Vertical cities and urban villages

Can the car be more than a vehicle that takes you from A to B? This has been a subject much discussed in recent years. I remember talking endlessly with Chris Bangle, the former design boss at BMW, on this very subject – something that has been at the core of his design thinking (remember GINA?) – at a time when few car companies dared or even cared to venture into anything that signified a real change from the conventional automobile.... Read More

Mini John Cooper Works family

Car companies need products that push the limit of the brand either in their design or performance. It pays to have a sub-brand that produces a limited and therefore more desirable numbers of specialist cars aimed at enthusiasts or those wanting novelty products. In the case of Mini this is John Cooper Works, the marque’s high-performance sub-brand. Founded in 2000 by John Cooper, a racing car maker and tuner who worked on the Mini Cooper models,... Read More

Frank Stephenson discusses McLaren 12C

Few contemporary car designers boast a resume as impressive as Frank Stephenson’s.  Since graduating in vehicle design from the prestigious Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena, he has designed the first generation 2001 Mini, BMW X5, Maserati MC12, Ferrari F430 and Fiat 500. Stephenson took on the position of styling director at McLaren Automotive in 2008. The first road car designed for the new company, the MP4-12C, was already underway... Read More

Adrian van Hooydonk on BMW Megacity Vehicle

‘The Megacity Vehicle will be attractive but not controversial, and it will need to express cleanliness combined with premium and efficient, efficient dynamics,’ says Adrian Van Hooydonk. The BMW design director is referring to the first product to be released – albeit only two teaser sketches – from Project-I, an internal research unit which has been studying the best possible mode of personal transport for urban driving for... Read More