Tag Archives: design


it’s that shape….far beyond just a machine..into the realm of pure art….iconic, thought-provoking, timeless, old, new, beautiful, and always interesting.

2001 Audi TT 225 Coupe quattro, owned and driven hard by IEDEI since 2003.





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is this the Porsche Pajun?

expected price of around $55k?  Where do i sign?

In all likelihood, considering the source (Auto Express)—these are likely modified photos using a Panamera as a base, but after the debacle of the A110-50, who knows anymore!

I love the Panamera and judging by the way this looks, I love this even more….WOW.  Porsche is going to go big time if they launch this in the Audi S4 price range….although I would expect, as with all Porsches, the price will climb higher quickly with a few options.

src:  autoExpress

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foto of the day. icon vs. icon.

When the original Audi TT was being styled, one of the inspirations was the Porsche 356 and other rounded sports coupes of the 50s and 60s—-sculpted in terms of retro-futurist form and design.  Last night when I parked on 47th and Park Ave. I saw this excellent example of a 356 and my TT parked right behind it.   A stunning combination—-and a reminder of how classic design should be: clean, timeless, and beautiful.  Automobiles can be art.  I’m also struck at how the TT is not that much larger than the 356, which is great considering how bloated ‘modern’ cars are becoming these days.



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what if…Chris Bangle designed an interior…

Well he did! in the 1983 Opel Junior Concept.  And yes, it is VERY weird.

the car this interior belonged to:

src:  flaviendachet

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foto of the day. Survolt.

a 2010 concept by Citroen called the Survolt.  This is the kind of insanity I expect from Citroen.   Madness and over the top goodness! 2 electric motors, 300hp.  If this is the future of the sports car and it’s electric—-i want in!

short promo video:



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Fisker Atlantic.

Let me be honest in that quite frankly I was blown away the first time I saw photos of the Fisker Atlantic;  Unfortunately IEDEI was not able to cover the NY Auto Show this year due to work schedule (yes, i also have a proper job!).

I had already been ‘warming’ to the idea of the Fisker Karma over the past few months, even though supposedly the cars are unreliable and that the company is having financial issues…..oh well!

I really dislike Tesla, however I find myself fond of Fisker.  Why?  It’s not JUST because they use extensive Alcantara in their interior….but it’s because Fisker actually DESIGNS their cars rather than puts out a regurgitated Lotus Elise.  The Karma, whatever your final thoughts are, is a pretty fascinating car to look at…..swoopy, long, with lots of presence.

The Karma is expensive….the Atlantic though—-well they are targeting the $45k to $55k range!   If this car makes it to production for that price, it will surely be THE best looking sedan out there.  I’m not crazy about the front end styling, but the proportions, side profile, rear, and roofline are just beautiful.

So……is the Atlantic the car that gets me interested in electric cars?  Yes it just may be…..this or the upcoming Audi e-tron range….either way, it just might be possible eventually someone will start building an electric car with some passion, soul, and style——i’m hoping the Fisker Atlantic is the first one to really get the ball rolling…..

So Fisker…..Give me one to drive so I can see for myself.

Here’s the video from the premiere of the car at the NY Auto Show:

src: Fisker

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foto of the day. IEDEI business cards.

Now I just have to find people to give them to!

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X-Ray Analysis: BMW Design.

I want to like new BMWs….i really do….I think they drive fair enough, however I just find they aren’t very interesting as an actual product (packaging, aesthetics, imagination, image, etc…).

The last BMW I appreciated was the derided last generation E81/82 1-Series, which plenty of people disliked—–However which I happened to like. It reminded me of old-school coupes like the NSU TT. Compact, stubby, and slightly ugly—-all of which gave it character. Nothing prepared us though for the horror which came when its updated F20 version came along. Let’s be clear—-the F20 is not a ‘brand new’ car….it is basically a reworking of the previous generation 1-series to tide things over until the next proper FWD 1-series comes along. The F20 is properly ugly, has lost any ‘retro’ character, and instead created an awkard design which seems almost NON-BMW. What happened here?!

