Today Mercedes-Benz unveiled its 1:1 scale model of the Biome concept car ~ their entry into this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge: 1000 pound car designed in their Carlsbad studio. Honestly, it’s one thing to dream up the future on paper/screens, another to make scale models… but to see the life size version today was spectacular! This sleek futuristic model plays with the notion that from the DNA of Mercedes, an organic skeletal structure can literally be grown into a beautiful minimalist bio-futuristic car, with a fierce almost plane like nose, wheels that are reminiscent of plane turbines, and a tron like glow… The interior skeletal structure even allows passengers to comfortably sit as if lounging together, a layout resembling seeds in a pod, with their heads coming together in the center of the car! The last few days has resulted in some incredible design inspiration, forward looking design trends, and so many intriguing details to get lost in… so let’s kick things off with tons of pics of the new life size models of the Biome on the next page! (as well as a peek at the model making and the adorable mini model they gifted us!)
Entries tagged with: cars
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This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor (Thanks, Gillette!)… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT!
When we look at retro modern scenes ~ the future as imagined back in the 60s ~ the jetson’s styled stuff… i keep wondering where our gorgeous image of the future we’ll look back on in 50 years is, and will still wish we had (if we don’t already have it by then!)… then i saw this EVO-mobil design by Ora-Ito for Citroën… or even more impressive, i was won over by the photoshoot of it with actress Mylène Jampanoï for the stunningly artistic automotive mag, Intersection… and i wish i lived in that reality! Its so beautiful! “After more than 3 years of collaboration with Citroën on the development of architectural projects, Ora-ïto turned to the manufacturer to develop his first artistic project. The iconoclastic artist wasn’t dreaming about another concept car but a genetic transformation. An unusual creation reuniting more than 400 years of history, a reflection on the evolution of the mobility and the legendary know-how of Citroën. On the edge of the hypothesis and the contemporary art, this hybrid object is based on the fulfillment of child’s dream with an obvious commitment for the ecology. ” See more images of the beautiful futuristic concept shot in front of the architectural work designed by Oscar Niemeyer ~ as well as the making of video on the next page!
10.10.10 was the perfect day to celebrate 10 Years of Prius! Hosted by Toyota, along with Shift.com, WIRED Magazine, Outstanding In The Field, and Reverb ~ up on the Wright Organic Resource Center in the hills of Malibu, home of grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright - architect and founder of the center. Firstly, there couldn’t be a more stunning Los Angeles day ~ sun beaming, clear skies, and the s-curves up to the house were stunning… and at the center, being surrounded by mountains and the whole of Santa Monica bay to look down on… they set up a series of sustainability workshops, live music, talks, and the coup d’etat ~ a special Outstanding in the Field dinner (remember i wrote about them recently?) As you can imagine, with such a stunning celebration underway, i ended up with hundreds of pictures, all of which could easily become many a post… or one huge epic one… so here’s the plan. On the next page ~ check out the pictures for an overview ~ think of it as a day in the life… walking through 2-10pm with me! And i’ll have more to show you on the stunning Outstanding in the Field dinner HERE! Absolutely incredible day, so nice to have a beautiful day outside surrounded by the sea, the mountains, music, food, drink, tech, and great people ~ coming together to celebrate 10 years of the Prius! SO! If you’re ready… check it out on the next page!
An amazing gallery exhibition opened up in NY and since i couldn’t make it over ~ my awesome friend, Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio was willing to go be my eyes over there! She’s back with incredible pics of the Gagosian Gallery’s ‘Transport’ a thematic exhibition by Marc Newson that brings together all of his major designs and realized products for transport and human locomotion since 1999 for the first time in one space! Absolutely incredible images from cars to shoes to planes to boats and more! (Thanks, Anna!!!) ~ check it all out on the next page!
While at the GRAMMY Museum for DigitalLA’s Crowd Source to Curation event last week ~ luckily before hopping on the panel, i had a chance to run around the museum ~ and one thing that couldn’t be missed in the lobby is Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356c painted by her friend, Dave Richards… can’t you believe it was white before the paint job? There was something surreal about seeing it in person ~ see details on the next page!
p.s. Can you believe they DROVE it into the lobby?
