TAG: transportation

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Transportation

June 10 2009

If square wheels were even slightly workable, Danish designer Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen would have used them in his Bauhaus-inspired BauBike. The pared-down bicycle is designed around the geometric shape of the square, and its main raw materials are minimal: some metal and leather. The bike has the same astonishingly classy vibe as Marcel Lajos Breuer’s Wassily chair, a Bauhaus design icon Ubbesen Jakobsen most likely studied during his education at Southern Denmark’s respected design school in Kolding. From the small touches, such as the BauBike-embossed leather strips that wrap around the handlebars, and the gorgeous springs under the austere saddle, it is easy to see that Ubbesen Jakobsen is a meticulous designer, a serious tinkerer and, at least in the case of BauBike, an elegant minimalist not afraid to have some fun. So far this year, BauBike has appeared at the Salone in Milan and at the DMY International Design Festival in Berlin  We are not yet clear when and how we can get our hands on one — equipped with the second saddle accessory — but we are hopeful it will be soon. - Tuija Seipell
 

Transportation

April 12 2007





This years Geneva Auto Show stunned audiences with a car which teeters on the edge of an optical illusion. Exasis, is a transparent Rinspeed creation has an insect like body, transparent high tech plastic and yellow trim. At first glance it looks like a large scale Meccano set, upon closer inspection the image is literally transparent! Perfect for someone with a Wonder Woman fetish who wants to re-enact the invisible plane routine. How did that poor woman ever find where she parked that damn thing? We suggest adorning it with beaded seat covers ala Taxi Drvier style to help it stand out in the crowd. by Andy G



Transportation

May 28 2007




Mazda's current design philosophy is moving in decidedly Zen-like circles. Like a child throwing pebbles into a mirror-still pool of water, the Japanese brand cast the diametrically different Sassou, Senku and Kauri concepts far out into the design community in 2005/6 and waited to see which way the ripples would take them.

From these three focal points an inward momentum was created, an inexorable circular movement towards a production car bearing a completely new Mazda design language. That car, hints Mazda North America's Design Director Franz von Holzhausen, will appear in pre-production form at the company's home auto show in Tokyo later this year.

'It's like a concentric circle,' explains the soft-spoken California-based designer. 'With the Sassou, Senku and Kabura we struck out in a bunch of different directions, but eventually we're going to land in the middle at something that you can go into the showroom and buy. For the moment, however, they're still circling the outer reaches of a design philosophy that Holzhausen has dubbed 'flow', or Nagare in Japanese.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, this new form language physically manifested itself in the first of a troika of striking new concepts: the Nagare. A radical grand tourer for the year 2020 designed by Mazda's studio in Irvine, California, Nagare borrows the most successful elements from its three conceptual forebears and translates them into what Holzhausen describes as a 'concept of a concept car'.

'Flow is the study of how nature expresses motion. If you look at a desert landscape, it appears as if the air is moving across the sand even though you can't see it. That's what we wanted to create: a way of introducing ideas of texture and motion into the surface language,' explains the Pontiac Solstice designer. 'That's the thing: it's not just a stuck-on detail or a cliched road stance. We've got a lot of freedom to explore this.'
The most striking thing about the Nagare's design is the deep etch lines that run along the car's flanks. They converge, fading as they go, to an invisible point above the rear wheelarches before re-emerging and fanning out to form filigree-like strands of orange light that make up the rear light clusters. Like ripples on a sand dune, they create a sense of air moving across the vehicle, of unseen motion - a theme picked up by the twisted lines that form the headlamps. Sidewinder trails are what come immediately to mind.



The Nagare, says Holzhausen, was just the first expression of flow. For the Detroit show in January, the Irivine studio team distilled this idea into a deliberately more feasible and down-to-earth form: the 2010 Ryuga sports car concept. Again, deep etch lines dominate the overall look, and the Senku-inspired shark's head nose and sidewinder lights remain. But the feel is less extreme, especially inside where the Nagare's diamond-pattern seat configuration gives way to a more conventional 2+2 layout. 'It's still about motion,' insists Holzhausen, 'but in a much more calm and quiet way. Like a Japanese rock garden.'

