An “Orange Flame” 2012 Bentley Contintental GT was dropped off for the weekend ~ and it is one seriously bright car. It is especially gorgeous in the stunning sunshine this weekend! If you recall, the Continental GT even inspired the shape of the case of the 007 Carte Blanche Limited Edition. Having peeked into the Bentley Factory via Ultimate Factories, it’s been fun to leisurely poke at all the tiny details… with Imperial Blue Leather and orange contrast stitching, logos hidden just about everywhere you may not have even imagined, fun knobs and compartments, there’s much to explore, and so many beautiful details as you dive deeper. SO! I thought i’d share my favorites with you ~ take a peek at the little design details tucked all around this new 2012 Bentley Contintental GT on the next page!
The image above ~ i adore the way the windows create such a sleek opening when down…
Spy novels + fun cars + limited edition books = gorgeous book design from 007 and Bentley for the latest James Bond book, Carte Blache. There is a die-cut bullet hole that pierces each book - inside each copy you find a single polished bullet with a distinct number. (I wonder if any other secret information is hidden in or on the bullet!)
As for the design - “The Special Edition is designed by Brett Boydell. In his ten years at Bentley, Brett has been involved in the interior design of the Bentley Azure, Brooklands and, most recently, the Continental Supersports. He also manages the Bentley Branded Goods studio, where all Bentley-associated products are created.” Additionally, the book is in a metal box shaped into outline of the new Continental GT. The look of this sleek abstracted sculpture reminds me a lot of the Infiniti Essence and Mercedes Rising Car sculptures. Take a peek at the sketches and renders of the 007 and Bentley Carte Blanche Special Edition on the next page.
Thanks, Veuve Clicquot, for sponsoring our Milano Design Week coverage! That cute little icon up there is their new Clicq’up.
Hard to miss, yet so adorably cute ~ this cluster of crane suspended Mini Coopers are hanging out in Milan! And for whatever reason, i’ve been having far too many conversations about hoisting cars up on to roofs and what not with cranes, so had to share this display! See more pics from other angles on the next page!
Since i’m missing the screening in NY tonight, surprise DVD just arrived from the lovely folks at Bentley, and i just lost about an hour totally engrossed in their factory process. Who doesn’t love Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel? There’s something beyond mesmerizing about the tiniest details of how these larger than life objects are made! Tomorrow’s episode focuses on how the Bentley Mulsanne is made, and takes you from the sketching, to the clay, to the wood shop, paint shop, leather shop, details of how the engine is assembled and tested, to the assembly line, customization shop, on the road and more. It really is quite incredible how much detail goes into each step, and how many facts and digits they manage to throw at you in a mere 50 minutes, and nice to see how much pride their craftsmen take in their work!
I couldn’t even figure out which parts to show you pics of… so decided to show you a sneak peek of my favorite part! The WOOD! From 3’ diameter root-balls of nearly hundred year old trees… shaved paper thin… to show some incredible marble like patterns, which are then cut and hand matched (magical stacks cut perfectly and mirrored to blend together)… before going through being fused to the panels… Anyhow! Check out the Bentley Mulsanne Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel tomorrow night, and take a sneak peek into it on the next page!
Ah, nothing like a nice dose of morning car lust. Porsche always has such dreamy photos of their cars, for some reason this one feels like it fell out of a Hardy Boys cover. I’m also a sucker for Porsche special editions, especially in black… this is the latest limited special edition with 320 hp - Only 987 cars: Porsche Boxster S Black Edition! “The colour concept of the Boxster S Black Edition is consistent in every detail. The rear side air intake grilles are painted in black as is the twin tailpipe of the exhaust system. The model lettering painted in black on the rear luggage compartment lid identifies the Black Edition as much as the embossed Black Edition model designation on the side of the fabric hood. The roll-over bars are painted in black, too.”