Hybrid concepts for future sports cars are inescapable ~ remember the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG E-Cell? Well here is the stunning Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid concept car with plug in hybrid that launched in Geneva i’ve been obsessively looking at pics of lately. Look at those wheels in particular! And the aggressively sleek exterior? Stats: “An emission level of just 70 grams CO2 per kilometer on fuel consumption of three liters/100 kilometers (equal to 94 mpg imp) outstanding even for an ultra-compact city car. 0 to 100 km/h in just under 3.2 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph). Body shell made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) with appropriate use of magnesium and aluminum to reduce weight to less than 1,490 kg or 3,285 lb and provide stiffness.” Although just a concept, they said it would be put into production if 1000 people were serious about it… and it looks like it might be happening! Take a peek at the gorgeous promo video and close up pics on the next page.
Silly as it sounds, sometimes running an ad on NOTCOT may be one of the best ways to get my attention (not surprising when you think about how much time i spend on the sites daily!) ~ latest one to really suck me in? These new Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 ads! I’ve always been a sucker for bold, concise text though… and they are fun and inspirational! And so pro-making things and living your life! And from there, i ended up on the Jeep page and the Manifesto video just pulls you right in. A nice reminder of American design/manufacturing… and a fun morning kick off video!
Also fun? The design videos about the making of Jeeps, and seeing old video footage of how they used to design cut in with the design processes of today! See more videos and visuals on the next page!
How exciting is this prototype as far as greener sports cars go? But calm down a bit, unfortunately, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell gullwing isn’t scheduled until sometime in 2013… 526 horsepower, 649-pound-feet of torque, 0 to 60 in 4 seconds… just a smidge slower than its gas powered counterpart. As for this paint color… wow. It is apparently called “AMG lumilectric magno” paint. For more technical details check out the piece by Automobile Mag, for more lustworthy images ~ including a look at the intriguingly simple dashboard and carbon fiber center console, see the next page!
Going through the many pics filling up my laptop, i keep coming across so much i want to share with you! So here’s a weekend dose of inspiration courtesy of vintage Mercedes-Benz graphics and products… it was mind blowing to be whisked by so many incredible original posters and advertisements for the early models… and then walls filled with Mercedes-Benz branded products… from powder compacts to mother of pearl handled pocket knives… and fascinating cases of all of the model emblems… really, i could have spent hours just going through the visual language of the branding and extension of Mercedes-Benz in there! Will definitely have to go back and do it slowly one of these days! But for now… take a little peek into a few of the cases and unexpected design inspirations that caught my eye on the next page!
Another incredible installation at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart (first i showed you the sliced up porsches)… I stood and watched this wall a few times over. Mesmerized. It’s a wall with the outlines of 7 models of 911s overlayed. And that is QUITE the jumble, but then the projection fills in one outline at a time, and you can watch the evolution between the models overlaid. It’s amazing… to see how things tweaked, expanded, shifted, and more over time… See the video as well as pics on the next page…
… as well as a peek at the spinning platforms of 911s and this absolutely stunning 356 on the next page!
While it seems almost sacrilegious ~ this is in fact, a post all about a sliced up Porsche. Or a few. Or a few in various stages, demonstrating the design process of a Porsche in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. “How very Damien Hirst!” ~ is the first reaction i got showing the pics to a friend… it’s also one of the most beautiful and concise ways i’ve seen car design summarized! Mixed with videos at each station about the process as well of course too! And fun that they managed to fit in 3 stages of clay refining in one slice even… absolutely mesmerizing to see even the seats and first aid kit all sliced straight through… and even more fascinating to look at the way it made people of all ages stare in wonder… see images of the installation on the next page!
While rushing to a Molteni/Ferragamo event on Montenapoleone the other night (which was definitely a fire hazard with the number of people crammed in the store!) ~ i was pleasantly surprised and amused by the Citroën DS3 Design Driver ~ a huge red lamp serving as a lounge as you popped out at the Montenapoleone metro. A lamp that sized ~ wow ~ you just can’t help but smile when you see it!
According to FuoriSaloni - “The most refined heart of the city, Piazzetta Crocerossa, on the corner with Via Montenapoleone, will stage Citroën DS3 Design Driver, an original installation which will be used to unveil the latest creation to come out of the Citroën stable, the DS3, launched on the Italian market on the 21st of March. The installation bears the signature of the architect Fabio Rotella, whose aim was to create an “Open Air Living Room” where a six-metre-high lampshade covers and illuminates a lounge area… The large lampshade is reminiscent of the Venini lampshades hosted by Citroën in the lounge area as a valuable testimonial to a major name in Italian design. The unmistakable creations of the historic glass maker illuminate the exquisite chairs, recreating the atmosphere of an ideal lounge in which to meet and share ideas, projects and creativity.”
See more images of the stunning lamp on the next page!