Meanwhile, the Geneva show will debut an even more grounded expression of the philosophy, this time designed by the company's studio in Frankfurt, Germany. Something equally exploratory but more believable, promises Franz. As radical, as avant-garde, as these cars feel now, by the time we get elements and themes into the finished car two years from now, people will be like 'yeah, we've seen this. It's a Mazda'


Personally, I doubt people will be so blase. While parent company Ford's European arm continues to talk in a loud voice about its Kinetic Design philosophy and expressing 'energy in motion', Holzhausen has found a way of actually translating this into something you and I can touch, and hopefully buy. Interestingly, the US-born designer says that the roots of this can be traced back to Spring 2006 edition of Intersection, the one with the Colani concept on the cover: I saw that car, the way it was shot from above with those organic, flowing shapes, and said 'that's the kind of car we need to build'. All my recent concepts have sprung from that point. By Euan Sey. Exclusive online extract from Intersection Magazine.

Transportation

December 5 2007




Mobile living might not be for everyone - but those adventurous enough to give it a shot. Living Is.be has crafted a fully-functional living space within the bed or a truck. 

Two hatch skylights provide natural ventilation and allow sun to illuminate the interior. A double bed was installed at the rear of the truck allowing two adults to sleep comfortably. Running water is not only used in a functioning sink, but is also used in a sunken shower that was placed directly behind the cab of the truck. A kitchen stove ensures meals can be prepared - whether driving through an urban area or traversing rugged terrain. By Andrew J Wiener.



See Also -THE WOLTHAHELLIZAT
             DOUBLE DECKER LIVING

Transportation

January 22 2008




In an attempt to revolutionise the process of car design, David Hilton, founder of Motorcity Europe, along with C2P Automotive, created the MC1 Supercar in just three months. Hilton, who spent much of the formative part of his career working for Ford, believes the MC1 will be production-ready by 2011, if he finds the right client. Presently, the mid-engine, V10-powered supercar has no set identity or branding. We�re willing to bet a recognisable logo will soon sit neatly within its grill. 

By quickly translating computer-based design into engineering, Motorcity Europe achieved a radically different approach to supercar design in regard to its proportions and manufacturing processes. While certain aspects of the exterior appear entirely futuristic from nearly every angle, the MC1 looks like one of those cars we always dreamed we could afford. Fortunately, all anyone can see right now is the outside - the interior will be ready this spring. By Andrew J Wiener


Transportation

March 20 2008




We're back to tell you about another missed opportunity to add another supercar to your fleet. Bugatti has built the Veyron 16.4 'Pur Sang,' or 'pure blood.' The Veyron, a special addition version, is one of the world's fastest cars ever made with a top speed of over 400 kph. Again, all five models have been pre-purchased for approximately $2 million each. 

Bugatti has been off the radar for quite some time, but with the introduction of the 'Pur Sang' clad in a revealing paintless carbon and aluminium structure, the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer has clearly repositioned itself among the world's most exclusive and exceptionally engineered automobiles. By Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

August 31 2012

The trend for customising 1970s and 1980s motorcycles continues apace. The blinged-out chopper with raked forks and shiny paint is officially dead: today, customers are demanding sleek, minimal café racers.



The shift was inspired a few years ago by workshops such as Denmark’s Wrenchmonkees. Today, builders like Café Racer Dreams (Spain) are buying up and stripping down old Hondas and BMWs. Like the CRD machine we’re looking at here. Called “Brownie”, it’s a 1980 Honda CB750 on a diet.



It’s also a textbook example of the mods that custom bike fans are looking for in 2012. The electrics are hidden—even the battery—to throw focus on the mechanical components. The brown, gold and black colour scheme is low-key but luxurious, like a fine piece of leatherwork.


 
Unlike many builders, Pedro Garcia of CRD is not a one-trick-pony. His latest creation is a 1971 BMW R75/5 (above) converted for dual sport use. When not being ridden around the streets of Paris by its new owner, it’s blasting down fire trails and kicking up dust.



