jeudi 20 octobre 2011

Aston Martin Rapide

The Aston Martin Rapide is a five-door, high-performance sport saloon, which British luxury marque Aston Martin introduced in early 2010. It was first presented as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in 2006. The Rapide name is a reference to the Lagonda Rapide, a saloon car produced by Lagonda, now part of Aston Martin. The car is based on an Aston Martin DB9.

The Rapide is built at a dedicated plant at the Magna Steyr facility in Graz, Austria. Production began in 2010 and the factory plans to build 2,000 per year. The concept car version featured a full-length glass roof and LED light bars on the rear end, two firsts for Aston Martin. The glass roof was not carried through to production.

For luxury and convenience, the Rapide's standard features include a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps and LED taillamps. Leather and walnut trim are standard, with metallic accents; power front seats with memory, cooling and heating; Bluetooth; satellite radio (US version only); and USB and iPod connectivity. The Rapide comes, as standard, with a Bang & Olufsen 16 speaker sound system with two that rise from the dashboard on activation of the system. The production version of the Rapide was shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

mercredi 19 octobre 2011

Leonardo Fioravanti (his designs are ahead of its time)

Leonardo Fioravanti (b. 1938) is an Italian automobile designer and CEO of Fioravanti Srl.Leonardo Fioravanti produced a concept car that signaled a change in family saloons forever.

He studied mechanical engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, specializing in aerodynamics and car body design. Before founding Fioravanti Srl, he worked twenty-four years with Pininfarina, followed by a position at Ferrari and the director's role at the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo.

Fioravanti designed the Ferrari Dino, the Ferrari Daytona, the Ferrari P5 and P6, the Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer, the Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 (the forerunner of the Ferrari 400), the Ferrari 308 GTB, and the Ferrari 288 GTO.

Marcello Gandini (introduced the concept of scissor doors)

Marcello Gandini is an Italian car designer, widely known for his work with the automotive design house Gruppo Bertone, notably his design of the Lamborghini Countach. Together with Giorgetto Giugiaro and Leonardo Fioravanti, Gandini forms a noted triumvirate of Italian car designers, all born in 1938, within months of each other. Gandini currently continues to work on automotive and aviation design.

In a 2009 interview with Robert Cumberford, editor at Automobile Magazine, Gandini indicated "his design interests are focused on vehicle architecture, construction, assembly, and mechanisms - not appearance."

In 1963, Gandini approached Nuccio Bertone, head of the Gruppo Bertone company, however Giorgetto Giugiaro, then Bertone's chief designer, refused to work with him. When Giugiaro left Bertone two years later, Gandini was hired, and worked for the company for fourteen years.

Creator of Stile Bertone in Caprie, Gandini served as general manager of the styling house, designing show cars as well as managing the construction of prototype automobiles.

Gandini designed Lamborghini's Miura and Countach and many practical cars as well, including the Citroën BX, the first-generation BMW 5-series, the Innocenti Mini, and the Renault Supercinq. He introduced the concept of scissor doors with the Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo prototype, while the Lancia Stratos supercar was another Gandini design.

Gandini left Bertone in 1980, pursuing freelance automotive, industrial and interior design.

Gandini designed many classic automobiles, including:
Alfa Romeo Montreal
Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo
BMW 5 Series (first gen)
Bugatti EB110
Citroën BX
Cizeta Moroder V16T
De Tomaso Pantera 90 Si
Ferrari Dino 308GT4
Fiat 132
Fiat X1/9
Iso Lele
Lamborghini Countach
Lamborghini Diablo
Lamborghini Espada
Lamborghini Jarama
Lamborghini Miura
Lamborghini Urraco
Lancia Stratos
Maserati Khamsin
Maserati Ghibli
Maserati Quattroporte IV (1994–2001)
Maserati Shamal
Renault 5 Supercinq
De Tomaso Biguà, Qvale, and Mangusta
Gandini also designed concept cars like for instance the Bertone Pirana.

Non-automotive work
Although best known for his work in the field of automotive design, Gandini has produced works in other areas, including home architecture, the design of a nightclub interior, and the body styling of the Heli-Sport CH-7 helicopter.

dimanche 16 octobre 2011

Jean-Pierre Ploué (He marked a new era for Citroën)

Jean-Pierre Ploué is a French car designer, born in 1962, known for bringing the Citroën marque back to strength and restoring its reputation for innovation and strong individualistic styling.

Ploué graduated from the École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d'art in 1985. He started his career at Renault from 1985–1995, where he designed the Laguna concept car, the Twingo, and worked on the design of the Clio II.

From 1995 to 1998 he worked at the Volkswagen Design Centre in Wolfsburg, Germany. From 1998 to 1999 Ploué was Head of Design at Ford in Cologne, Germany.

In 1999 Jean-Pierre Ploué replaced Arthur Blakeslee as Head of the Citroën Design Centre, responsible for rejuvenating the brand’s image. His arrival marked a new era for Citroën, resulting in the launch of successful and stylish new models such as the C4, the second generation C5, the C6, and the DS3, which played a strong role in the rebranding of the marque. Concept-cars C-Sport Lounge, C-Métisse, Citroën Metropolis and GT by Citroën designed by his team show their desire to resume their position as a leader in car design.

In 2009, he was promoted to Director of Design for the PSA group, in charge of designers Gilles Vidal from Peugeot and Thierry Métroz from Citroën.

