As we start to bid farewell to 2016 and welcome a new year with all its fresh promises, I started to put together a list of my top five interesting speculative car design moments of this year. BMW Group’s Vision Next 100 collective of concept cars for MINI, BMW and Rolls-Royce was the first to come to mind as these vehicles are a bed of vibrant ideas, begging to be explored. Then came Bentley, and the marque’s softly radical approach to the future of luxury in the world of ecological, autonomous driving.
Tesla, of course, had to be included for its dismissal of the strict automotive codes in so many ways – with the products, the people, the stores, the approach. Jaguar Land Rover ‘s impressive contemporary life cannot be ignored.
And Volvo, for as skeptical as I initially was about the company under a very different ownership, the brand has really moved forward in new and exciting ways to remain Swedish in spirit yet rather than be a Scandinavian parody, the marque now represents a nation that is global, connected and therefore exciting.
There are, of course, others doing equally interesting work too – Lexus with its uniquely brilliant vernacular, Mercedes-Benz and its confident design language, Maserati’s successful venture into new segments, Audi’s clear visual language, Volkswagen’s brilliant electric world car proposition. But five was my number so…