Also noteworthy, their microsite for the car is a fun take on automotive photography. It allows the viewer to step behind the camera, tweaking settings to take the perfect shot of the stunning car with a beachy backdrop and big lights… See screenshots and more of the beautiful pictures on the next page…
Mmmmm. Another late late night (4:30 already?), but bubbling with inspiration and giddiness, i had to share these pictures with you before sleeping. Spent about 6 or so hours cruising around with the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG today… from Rancho Santa Fe wandering east into the mountains to Julian (mmm pie) and down and around through more rolling hills right up to the border of Mexico before looping into downtown San Diego for lunch at the Andaz, a quick jaunt through Coronado… and then i couldn’t resist and raced over to my absolute favorite car/beach spot from my college days (you used to find me there listening to music and curled up reading in my car), where you can pull right up to the sand and nearly touch the sea… the ideal sunset spot to make everything in your mind seem irrelevant in an instant.
So. PERFECT sunset. PERFECT beach spot. And PERFECT car. Driving the CLS 63 AMG is absolute bliss. The growling purr of the engine can’t help but make you grin… and it seems to have solved my dilemma where cars have been one of my hardest design objects to shoot passionately. Apparently i just hadn’t found the right one to inspire me. But after an incredibly fun day of driving and exploring rural east county goodness and reminiscing about my san diego past, pulling up to the sunset at my favorite car/beach zen spot… and catching sunset by mere moments… the glow was utterly magical to say the least. And the way the sunset lit and reflected off the cars curves was mind blowing. Naturally, i couldn’t help taking a bunch of pictures… take a peek on the next page!
After a lovely dinner and some macallan, most wandered off to sleep before tomorrow’s adventures begin… i couldn’t help having a little midnight photoshoot alone on the croquet lawn with the CLS 63 AMG… the cut away of the engine block is so beautifully lit in the night. Isn’t it gorgeous inside and out? Anyhow, 1am, and i really ought to sleep, but figured i’d leave you with some lustworthy pics… explore the next page, and i’ll keep you posted on pie tomorrow (we’re wandering out to the delicious Julian!)
Sometimes a gorgeous graphic in print form is all you need to get all inspired and giddy. Well, apparently that does it for me anyhow! Also, there’s nothing like a desk calendar to remind you just how fast 2011 is going to fly right by! As you already saw, i’m hiding out in Rancho Santa Fe with the Mercedes AMG crew this weekend and while the official fun has yet to start, i couldn’t help going through the teaser of a press kit and this calendar while on a call… and the graphics! and paper! and binding! So pretty and thoughtfully designed… and also making me even more certain that an electric sports car has to be on my life list? Or pre-30 list? Definitely pre-40 list. That SLS E-Cell is pretty lustworthy… and i’m not even usually into yellow. Anyhow, the graphics, photos, and even calendar layout itself, is so fun, you must check out the detail shots on the next page!
The process and creative imagery that is produced along the path to great products are often quite a work of art… It’s so inspiring to see Mercedes-Benz embracing the process by formalizing sculptures in their process of exploration and discovery. There’s something almost magical when seeing the design process itself shared through these sculptural experiments, especially when they share the sketches and organic inspiration that leads them there. Works of art being displayed along side concept cars and current cars fill you with curiosity and open ended inspiration of what the future may hold. Mercedes Aesthetics No. 2 just debuted at Detroit Auto Show.
I love this quote from Mercedes Head of Design, Gorden Wagener, “Inspiration is the pre-condition for the calm, coherent yet passionately emotional design of our cars. In the interior sculpture Aesthetics No. 2 we have allowed creative fantasy to develop freely without constraints.” Regarding sculpture details, “On a scale of 1.5 to 1 the sculpture measures 18.3 x 6 x 8.5 feet. The finely wrought frame painted in alubeam Liquid Metal is light and strong; the white seating landscapes look like ivory.” Take a look at the inspiration behind and the design process that went into it… as well as the very cool final sculpture!
This CES content is sponsored by BestBuyOn.com. Thanks, Best Buy!!!