Citroën Tubik Concept

Un pari osé par Citroën qui vient de présenter son nouveau concept-car Tubik, réinterprétant le célèbre utilitaire de la marque. Un concept de monospace futuriste et hybride capable d’accueillir 9 personnes, avec un habitacle facilement modulable.

Citroën a un passé très riche, et ses replongées-recyclages récents lui ont réussi. Alors malgré la ligne officielle « anti-rétro », retour au musée pour l’inspiration de ce concept qui bat le rappel de la lignée utilitaire de la marque. Tubik ramène par son nom au TUB, Traction Utilitaire Basse, la camionnette basée sur la plateforme de la Traction qui a révolutionné le marché de l’utilitaire à l’aube de la seconde guerre mondiale. Malgré l’époque troublée qui a empêché le véhicule de réaliser son potentiel, il a tellement marqué les esprits que son nom a survécu dans le parler populaire pour désigner son successeur, le Type H. C’est de celui-ci que s’inspire esthétiquement Tubik.

Le Tubik fait partie de la catégorie des concepts purs et durs, déconnectés des réalités industrielles et surtout destinés à faire rêver et démontrer le savoir-faire du bureau de style. La motorisation est par conséquent très accessoire et on retrouve sans surprise la chaîne de traction Hybrid4 sous le capot, histoire de pouvoir ajouter le mot « vert » dans les brochures. Mais l’essentiel n’est pas là. L’idée mise en avant par Tubik est de « redonner du sens au voyage », une idée qui rejoint une réflexion entamée par Citröen via le nébuleux projet Multicity. Est-ce que cette idée accouchera d’un nouveau véhicule, par exemple un grand monospace haut de gamme ? Rien n’est moins sûr. Sur les utilitaires comme sur les monospaces, Citroën est lié à ses partenaires Peugeot et Fiat. Faire cavalier seul dans ce domaine est difficile à rentabiliser, et une voiture à l’identité aussi fortement liée à un constructeur ne peut être partagée facilement. On attendra donc avec impatience les déclarations des dirigeants de la marque à Francfort pour savoir ce qui se cache derrière ce concept atypique, si tant est qu’il s’y cache quelque chose.

GT by Citroën

La GT by Citroën est un concept car développé par la marque française Citroën pour le jeu vidéo Gran Turismo 5, sur PlayStation 3. Elle est présentée pour la première fois au public lors du Mondial de l'automobile de Paris en 2008. Patrick Arnaud, ingénieur chargé de la GT, explique que le « but était de créer la supercar de 2025 ».

La GT by Citroën est le résultat d'un partenariat entre Citroën et Polyphony Digital, studio de développement de la série Gran Turismo, jeu de simulation automobile sur les consoles Playstation. La GT peut se piloter dans Gran Turismo 5 Prologue2 et dans Gran Turismo sur PSP. C'est en réalité grâce à l'amitié entre Takumi Yamamoto, qui est l’auteur du style extérieur de la voiture, et un de ses amis d’enfance qui travaille chez Polyphony, que l'on doit cette supercar. Ils ont ainsi eu l'idée de concevoir une automobile dédiée uniquement au jeu de la PS3. Par la suite, Takumi présente le projet à Jean-Pierre Ploué, directeur du style Citroën. Il est immédiatement convaincu par cette idée nouvelle, si bien que Citroën accepte de construire l'automobile en vrai pour la présenter au public.

La GT by Citroën exploite au maximum les codes stylistiques de la catégorie, à savoir un profil très bas et musclé, des jantes de 21 pouces, des portes papillon, un très imposant aileron, des entrées d'air proéminentes, etc. Les phares intègrent les dernières technologies dans le domaine, à savoir un éclairage à LED, aussi bien à l'avant qu'à l'arrière.

BMW i series

BMW i3 Concept – The Future SUV

The BMW i3, previously Mega City Vehicle (MCV), is an urban electric car under development by BMW. The i3 is part of BMW's "Project i" and is being planned as a new brand, BMW i. The BMW i3 is expected to go into mass production in 2013 with deliveries in several world markets by that year end.The i3 concept car was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and BMW announced the electric car will have a “REx” range extender option. BMW plans to showcase a BMW i3 prototype during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.




The i3 will be BMW first zero emissions mass produced vehicle due to its electric powertrain, and BMW also expects to be the first company to launch a volume production vehicle on the market featuring carbon-fiber reinforced plastic to improve the vehicle's energy consumption.

BMW i8 Concept – Combines an Electric Drive System And a Combustion Engine

The BMW i8, first introduced as the BMW Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics, is a plug-in hybrid under development by BMW. The initial concept car was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the BMW i8 concept car destined for production was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The i8 has a 7.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which delivers an all-electric range of 35 km (22 mi).

In 2010 BMW announced the mass production of the Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics in Leipzig begining in 2013 as the BMW i8. The i8 is part of BMW's "Project i" and will marketed as a new brand, BMW i, sold separately from BMW or Mini. The BMW i3 and the BMW i8 will be the first models available from 2013. Other i models will follow.

According to BMW, the average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle (KV01) is 3.76 liters/100 kilometers, (75.1 mpg imp), and has a carbon dioxide emission rating of 99 grams per kilometer (1,3 l/100km and 33g CO2/km ; EU-PHEV ECE-R101). The estimated all-electric range is 50 km (31 mi), and the 24-litre diesel tank extends the total vehicle range to up to 700 km (430 mi). The lightweight chassis is made mainly from aluminium. The windshield, top, doors and fenders are made from polycarbonate glass, with the body having a drag coefficient of 0.22.