The great beauty of the car, the magicians tell themselves
The Ferrari 296 GTB, for production cars; the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV for concept cars and Polestar for its design brand language are the winners of the Car Design Award 2022. Established in 1984 by Auto & Design magazine, it is considered the Oscar of world automotive design and the awards are selected by an international jury of specialized journalists in the automotive sector.
The Car Design Award is assigned to three categories: production vehicles, concept cars and since 2016 the brand’s design language has been added, which rewards the design team that has best worked on the consistency and transversality of the formal language on the entire product range.
Ten finalists for production cars and concept cars and five for the language of design.
Among the production cars, the first place went to the Ferrari 296 GTB, second, ex aequo, the DS 4 and the Lotus Eletre, while third came the Volkswagen ID.Buzz.
“Creating such a beautiful and organic shape in compliance with all current regulations and at the same time equipping the car with technology and performance of the highest level is truly impressive and the final result is a great contemporary interpretation of a classic design language derived from the cars. racing sports of the ’60s ”reads the jury’s motivation. The 296 GTB, an evolution of the concept of a 2-seater mid-rear-engined sports berlinetta, is a revolution for Ferrari as it introduces the new 120 ° V6 engine coupled to the plug-in electric motor, capable of delivering up to 830 horsepower.
“A Ferrari can only be born from performance,” Flavio Manzoni, the director of design explains, “from what are the technical assumptions at the basis of every single project”. A car created to offer maximum driving fun, which interprets the concept of “fun to drive”. For this reason, in addition to being one of the very first hybrid Ferraris in history, it is a car that “has a very short wheelbase so as a designer we worked from the beginning with the engineering in defining the package”. If in the past the designer had above all the task of creating a dress around mechanics, today “ours is a very integrated and synergistic work”. The 296 is very agile, lean, snappy but with impressive power. “Pure forms, deliberately very simple and harmonious, a language projected to the future but which contains small and discreet citations of the past”. Because Ferrari’s mission is to “give life to a dream” adds Manzoni.
In the Concept Cars category, the prize was awarded to the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV, followed by the Polestar 02 and the Aura, from the Astheimer Design group. The Compact Cruiser EV is the work of Toyota’s European Design Center in Nice and was presented for the first time at the Mega Web in Tokyo last December. It is a battery-powered compact crossover, tough and pure, which in the jury’s motivation “revives one of Toyota’s most iconic off-road vehicles in the electric age, promising a future production compact SUV with strong appeal. All the stylistic details express the ability to face any type of terrain with a contemporary shape. The result is a robust and modern product that is also desirable ”. Its design is a clear throwback of the FJ Cruiser, which itself was a tribute to one of the toughest and most popular Toyota vehicles ever: the FJ40 Land Cruiser off-roader. “Our research on electric vehicles has been ongoing for over 30 years and in addition we can draw on Toyota’s strong off-road heritage,” says Lance Scott, head of the Nice style center. With the Concept Cruiser EV, the retro design cues were perfectly summarized in a modern style to conquer “a heterogeneous audience of young metropolitan people, managers and professionals with an electric vehicle with an exclusive design not only for urban use but, suitable for use for any leisure time experience”.
For the Brand Design Language section, the prize went to Polestar, while the design teams of Ferrari and Kia finished second and third respectively. Polestar is a young brand, which has been for over twenty years (since 1996) the sports division of Volvo, specializing in the production of high-performance cars. Since 2017 it has become an independent brand to produce a range of high performance electric cars. According to the jury, “in Polestar everything has a practical meaning that goes beyond the pursuit of beauty. In addition to the clean, elegant and futuristic style, his projects also reveal a particular attention to the planet and sustainability. The design team managed to create a distinct and engaging personality for the brand within the premium electrified environment, thanks to a coherent and captivating design language ”.
Head of design Maximilian Missoni explains to us that “if your job is to create a new design language for a premium brand, it is very easy to resort to and take back those typical elements such as chrome, leather and wood for the interior, and with those icons to create a feeling of luxury. ”Instead at Polestar they decided to“ use cutting-edge technology as inspiration to achieve the expression of true luxury, rather than classic references from the automotive sector. ”Having had the opportunity to start from scratch as a brand “but we wanted to create a subtle visual bond with Volvo for two reasons: to be proud of the affiliation and to enjoy the trust the public has for the Swedish brand.” However, “our goal was to question conventions and the traditions of the automotive sector, starting a completely new chapter of avant-garde design “, concludes Missoni.
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