Ok, firstly. OMG. CES is absolute madness as always. Vegas is, well, Vegas. And as you’ve seen in previous years, CES coverage NOTCOT style is a smattering of eye catching design in real life! So first things that tend to grab me (we see the products so early often!) is booth design! First one to just literally suck me in and leave me in awe not wanting to leave… Audi. Wow. In a sea of show floor visual chaos, tucked behind the digital health (i.e. fitness ipad apps and adjustable beds), there is this looming large box of a space, that literally glows… and you just HAVE to walk in… and once in, there’s something almost magical (yet so surreal like you stepped into a scifi in between space) that is SO glowingly white from all sides, geometric facets all around, from the floor and ceiling and walls to the furniture and installations. Showing off their new electric and hyper linked systems, the display was filled with grown men and women with that 5 year old look of wonder. While their keynote promised a dreamy future of technology in automotive… from AR HUDs and e-tron spyder concepts, to autonomously driven Audi TTS… while still stressing that while they want more technology to assist the driver, they don’t want to take away driving from the driver. I can’t deny there is a definite draw to the clean glowing simplicity of their “booth”! See it on the next page!
“It’s a 60’s post modern gingerbread house. Although I hesitate to call it a house… It’s more of a Palazzo.” And then i can’t help giggling. And then once i stop… can’t help but note what an awesome gingerbread palazzo that is! The whole Acura Season for Reason ad campaign by RP& is pretty cute ~ though there’s a tiny part of me that wants the ridiculousness they mock in the ads more than reason! See the chestnut roaster and the awesome xmas tree/live reindeer/etc, as well as the Gingerbread Palazzo ad on the next page!
Spotted this stunner of a new ad from Audi at the always awesome Stash ~ “Imagination Meets Engineering” advert for the new Audi A7 Sportback. It’s like an xray kaleidoscope of nature meets engineering madness that is absolutely mesmerizingly set to Basement Jaxx’s ‘Dracula’. I just watched it a few times over! See the video on the next page, as well as screenshots of some of my favorite moments.
Leave it to a Louis Vuitton case, a beautifully sleek sculpture… and a retro modern manta ray meets metropolis feeling beauty of a concept i couldn’t stop staring at during the LA Auto Show. Though it debuted in Geneva in 09, there is something so striking about it in person i couldn’t resist. The Infiniti Essence Concept! “Celebrating 20 years as a creator of performance luxury vehicles, Infiniti introduces a vision crafted to embody our core values and inspire future design: the Infiniti Essence. This dramatic styling, technology and performance statement is a 592-hp gasoline/electric hybrid coupe defined by exterior lines sculpted to express fluidity and speed. Destined to influence production models of the future, the Infiniti Essence vividly captures the balance between grace and power, and the unrestrained possibility of Inspired Performance.” What IS new however is this 300 piece, limited-edition, solid resin, Infiniti Essence model which costs $300, and it can be ordered with a Louis Vuitton carrying case, available at Infiniti Lifestyle. For now see more pics of the case, sculpture, and concept car on the next page.
It’s inevitably become car week here at NOTCOT, between global adventures with Mercedes-Benz ~ spending today at the LA Auto Show Press Events… and more! So while i was watching the unveiling of CLS 63 AMG and the Diavel, Linhchi hopped over to Volkswagen at the Audi design center right by the Santa Monica Airport. In addition to celebrating their 20th anniversary in California, there was a sneak peak of the new 2012 Volkswagen Eos.
The president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Jonathan Browning, emphasized that VW is all about a balance of style/fun and function, a perfect fit for California. The new convertible Eos that was unveiled is currently the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof. I guess it’s perfect for those moments when it’s too cold out to have the top down, but you still want to enjoy the SoCal sun? Check out pics from the event on the next page, from a VW car on the wall to dogs being carried to Gossip Girl cameos…
It’s 3:30am, so please forgive the random nature of the images for this post, but wanted to give you a peek from tonight’s launch before i went to bed… Here’s a look at the new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG in addition to the new Ducati Diavel ~ and during the press event, Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati came on stage together with Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, they announced their new partnership to be working closely together! From AMG becoming one of the Moto GP team sponsors to starting to include Ducati bikes at AMG events and vice versa. It was interesting to see both machines in matte finishes, the CLS 63 in a matte grey, and the Diavel in a matte black/matte carbon fiber… both having such strong lines, the curves definitely stood out well in the lighting…
Ok, seriously, have to get some sleep before ending up at the press conferences in four or five hours, so sweet dreams, and there are lots of random picture details to feast upon on the next page!
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!)
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!
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!