MINI Vision Urbanaut is a shape-shifting EV that rethinks personal transport’s form and function

In 1959, the Suez Crisis led to oil shortages and the rise of fuel prices across the western world. British Motor Corporation responded by creating an economy car which was affordable and used little petrol. The Sir Alec Issigonis design for the original Mini was genius. The tiny motor car he invented for BMC could pack in more passengers than any other in its comparable size – and it was super-fun to drive too. The Boomers and young... Read More

Interview: Adrian van Hooydonk on the radical BMW iX and lessons from the pandemic

BMW has revealed the iX, an electric production car for 2021 which previews the marque in the new age of transport. I caught up with Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president BMW Group design, who explains the progressive design and pioneering technology behind this flagship car. He discusses the possibilities of reinventing the marque in the post-Covid era. Read my exclusive interview here.  Read More

See how tech firm Komma is rethinking future cities

The Urban Mobility Vehicle hovers somewhere between a motorbike and a conventional car. It is agile like a two-wheeler, but with the comfort and safety of four wheels. the UMV runs on electricity has a much smaller footprint than a standard city car and is around 34% more energy efficient than your average electric vehicle. Plus, it is designed as a premium product by former creatives from Pininfarina. Possibly even more exciting is the brand... Read More

Flexi Pix City learns from self-driving cars

We are at a really critical time in history – more than 70% of the world’s population is migrating to cities over the next 30 years, and technology is completely altering our reality. We have to rethink how we live, work, interact, consume … I see this as a hugely exciting time. And there are some very exciting innovators and thinkers and designers working on highly progressive concepts. Here’s the latest one I came across  Read More

Is this the future of the urban commute?

I’ve been exploring some interesting mobility concepts lately. Together they tell a compelling story of the multi-transport model we should expect in the future. This, of course, isn’t a new way of mobility. The motor car, train, tram, bus, aeroplane, helicopter, taxi, hitchhike, cycle, walk, carriage, horse, carriage, donkey – we have long explored on a variety of ways to move about. Yet these solutions are navigating our ever... Read More

New visions in car design

Designing cars is tricky business. Not only do designers have to comply with strict safety regulations, they are also restricted by company guidelines be it in terms of budget or aesthetics. Which is why college years are the best, and possibly the last ones, for them to explore freely. At this year’s Royal College of Art graduate vehicle design show students exhibited a number of inspiring ideas. This London post-graduate college provides the... Read More

Twizy electric mobility pod

The Twizy sets out to carve a new niche in personal mobility. Producer Renault refers to it as a ‘UDO’ as in unidentified driving object. Essentially a quadricycle, the diminutive hub is 2.34m long and 1.24m wide, can sit two and is available with or without doors. An all-electric engine powers the car, which on the more powerful model of the two accelerates to 28mph in six seconds and offers a top speed of just over 50 miles. The battery promises... Read More

Car design trends from Geneva

The Geneva Motor Show is one of the main yearly international exhibitions that tend to focus primarily on design studies and future trends. This year, sadly, the displays were generally of ‘real’ cars – automobiles that are made for today’s world but tend to lack the visionary insight to make them relevant to the bigger picture of mobility. This is a real shame as for the last few years we have been teased with a promise of a future urban... Read More

Book review: Intersection Cars Now

Books on cars tend to follow a simple formula – a pretty straight narrative that is either sequenced historically or by company. In this context, Intersection‘s Cars Now maintains this by guiding the reader through a selection of today’s most notable cars via alphabetically organised car companies. ‘We go make by make, model by model, to capture a snapshot of a species evolving,’ say the authors. And as a reference book, this formula... Read More

Klaus Bischoff: Volkswagen’s Up

Volkswagen has a strong history of building solid, well engineered and modestly designed cars. You know you’re in reliable company with VW if not always in an exciting one. This is why project Up has been an interesting one to follow. This is a family of affordable cars designed for cities around the world. The project has been brewing for a few years. Our first teasers came in 2007 in the shape of the Up Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show followed... Read More

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