The Aston Martin CC100 Speedster concept has been built to celebrate the centenary of the British brand at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race.
Apparently inspired by the beautiful 1959 DBR1 racecar, the CC100 apparently also gives some clues as to Aston's upcoming design language, particularly around the grille, with its prominent insert and the treatment of the side strake, which here becomes a more integral part of the wheel arch and fender.
The car was designed in Aston Martin's studio in Gaydon, with its bodywork the responsibility of chief exterior designer Miles Nurnburger. "The brief was very simple, yet enormously testing: create something that reflects the 100 years of Aston Martin heritage and signals the future of the brand," said Nurnburger.
"The idea of an iconic speedster concept that nods to the Le Mans – and Nürburgring – winning cars of 1959 soon came, and we have had complete freedom to shape this car."
Its interior is a minimal all-carbon structure, furnished with tan saddle hide details.
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new S-Class W222 sedan flagship.
At 5,246mm long, 1,899mm wide and 1,491mm high, sitting on a wheelbase of 3,165mm it is the latest model designed to convey ‘The Essence of Luxury', features the familiar Mercedes-Benz front with a larger, upright radiator grille.
To the sides of the grille are two large, full LED headlights that mirror the outer contour of the grille, while the side view is dominated by the familiar dropping line, in the form of a sharp crease running from the trailing edge of the headlamps to a lower point above the rear wheel arches. This 1930s-inspired styling element is also found on the CLA and the CLS.
The interior is where Mercedes-Benz features two 12.3-inch TFT screens, while the instrument panel includes round, Bentley-like vents, Burmester High-End stereo system metal speakers and an ambient lighting system, which offers seven color moods. The designers have opted for a two-spoke steering wheel, and wood trim features throughout, especially in the dashboard and centre console. The switch surfaces with pearl-effect paint finishes come in three color shades to suit the interior color.
The 'First Class Rear' individualization option integrates a Business centre console into the rear, complete with a telephone handset, additional stowage compartments and a folding table.
Despite the continuation of the nameplate – unique in the company's recent history – this Peugeot 308 is an all-new competitor in the European C-segment hatchback market.
The new 308 sits on PSA's new EMP2 modular platform, which will underpin future Peugeot and Citroën C- and D-segment cars in much the same way as the VW Group's MQB chassis. The upshot for the designers is its flexibility, specifically in terms of proportions. The engine mounts in particular are much lower than in the old car, reducing hood height. Its overall height is less as is its length, now 4,250mm.
The 308's form language is now in line with the 208 and 2008, yet here it appears more precise, which is fitting as the company aims to push itself into a more premium space. Gone are the gaping grille, oversized lamps and oddly-shaped wheel arches, replaced by a far more elegant face, compete with the first use of full-LED lamps in the class. Its flanks feature a refinement of Peugeot's pulled-back ‘C' graphic surface that runs into the rear lamps, although here it resists turning back on itself to from the lower door surface. The long, upright DLO and solid C-pillar add a feeling of strength. It may not be too radical, but it looks suitably handsome.
Inside the ‘i-cockpit' architecture first seen on the HX1 concept and 208 production car are applied here. As in those cars the small steering wheel sits below the gauge pack (complete with counter-rotating tacho) that takes up residency on the top of the IP. Switchgear is reduced to a minimum, with HVAC and infotainment functions controlled via the central 9.7-inch touch screen.
The new 308 will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show.
To celebrate the 50th birthday of Sant'Agata's most famous export, Volkswagen Group Design Director Walter de Silva led a team in the creation of the wild Lamborghini Egoista concept. "I am very attached to this Italian brand, being an Italian myself," said de Silva at its unveiling. "I wanted to pay homage to and think up a vehicle to underline the fact that Lamborghinis have always been made with passion, and with the heart more than the head."
This single-seat, V10-powered sportscar – with Alessandro Dambrisio responsible for its exterior design and Stefan Sielaff its interior – is an extreme interpretation of the faceted aesthetic introduced by the 2007 Reventón and last seen on the Veneno shown earlier this year at the Geneva motor show. The Egoista takes this fragmented theme further still as it cuts huge sections from the car's volumes, particularly around its nose, which appears almost as a trimaran. Its side profile is said to have been inspired by a bull on a charge with its horns lowered and its proportions certainly add to the feeling of forward motion with an extremely cab-forward stance although its long rear overhang (partially disguised by its web of a structure being finished in black) counters this.
