CDE 2024: a motor show “without the waste”

Genesis Speedium X Giro concept at CDE 2024-396

Car Design News was back in Munich to attend the annual, and appropriately named, Car Design Event (CDE). The show brought together designers and journalists in an intimate setting that underscored the value of more boutique events 

Without looking too deeply at the present state of the motorshow, there is clearly still an appetite for in-person gatherings. Car Design Event, now in its second edition, returned to the Munich Drivers’ Club this week with the aim of bringing designers, journalists, students and enthusiasts together in a setting that befits a focus on car design.

Put together by design enthusiasts Jens Meiners and Des Sellmeijer, the programme aimed to avoid death by PowerPoint with a walking tour of production and concept cars (both new and old) and, a night earlier, the European reveal of the new Kia K5 SUV. CDN also had the opportunity to host a panel discussion alongside designers and students from Munich university, which evolved into a back-and-forth around the reality of working with – and learning to use – AI in the design process. More on that to come.

Set not in a warehouse or conference hall but in a members’ club for wealthy car collectors and driving enthusiasts, it does indeed feel a little different to the usual auto show. It is a much smaller venue and naturally more intimate, with the added bonus that everyone on site is involved in design in some way.

Robin Page was on hand to discuss the evolution of Bentley design, with naturally gravitated toward the introduction of electric powertrains. Speaking to Car Design News, he explained that there is a tricky balancing act when it comes to the proportions, which – technically – are no longer influenced by a large engine up front.

Hopium concept at CDE 2024-349

Felix Kilbertus in the Hopium Machina concept (credit for this and all other images: Jules Photo Garage)

“If you look at electrification, the focus tends to be on the wheelbase, so we are playing around with that proportion of wheelbase but we can’t resist the short front overhangs, the long rear overhangs to get that kind of premium look. It is developing, but it is not going to be a step change where we forget about everything we’ve done now we’re doing EVs, it’s more about capturing the proportions and elegance of those heritage cars in a modern way.”

Also taking the stage was Pininfarina’s CCO Felix Kilbertus, who…

We’re glad you’re enjoying Car Design News

To continue reading this article and others like it SIGN-IN or SUBSCRIBE TODAY

For a one-time only 30 DAY FREE TRIAL REGISTER HERE

This article is available to CDN subscribers only
SUBSCRIBE TODAY to gain full access

CDN Comp Tablet phone image2

The benefits of your subscription include:

Access to motor show and concours coverage, trend and technology reports, design reviews of new and classic concept and production cars, exclusive interviews, regional reports, who’s where, design essays, career resources, design competitions, regular newsletter updates PLUS comprehensive degree show reports from the world’s leading design schools, the CDN archive of sketches, images and articles spanning 20 years of coverage.


An online subscription also gains you access to exclusive designer interviews from our annual Car Design Review yearbook, and access to exclusive interior design reviews from Interior Motives magazine. You can also receive Interior Motives in print through our online + print subscription, or buy individual copies of Interior Motives and Car Design Review.


Fees start from £55/€60/$70. Packages available for students, individuals, schools and corporates.

cdn-newspress-award-banner      cdn-newspress-award-banner

Gain full access to subscribe today

For a one-time only 30 DAY FREE TRIAL REGISTER HERE

ALREADY SUBSCRIBED - Individual, Studio, Student or School

You now need to register your details and sign-in for full access to

here