The Mercedes-Benz Museum ~ you’ve seen the elevators and tornado and while the cars and exhibitions are amazing, there are so many parts of the architecture that were surreal and beautiful! From the way they play with the constant combination of sun and artificial lighting, to the way the building is constantly leading you to swirl downwards from past to present, to the engraved concrete markings to denote what section you’re in, to the horse ~ the first… pre-automobile? It’s much like a car museum meets history museum meets sweeping art gallery filled with surprising textural juxtapositions at every turn… so take a peek at the next page for a full gallery of images ~ it’s less about the cars and more about the amazing images the space creates for you.
As with most car design studios, Mercedes-Benz’ Stuttgart Design Studio has a room with huge lustworthy displays, their Powerwall ~ which allows for 1:1 scale high res imagery of car images and renders, video conferencing with their studios around the world, and more. The most unique and beautiful aspect of their setup is their custom physical interface for Autodesk Showcase, which allows you to control the 3D renders! A light table with objects each encoded on the bottom… you can swap cars on the table to change colors, spin the car to spin the model, zoom/pan/tilt, and even change the clear acrylic blocks to swap the scenery… amazingly fun and beautifully executed! See more images of it on the next page.
p.s. Sadly, photography isn’t allowed in the studio (yes. they took our phones and cameras!), but we did have one awesome photographer indulging even some of my randomest requests… So images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz…
Aston Martin’s Rapide touts itself as “The World’s Most Elegant Four-Door Sports Car”… while it is certainly entering a growing market of 4 door luxury sports cars… and you can read quite a bit about it all over the web, what struck me most about it in person were the tiniest details. Some found on quite a few Aston Martins, others quite Rapide specific… if you’re ready, take a peek at the details that grabbed my attention… most notable are definitely the tiny sphere of a trunk opening button and the +/- cut matte metal and leather paddle shifters… and what an aggressive face it has when you look at it straight on! Also while from the exterior it doesn’t actually look all that much bigger than the others, yet once you’re inside its ridiculously spacious ~ and the rear seats fold flat! Anyhow, take a peek at all the best details on the next page from my tour at the Aston Martin Factory!
I’ve been thinking of a million and one ways to start this post over the last year… So, here goes! In Nov 2008, i was in talks with Aston Martin’s London agency and it came up to have a post looking for someone UK local to go to the Aston Martin Factory in Gaydon for NOTCOT. That was supposed to happen a month or two later… and between scheduling and the economy shifting and Aston Martin’s tumultuous year… a lot changed for them, and for the winner… and so, it’s been a year and a bit, but they happened to have a last minute opening around their customer tours, and we were finally able to squeeze in a visit to the Aston Martin Factory while i was in London. And Tom, thank you for being so understanding!
Ok, so all that aside ~ how sexy is that curve where the One-77 body flows to the side mirror? Putting the iridescent color shifting periwinkle/grey aside, there’s something very batmobile aggressive to the look of the One-77… even more so in person than those initial press shots. Not yet in production, and already sold out for its limited run of 77 customizable supercars priced at $1.5-2 million a piece… it was fun to get to take a look at some of the design details of this prototype up close… take a peek at my favorite details on the next page… as well as a video of it in action!
Going through pictures from the London trip… i have so many i’ve been meaning to share from Aston Martin. Sadly, i wasn’t able to take pictures inside the actual factory other than some super glarey diagrams on the walls… and the lighting for most of the cars was a bit difficult, but lots of details and overviews to share! Unsure of where to start, this saddle jumped out at me when i was going through the pics… it’s like a picnic basket meets a horse saddle… for the hump in the backseat of your Aston Martin DBS… Apparently each saddle is individually handmade by Robin Coleman in Warwickshire. Each saddle takes two craftsmen 28 hours! It has room for everything including your bottle of wine! See more pics on the next page.
I showed you my dad's experience at the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy at the Laguna Seca track in Monterey... but as i went through his pictures, this carbon fiber wrapped Mercedes AMG SLS really deserved a post of its own. It's stunning! It's so overwhelmingly carbon fibered! Biggest downer for anyone lusting after it enough to try to purchase one, they aren't for sale, but i'm sure you can get someone to get it done for you, or even DIY it yourself if you're feeling handy. I can't seem to stop staring at the pics on the next page... see for yourself!