And the Wrenchmonkees, who kick started it all? Things are good in the state of Denmark. There’s a clothing line in the works and they’re collaborating with major brands such as Levi’s. They’re even getting commissions from switched-on nightcubs, with the “Club Black” series of display bikes (above). - Chris Hunter, editor of Bike EXIF

Transportation

August 26 2008




Quickly now, name a cool camper, caravan, trailer, motorhome or RV. Indeed, the only thing even close to cool in this category is a something retro. But this may be changing. Forget the 1973 Winnebago Mini Winnie, forget Shasta Airflyte, forget even the shiny retro Airstream, because a new generation of caravans is just being introduced at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf (August 30-September 7, 2008)
 
Visitors to Europe's biggest camper show are getting a first look at the prototype of Mehrzeller, a completely customizable trailer. While RV designers and manufacturers the world over were nodding off at the wheel, Theresa Kalteis and Christian Freissling, two students at Austria's Graz University of Technology's faculty of architecture, decided to make a move. Their thesis project on 'mobile living solutions' under professor Peter Schreibmayer was going to be not just a theory; it was going to become reality and something that will change the world of trailers.


 
They made the very simple assumption that the people who know best what the ideal camper needs are the people who will use it. On the Mehrzeller's project website, the designers explain (in German) that when their 'configurator' interface is fully functional in the spring of 2009, potential buyers can input their data and wishes, and order their unique Mehrzeller camper online. The name Mehrzeller can be translated as 'moreceller,' i.e. something with more cells. The name is fitting as the pods or units that form the Mehrzeller in various configurations do look somewhat 'cellular.'
 
The production will be based on the principle of mass customization, and production costs will not be significantly higher than those of standard campers. The basic architecture and design parameters remain the same, while the customers get to choose pretty much everything else. Using the configurator interface, they input the number and age of the people and animals that are going to be using the camper. Then they input the usage of space - eating, sleeping, cooking, working, entertaining, relaxing and so on - and the relative importance of each function. The system will then determine the floor plan and generate a 3D rendering. Next, the buyers select the materials and appliances. The program then calculates the price and creates the production specifications.


 
Mehrzeller will most likely move forward, and not remain just a crazy one-off prototype, because it has the backing of such heavyweights as BMW, 3M and many others. If you cannot catch the camper in Dusseldorf, you can see it at the Caravan Salon Austria, held in Wels October 15.-19, 2008. By Tuija Seipell (via squob)


 

Transportation

January 28 2009




This one’s for all you bike enthusiasts — or those of you who maybe don’t know much about the ins and outs of motorcycles, but share a passion for fascinating imagery and maybe even dream every once in awhile about speeding relentlessly down the highway on two wheels.



Australia-based designer, Chris Hunter compiles a daily dose of cool bike images on bikeexif.com.
 
From BMW airheads to Goldwing bobbers, Hunter pulls together the most interesting biker photographs from around the world. Bike EFIX is the place to see all the best bespoke, custom and even vintage motorcycles for all you design-obsessed bike fan out there. 



And Hunter, who has a particular liking for the Italian dream — the Moto Guzzi — is on the right track for attracting those who appreciate new and classic design on two wheels. - Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

February 2 2009



The art of the sports car takes centre stage at the new Porsche museum in Stuttgart.

Engines, interactive displays, Porsche memorabilia and 80 cars – including prototypes and icons like the 911, all polished to a mirror-sheen – are parked on two floors of pristine, white galleries.

The collection includes a 550 Spyder – the model James Dean was driving when he died in a collision with a Studebaker in 1955.

Other models, like the 917 type Hollywood star Steve McQueen made famous in "Le Mans" and the 928 version Tom Cruise's character in "Risky Business" used to elude trouble, are parked bumper-to-bumper under dazzling spotlights.


Three dramatic concrete pillars support the museum building, designed by the Viennese architecture firm Delugan Meissl, which seems to float above its industrial surroundings.

