Winner of CDN’s CDAC award 2019, Liu Dong, walked the halls for CDN and reviewed the cars that caught his eye at the Shanghai’s motor show 2019

CDN CND's newest contributor...Liu Dong

CDN’s newest contributor…Liu Dong

At this year’s Shanghai show, CDN wanted to know which cars made the young Chinese design students sit up and take notice. CDAC Student Designer of the Year Liu Dong offered to give us some insight – here are his five most exciting cars of Shanghai 2019. His perspective makes very interesting reading…

Audi AI-ME Concept

Through the Audi AI-ME Concept we can see Audi’s vision for pure electric self-driving compact vehicles in the future. The digital matrix lights on the exterior provide feedback on road conditions and the gradient matrix of the triangle distributed on the exterior is so futuristic. The feature line on the hood extends directly to the window glass, bringing strong tension to the car. The interior is inviting and comfortable, there is a lot of textile fabrics and wood material used. It feels like the interior is no longer a mobile space but a living space. The green plants found in the interior surprised me. I think there should be more humanizing touches (like this) in high-tech transportation in the future.

GAC Entranze

This is my favourite Chinese brand concept car in this auto show. Combining SUVs with MPV models, it’s wonderful to make such cross-border ideas. I think this kind of crossover will become a new trend in the future of pure electric vehicles. The split glass door and glass roof can better create a bright and spacious moving space. I think the application of the triangle matrix on the exterior of the car is the most exciting part in this vehicle. Different from previous models using such digitized matrices, GAC has placed the triangular matrix below the glass surface,which makes it more futuristic and gives a more exciting visual experience. In the interior, GAC has used recycled materials with soft, woody feel, giving people a warm feeling while fully demonstrating the environmental credentials of the car.

Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept

Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept was one of the concepts that I was most looking forward to seeing at this year’s auto show. The surface of the car is very modern and creates a simple and clean form language, the feature line on the side of the body is very elegant and strong, we can also find such a feature line in the interior door panel. One of the details that excites me most is that at the end of the centre console there is a bright black material area, and the light reflected on its subtle surface makes me feel there is a calm spring, brings a really quiet and comforting feeling. At the same time, the light transmitted through the roof grille, the light and shadow is presented on the rear seats – it is like being in the nature when you sit in the rear seats. This design of the car gives a unique Oriental aesthetic charm.

 Mazda Vision Coupe

I think Mazda Vision Coupe is the car with the most perfect light and shadow effect in this show. Although the car has been released for more than a year, it still retains its charm. I can’t find any complicated turning or twisting surface on the car, but it presents an incredible light reflection. In this design shows the minimalism philosophy of Mazda, it’s a kind of condensation and restraint in design process. The light and shadow flowing along such a wonderful surface give people the feeling of gentleness and power at the same time, maybe it like the balance between yin and yang in Oriental culture. This is a very emotional exterior, and it is also the exterior that I think can truly reflect the beauty of car styling.

Renault EZ-Ultimo

When I saw an early, exquisite sketch of the Renault EZ-Ultimo, I was stunned, when I saw the real car it was more exciting – the body is much lower than I had thought. At the same time, with the slender body, it looks like a spaceship from the future. The combination of dark green and golden colour with the marble, wood and leather material makes the car full of elegance and nobility. The diamond-shaped split on the body and the hollowed-out diamond-shaped windows give this very futuristic vehicle a vintage feeling. What excites me most is the design of the interior chandelier. I think this is the most vivid expression of the retro temperament and luxurious romantic atmosphere of this car.

Liu Dong’s ’Meeting Someone’ mobility concept won the Car Design Awards China competition this year (PDF of the project available to download). He created a solution which changed shape at high speed, to make both passengers (seated at either end of the pod) visible to each other, while when static, they were completely separate.