for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

LA Auto Show- Concept Cars

There were some very space-agey looking concept cars unveiled at this year’s LA Auto Show; stylish, fun, and far more appealing than most of the automobiles on display, these prove that the design capabilities are there- so why are they only concepts?!!

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Honda introduced three great looking new concept cars;

  • the REMIX sport vehicle featuring a wrap-around fighter-jet style canopy, which “focuses on a simple, lightweight and fun-to-drive philosophy” with a fluid curving surface.
  • the FCX concept vehicle, a fully-functional high-efficiency futuristic looking car- offering a newly developed compact, high-efficiency Honda FC Stack in an innovative center-tunnel layout. A totally new fuel cell vehicle based on this model is due to go on the market in limited numbers in 2008
  • the Compact Honda Step Bus concept, aiming to create the largest possible interior with the smallest possible exterior through space efficient design. Offering large functionality in a small vehicle, the Step Bus has sliding front doors, ceiling-mounted storage trays, and tracks in the door for holding drinks, phones etc.

more info here

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FORD introduced their Mustang concept car designed by Fabrizio Giugiaro. A retro look for the car echoing earlier styles, the concept has a sleek looking exterior with cool scissor doors and a single curved glass panel running from the front to the back windscreens. This car is more than the usual concepts however- it was built in conjunction with Ford Racing to offer an estimated 500 horsepower. The stylish exterior is ‘complemented’ by a horse-hide interior- not my personal preference but probably very relevant for the Mustang market.

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MAZDA unveiled their new design concept- Nagare, the Japanese for ‘flow’ and the embodiment of motion. The first concept car in a series to be introduced during the auto show season, the Nagare represents a “design-first, engineer-later” philosophy. Mazda admit that some of the concepts could never be put into production, but that doesn’t stop them from being an exciting look into what might be coming. Innovative ideas include a centrally placed driver’s seat with three other seats around it, and winged hinge doors- although these were not opened during the reveal so the interior remains quite a mystery.

Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda North American Operations’ Director of Design explained “We’re looking well down the road with Nagare. We want to suggest where Mazda design will be in 2020. To do that, we redefined basic proportions and the idea of driving without losing the emotional
involvement.”

“It’s important to start with the vision first: Nagare is sculpture on
wheels, our vision of what Mazda automobiles could look like.
The concept we’ll present in Detroit is practical enough to produce in
the next decade, while the model under development for Geneva will
embody design ideas we expect to implement in the very near future” –  With great ideas like these it looks like Mazda might be the one to watch for the future of car design.

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Filed under: creative ideas

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