Its cabin is described as a 'removable section' inspired by the Apache helicopter's survival cell. Sat under complex orange anti-glare glazing Seilaff's interior has an almost Steampunk aesthetic with its exposed piping, ornate instrumentation and electro-mechanical auxiliary controls. "The cockpit, made completely of carbon fiber and aluminum, represents a sort of survival cell, allowing the driver to isolate and protect themselves from external elements," says de Silva.
Other military aeronautical references include 'Step Here' and 'No Step' graphics for the rather acrobatic-sounding ingress and egress, afterburner-style exhausts, articulated aerodynamic control surfaces, anti-radar paint and LED clearance lights that give a three-dimensional impression of where aircraft are within air space.
It's not clear if this is marks an indication as to the upcoming Gallardo replacement, but it certainly makes another bold statement about Lamborghini's design strategy.
The Renault Twizy Sport F1 concept has been unveiled at Renault's plant in Vallalodid, Spain.
A collaboration between both Renault Sport F1 and Renault Sport Technologies, the concept sits on the wheels of a single-seater racecar and features a front splitter, side-pods, a rear wing and a diffuser with an F1-style rain light. When looking at the concept, which measures in at 2,600mm long, 1,490mm wide and 1,450mm high, the tires are one of the first things you see, and are the same as those fitted to the Formula Renault 2.0 single-seater.
It also uses the same Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used on Renault-powered F1 racecars, located inside a transparent pod where the rear seat should be. The Twizy Renault Sport F1 also uses the F1-type steering wheel from Renault Sport Technologies.
Design director of Renault Sport Range Eric Diemert explains, "Twizy Renault Sport F1 is a simple yet smart vehicle which combines original lines and advanced technology derived directly from Formula 1. Our objective was to reinforce Twizy's ‘fun' side by using F1 cues to express its personality."
Project coordinator Tarik Ait Said adds, "As far as styling was concerned, we wanted to avoid falling into the trap of simply producing a steroid-fed Twizy. We therefore worked closely with Renault Design to find a way of incorporating Formula 1 cues on a vehicle of this size. Although Twizy's forms clearly distinguish it from a single-seater race car, you can see numerous echoes of the world of grand prix racing."
The Renault Twizy Sport F1 concept will make its first public appearances at the World Series by Renault meeting at Aragon, Spain on 27-28 April and at the Barcelona Motor Show.
Renault previews new electric vehicle concept
Toyota and leading European industrial designer Jean-Marie Massaud have developed a new electric car concept, dubbed the ME.WE.
Developed at Toyota's ED2, Massaud and Toyota wanted the ME.WE – named after personal wellbeing and that of others – to be adaptable to suit a range of lifestyles while being high quality. It also had to "propose an alternative synthesis based on personal choices about vehicle architecture, lower running costs and the way the vehicle will be used". As well as being attractive it should appeal to forward-thinking people.
The lightweight tubular aluminum structure onto which light, hardwearing and easily personalizable14kg polypropylene panels are fitted reduces the weight to 750kg. The materials used in its production also make it extremely eco-friendly. It shares the same in-wheel motors as the Toyota i-ROAD and houses batteries under the floor as in the iQ electric car. Because of this arrangement, the roomy interior gives the occupants a lot more space and storage space. The floor and horizontal surfaces are made of bamboo because it is renewable and easy to maintain.
Luggage can be stored on the roof under a folding weatherproof neoprene cover, while the rear luggage space folds backwards into a pickup-like platform. The rear bench seat can be folded and stored beneath the front seat and also removed – it can even be used for picnics.
Inside, a screen above the steering wheel displays speed, battery charge, journey information and navigation instructions delivered via a smartphone. The phone is used to control the entire infotainment section as well as the temperature.
Toyota unveiled the ME.WE concept in its Paris showroom – Le Rendez-vous Toyota on the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées.