whole city centre was really modern, with mosaic tiling and large expanses of glass – most of the buildings in the town centre were forward thinking.
“My mother worked in the café for a while and I used to sit in there as a child. It felt like being in a spaceship. So I was introduced to this world of modernism and futuring from a very young age, which is something that has always stayed with me.”
2. Eames lounge chair
The iconic Eames Lounge Chair was designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company in 1956. The chair’s unique shape, exposed structure and base materials of molded plywood and leather is said to be inspired by a baseball mitt.
The Eames chair has been a design favourite of Gerry’s for many years, representing a timeless piece that has both utility and purpose at its core. Gerry says: “It is perhaps an obvious choice for a designer to make, however it’s so good and continues to give me pleasure, which is what ultimately all good design should have the ability to do. For me, it’s a piece of design that is still relevant today.
“The Eames chair has certain values that are important to me as a designer. For example, being true to materials. The fact that, rather than covering up the structure, the designers chose to celebrate it. However, by continually refining and updating the materials and finishes, as well as improving the quality of construction with more contemporary materials, softer leathers and lighter woods, means that it’s still as relevant today as the day it was designed.”
3. Josef Albers – ‘Never Before I’ series
German-born Josef Albers was an artist and teacher who specialised in painting, printmaking, murals and architecture. After emigrating to America in the 1930s, Albers was regarded as an important influence on generations of younger artists and was credited as an innovator in the fields of Op art and Colour Field painting.
The clarity and precision of Alber’s work is of particular significance to Gerry, he says: “Albers is recognised as one of the world’s greatest modernist printmakers. To me, the beauty lies in the precision of each colour against the other. There is absolute clarity in his work.
“One of the reasons why I admire Albers so much is the precision that he achieved through silkscreen printing, which meant he could create perfect lines of connecting colour. The colours are so vibrant, so rich. I never tire of his work – I bought my first collection by Albers more than 15 years ago and while I’ve sold many other artists work over the years, I’ve always kept the Albers.
“When creating an initial vehicle design, you start with the fundamentals, which are optimized volume and proportions and followed on by surfacing and detail. There is a sense of graphic design and symbolism in a lot of my favourite art, Albers’ printmaking is a perfect example.”
4. Kaufmann Desert House, Palm Springs, California
Designed by Richard Neutra in 1946, the Kaufmann House is located in Palm Springs, California. It was created for the businessman and philanthropist Edgar Kaufmann and was purposefully designed to sit in juxtaposition with the surrounding mountains. It is seen as a prime example of modernist architecture.
The design aesthetic particularly resonated with Gerry, he says: “The Kaufmann House has that sense of bringing the outside in, which is something that we deliberately tried to incorporate with the inclusion of the panoramic roof on our Range Rovers.
“Many of our customers are being chauffeured through cities and want to look up and be able to take in their surroundings. We felt that it was important to introduce the large glass roof so we could bring a sense of the environment into the vehicle and thus create a sense of occasion.”
5. Patek Philippe Calatrava watch
Since 1851, Patek Philippe has produced some of the world’s greatest timepieces and its unpretentious, yet sophisticated designs have been a mainstay throughout its history. Gerry owns two examples of the Swiss ultra-luxury watch manufacturer’s work – the Nautilus and Calatrava. He says: “The Calatrava particularly represents, in my view, a masterclass in simplicity and sophistication. It’s as much about what it doesn’t say, as what it does say. It’s a beautiful thing – the notion of ‘less is more’ is a fundamental part of its design philosophy. Every detail on the watch is doing a job.”
Gerry concludes: “All five of these objects have the ability to connect on an emotional level. For me, emotional design has three key components. The first is visceral – when you look at it do you desire it. The second is behavioral – when you use it does it do what it’s meant to do. And finally, reflective – once you have experienced it, does it continue to excite. To me, Range Rover epitomizes all three of these components.”
Gerry McGovern is Design Director and Chief Creative Officer for Land Rover. After completing a degree in industrial design at Coventry University, McGovern studied for a Masters at the Royal College of Art in London, specialising in automotive design. His early career took in stints at Chrysler, Peugeot and Rover Group, where he was lead designer of the critically acclaimed MGF sports car, Land Rover Freelander and third generation Range Rover.
After a spell at Ford Motor Company heading up Lincoln-Mercury, McGovern returned to the UK to run a design consultancy in London before rejoining Land Rover in 2004 as Director, Advanced Design. He was appointed Land Rover Design Director in 2006 and his position has since grown to include the role of Chief Creative Officer and he is an Executive member of the Jaguar Land Rover Board.