Publicity photos provide all sorts of photoshopping BS and fluff without the essence of the car. So i’ve started “x-raying’ photos to analyze design. It serves me well.

E82 1-series hatchback

– stubby

F20 1-series hatchback:

– ugly!

So do these changes only affect the 1-series?? NO! The 3-series has been given the same awkward changes.

E90 Sedan:

F30 Sedan:

Now, I was never really a fan of the outgoing 3-series….i thought it was totally boring. Then again, most cars in that class are sort of meant to be boring—–however I think the majority of visually able beings will easily state that based on this x-ray image, there really is no comparison that even the boring outgoing E90 Sedan is a far nicer design than the messy, awkward friendly F30 Sedan. Do you agree? I do….oh wait, i wrote the opinion in the first place!

I can honestly say……bring Chris Bangle back, BMW!

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1970 Vauxhall SRV.

This thing is beautifully swoopy!  Don’t be fooled—it is a 4 door as well.  Surely nobody ever did another 4-door with the aerodynamics of this bad boy ever again.   electric air suspension, state of the art adjustable aerodynamics, adjustable interior (with fixed seats!).  Amazing how ahead of its time this Vauxhall concept was.  If only Vauxhall could have come even close to manufacturing something as lovely.

check out this insane interior!

Here’s a great quick video tour done by Jon Quirk (photographer of a couple photos above) of the concept; which fortunately still exists!

src: jonQuirk, lotusEspritTurbo

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interior of the day. Boomerang.

Look at that dash cluster and the steering wheel! WOW.

from the 1972 Maserati Boomerang Concept (ItalDesign)

src: carstyling

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An electric bicycle I could love: Cycleton One

I’m not into bicycles—-i was when i was 10, however they don’t capture my imagination or make me want to really get into them. This might partly be due to the fact that people in NYC ride the worst bicycles in the world—at least the peeps in Brooklyn do. Since when did buying an overpriced rubbish ‘vintage’ fixed speed bicycle actually become something to be proud of? You are replicating 1970s China and India….even those countries have moved on…well, sort of.

This, though, is an electric Bicycle I could love! Cycleton One, which is an actual concept bicycle created by Daniel Yorba, an industrial designer. This is still a work-in-progress, but a very imaginative and beautiful design in my opinion. Honestly….if a bicycle like this was produced for a ‘reasonable’ amount of money, you’d probably find me in line for one. I’m not too overwhelmed by the carbon fibre, however i suppose in this situation it would create lightness and strength; so i forgive the maker!

oh and he’s also designed a concept helmet:

src: danielYorba via stipistop

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ad of the day. “styling so hairy….”

I think my Detroit roots are catching up with me these days—-as i’ve been thinking more and more about cars like the AMC Javelin. I’ve always found the design of the Javelin to be….well…..challenging.  While there’s no denying that the Mark Donahue Trans-Am Javelins looked incredible….the street version has always been challenging!  All in all though, i think it’s a tremendously unique design.  Very appropriate for its era.  Look at those wheel arch bulges!

You have to love a car whose ad calls its styling “hairy”!

 src: hugo90

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imagination at work: Mithos.

Well obviously this isn’t a real car; however it is the active imagination of an industrial designer to create a ‘what if’ type video of an “Electromagnetic” supercar.   It’s kind of absurd in a ‘watched too much Tron’ sort of way, but still interesting to think about and watch.

src: Endpoint via Automotto

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Sauber C31: best looking new F1 car?

I haven’t for sure figured out why I think this is the best looking F1 car around, but on Monday, Sauber introduced their new C31 for this year’s F1 competition.  I think it’s something about the ‘steps’ right before the nose that really do it for me; remind me of the more straight-curve mixtures we used to see on F1 cars in the 70s.  The colours, the nose treatment, and those combinations of curves and straight edges really do it for me.

I know that the “look” of the F1 car is of less importance than all of the performance characteristics; but to someone who appreciates the design of race cars——this one hits the right buttons!

src: F1SA

EDIT! I’ve just realised after careful examination that Ferrari also has a very similar design to their nose—–just executed with much poorer aesthetics (but likely better aerodynamics).  But you would expect that—-as it’s a Ferrari.