I'm jealous. Above is a pic of what my dad just told me is the "US-Spec AMG SLS for us to play with on the drag strip, slalom course and time trials." So, while i was traveling, my dad (i blame my jetsetting inclination on him) took off to the Laguna Seca Raceway up in Monterey for the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy. He got to drive the brand new AMG SLS and was lucky to be one of the first to experience the new AMG Driving Academy launched in the USA. 16 cars were specially flown in from Germany to accompany the 20 full time cars availble for the course. Luminary driver/instructors included: Tommy Kendall (USA), Bernd Maylander (F1 pace car driver) and Susie Stoddart (Mercedes DTM team driver from Europe). Basically i came home to emails of his incredible adventure... from giddy stories about how mindblowing the drives were (teasing me how much fun i would have had going 160 around the track in one of those beauties) to tales of the chef grilling alongside the track for lunch to inside looks at the stunning carbon fiber drive shaft to the amazing friends he made on the trip and stories he heard... bottom line? The course was totally worth it, and he'd do it again in a heartbeat... in fact, there are 5 levels of courses happening around the US as well as Europe... i think he's caught the bug, since he's already dreaming about Sweden. I think i might have to try and convince him to take me along next time! But for now... i've convinced him to let me share his pictures with us ~ take a peek on the next page to see the experience!
There is also the amazing carbon fiber wrapped car that looked amazing ~ pics to come of that one soon!
Oh, BMW. Haha. Nothing like a hilarious new video from BMW, for BMW.tv, which manages to poke fun at Audi while simultaneously making you giggle and inspire you to want to leap into your car as you take off for work this monday morning. While their first Jump For Joy video launched two days ago ~ its the twist that got added in this latest version that will really make you gasp... then giggle. Watch it on the next page!
Beauty in Technology post series sponsored by Samsung’s new LED TVs! Final post in this series exploring random beauty in technology, NOTCOT style. Let me just take a second here to say a huge THANK YOU, SAMSUNG. As you may have noticed, they are doing quite a bit of sponsoring here on NOTCOT, and they've been making some impressive leaps and bounds on the design side of their tech lately ~ so it's been an honor to work with them, and have them support what i'm doing here! (Especially when they let me help do it MY way, have it look fun, and basically just further enable me to write about what i love!). So, Samsung, if you're listening, thanks for that. You guys have been amazing. Now on to that lustworthy porsche i've been drooling over for about a week...
I kid you not, i've been a bit behind and traveling, but since i laid eyes on that press release, this beauty has been open in my tabs, and every time i start getting a post together i get distracted by how cute it is... So on to the facts: Debuting at the Frankfurt auto show this month - 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic. Limited to 250 pieces, the Porsche Exclusive team has been fine tuning this one for 3 years - "Porsche Exclusive is Porsche's Specialist Department for the most outstanding customised versions of Porsche cars going beyond even the highest standard of the Company's regular production models." So are you ready to see more drool inducing pics and the full press release? Check it out on the next page... video too!
I can't even remember the last time a piece of mail made me literally JUMP (and yes, maybe shriek slightly...) - and please do NOT take this as a challenge! But i was however intrigued enough to share this super simple design with you ~ complete with video so you can experience it too. Nissan Cube - well done. You got me. As much as i hate cubist cars, this is just too fun a use of paper and rubberbands not to share... so check out video and pics on the next page!
No one recycles styrofoam the way Michael Salter does. And i know that any time i get an email from him, there is probably something amazing coming in... and this time it was truly epic! He has created a life size Formula 1 race car out of styrofoam!!! Take a look at his latest show at the Portland John Ross Plaza Studio... "a full scale replica of a Formula One race car made from scrap styrofoam pieces, 3 pretty big wall paintings, and 24 framed digital drawings." Wow. Lots of pics on the next page ~ check it out from all angles!
On fun eco-friendly toys i stumbled upon while toy shopping recently (and then had to buy to share!) ~ Check out this E-Racer (the name is also hilarious) ~ made from cut bamboo tubes, it's cute to see how closely it keeps its form! It claims that it is "Naturally fun" and made with bamboo, water based colors, and renewable materials (i assume they mean the metal screws and the plasticy exhaust, and rubbery wheels)... the packaging was horrible, so if i ever end up gifting one of these to a kid, will definitely unwrap it first! See an unboxing and more close up pics of these adorable eco-race cars on the next page!
Have you ever seen the inside of an Aston Martin? Like REALLY seen the inside? Well i stopped by the NY presentation of the new DBS Volante at the Cooper Square Hotel last night, and out front was an aston martin literally cut in half... well stripped down and with half its shell? It was fascinating! Take a peek at the pics on the next page!