Project type Lightweight technology concept
Chief designer Andreas Wolfsgruber
Design team Frank Luetjen, Christoph Aschaber, Tim Doherty, Roman Mraz, Mike Storey, Stefan Pecovnik, Tim Lazar
Launched Geneva/March 2014
More info www.magnasteyr.com
The seventh member of Magna's MILA family of concept cars, MILA Blue, is an intelligent A-segment, natural-gas-powered four-seater which takes its inspiration from "ultra-light performance vehicles such as catamarans, as well as from the automotive world", explains Magna Steyr's chief designer, Andreas Wolfsgruber.
"Visionary design was combined with lightweight construction," he adds. "The 3.7-meter-long car weighs in at an extremely light 670kg. It produces only 49 grams of CO2 per kilometer and has been developed with a strong focus on manufacturability."
The showcar's technical layout and package is based on that of the Magna Steyr CULT, a fully functioning technological demonstrator which won the 2013 Austrian State Award for Mobility.
The interior comprises a fully digital cockpit, ultra-light mesh seats, simplified trim and a reduced color scheme with fine highlights. The effect of the white and gray is an appealing graphic with a sense of calm about it.
The MILA Blue is an intelligent companion whose role it is to see the driver through to their destination in an unstressed manner. Connectivity is an important aspect of this and the dashboard incorporates a large central screen in the form of a tablet, which can be removed at the end of the journey.
The traditional glovebox was omitted from the interior, with a bespoke removable neoprene bag fitted in its place, incorporating a solar-powered charging facility for mobile devices. Side cameras are used, the images being shown in the displays just inboard of the A-pillars.
A signature feature of the MILA vehicles is their iconic side view. The characteristic C-pillar treatment of the MILA Blue's staggered fin is reminiscent of a bobsleigh. It gives the impression of a light, floating roof and serves to extend the side glass, exaggerating the car's length. The subtle tension of the body surfaces provides a timeless elegance and results in a forward dynamic, even when the car is at a standstill.
"The choice of colors is perfectly fitting to our new concept car," explains exterior designer Frank Luetjen. "The main body color is a fresh metallic ‘Flame Blue', as blue is synonymous with natural gas and with efficient technology."
The car has a humanoid aspect to it, and clever surface treatment was used to create a futuristic ‘clean and friendly alien' character, as seen in the white mask on the front.
"MILA Blue is an important new chapter not just for Magna Steyr Design, but also for Magna as a whole," says Wolfsgruber. "Through creative lifestyle projects like this, we are able to showcase our design skills and experiment with new icons of modernity while also demonstrating the company's engineering and manufacturing capabilities."