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forgotten concept: Audi (Zagato) Zuma

In 1998, Zagato showed a design study of a rebodied 8L Audi A3 3-door named the Zuma.  It used a 1.9L TDI engine, and like many other Zagato rebodies/concepts—–it is forever relegated to the realm of the unknown!

It’s almost as if Zagato decided they could try to design their own TT—-which of course in concept form had already been shown by this point.  This Zuma actually possesses more than just a little resemblance the the fantastic Lancia Hyena, which surprisingly DID make it to limited production as a rebodied and lightweight Lancia Delta Integrale.

I actually quite like this design…and luckily the car is functional and still exists today (as far as i know)….so it’s not as “lost” as others it seems!

srcs: VeloceToday, Istenbizony, Motorbase,

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foto of the day. Coupe S vs. E3.

Audi vs. BMW.

src: 4starclassics

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Return of the Renault 5?

It’s hard to believe that the Renault 5 is celebrating its 40th (!) anniversary from its launch soon.  Apparently, it is being reported in the french media that Renault are bringing a Renault 5 ‘redux’ back in celebration and that this is now ‘confirmed’….

A shame that Renault isn’t coming back to the US market….But then again, Fiat is pretty much ruining any chance of others trying to come back.  If Fiat would have done well, the others would have made a run—-but not any more!

Here’s a rendering of the Renault 5 resurrection! (maybe)

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foto(s) of the day. 263.

Volvo 263?  When Volvo thought about trying to build a fastback!? This is a lost prototype/design study of a 263 Coupe/Fastback. This must be when Volvo looked over at the Saab 900 and thought “oi! we can do that”…..til they realised they couldn’t!

Sc: Volvo Tips and Nakhon100

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the battle of fender flares.

Amazing how similar these 2 cars were in Ur quattro and M3 form.  Apparently the fender flares were even made by the same company (Bauer)—–however the Ur quattro was introduced to the world at least a good 5 years before the M3.  Dare I say that BMW was heavily inspired by the Ur quattro when styling the M3’s bodykit…..however obviously adding their own touch with a large rear wing.

I’d take the one on the right…..but you knew that didn’t you!

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Citroen M35

Citroen have always made funktastic and weird designs which are creative, unusual, and push the limits.  Here’s another one, the M35 Prototype/Concept from 1969.

fotos from concept carz

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Pietro Frua’s 1971 Porsche 914 design proposal.

Pietro Frua is one of my favourite designers ever—-mainly because he created weird, mysterious, and often rejected-by-manufacturer designs which were generally better than the manufacturers ended up producing.  I think car companies used him for his brainstorming, and then ditched his designs in the end only to steal them.  BMW surely stole many of his ideas when they plagiarized his ideas from the Frua ‘concept’ BMWs on all their production cars of the 70s and 80s.   I’m looking at this photo of a 1971 Hispano Aleman Porsche 914 design study and seeing all sorts of stuff going on.  I see some De Tomaso Pantera, i see some Lamborghini Urraco, and I see lots of Frua cues.  What i don’t see is a 914.  Obviously Porsche did not use any of his ideas for their eventual collaboration with VW on the 914.

As far as I can tell, the car was seized by customs in 1971 after being shown at Geneva.  The car was in ‘exile’ until 1976 and is currently put away in a private collection, having not been driven since 1977.   Production of the real production Porsche 914 ended by the time the design was even recovered.  Frua was paid $200k to make the design study.  (source, Frua website cited below)

There are TONS of amazing pictures here on the Frua.de website (with copyrights so i cannot post them here)

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the beauty of the TT.

The MK1 Audi TT is just all types of wonderful.  I’m not just saying that because I have one in the garage—-but because before I got my car—-i fantasized day and night about it, sort of how I fantasize day and night about the Alpine A110 and ur quattro now.  The TT is more than a car, it is true art—-representing a point where history met with the modern world—–technology fell in love with the vintage.   It could have been produced in 1965, or it could have been produced in 2005.

These photos are not of my car, however I stumbled across them looking at photos on Flickr.  These are taken by Chun Yi of his impeccable 2000 225.



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