A handcrafted aluminum recreation of the very first Porsche, a Type 64 'VW Aerocoupe,' shines in the center of the first floor.

Prototypes on display include a 928 model almost long enough for four doors, a 1989 "Panamericana" with odd, frog-like curves and the darling of the museum staff: the 1992 Boxster prototype that won Best in Show at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show.

Porsche hopes to lure 200,000 visitors a year to the museum – competition for the rival Mercedes museum, located a half-hour away in Untertuerkheim, a Stuttgart suburb. (more visuals over at Autoblog )

Transportation

May 25 2009




Another iconic vehicle is about to be reborn and brought into the 21st century. This time it is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL that is getting the make-over treatment (that’s the car with the batman-esque doors to you and me, or Gull-wings as they are known in the car business).



This beautiful badboy, first introduced to the roads in 1954, is to be modified by Arturo Alonso and his company, Gullwing America. This time round it will be much more powerful, easier to handle and of course, it will feature all the mod-cons that one has come to expect from a vehicle of its caliber.



Alonso is perhaps the best man to complete this task, being no stranger to the exotic car sector. He raced for years in a Mercedes 300SE, and he is also the engineer behind the Bentley S3 E concept from last year.



With an aluminum body constructed with aircraft composite technology and chassis made of powder coated steel, the car will be powered by Mercedes’ M-133-55 engine, wired to raise the horsepower to 370. The new model will also feature striking red leather interior and an old-school instrument panel. The only hard thing left to do is to decide if you want the white one or the black one. - Brendan McKnight

Transportation

June 23 2011

What can we say? We just love Mini! We’ve been advocating the brand for many years… not just because we love the brand and its irreverent behaviour, but because we drive one! It is an amazing vehicle.

Ask any Mini driver and they will tell you that it is by far the best and handiest small car on the market, and it drives like a race car, too! And you can park it just about anywhere. While the big car drivers are circling the block for a parking spot, you’ve already parked and on your way to where-ever you were going.



And we are really excited about Mini Ray. It looks cool, is no-frills priced (only $28,880 drive away) and gives you all the car you need.

Of course, you will want to wrap your Mini in a cool TCH car wrap and really stand out from the crowd. Current fave? The Space Invader wrap. Driving CAN be this much fun!

Transportation

August 4 2009

Pushing the bar higher, the luxury motorcycle manufacturing company Confederate is set up to unveil its latest machine at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel California this month: the P120 Fighter Combat.

The new bike is made of a lightweight aluminium frame that wraps around an obvious massive engine, yet manages to maintain a somewhat graceful silhouette.  Confederate, known for ‘celebrating the art of rebellion,’ has not released any additional specs or price on its newest design – but we’re guessing you’re not going to see too many of these on the streets of your cities. - Andrew J Wiener - via Bikeexif

Transportation

July 11 2009

Each year as the Tour de France presses on through the French countryside, our desire and envy for faster sleeker cooler bikes is reinvigorated. While the German Team Tentakulus is not preparing to train its riders to race against many of the world's best, their new Shocker bike could be highly competitive for cool.  Most Shocker riders will probably never need to worry about changing gears or overtaking fellow riders on steep climbs through the Alps.  Besides looking good, switching on the headlight for safe night cruising is just about the only true performance feature that comes standard on every bike. - Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

November 1 2006



The Mini Mokes was perhaps the most loved sun buggy of the 60's, 70's and even the 80's. What sealed its success was the simple lack of doors. The convenience of jumping in and out of a car without opening doors and then the added bonus of driving around topless made it very appealing.

Today, riding on that success, Fiat have created the Fiat Jolly Panda. Although it sounds like a Japanese game show, this car is a successful remake of all the things that made the Moke a hit. The FJP was first launched over summer where it was used to ferry VIP's on the island of Capri.

With the interiors created by Italian design co. Paolo Lenti who specialize in the use of innovative fabrics, the FJP looks stylishly sixties from within.  On the outside, the car has been designed with nontoxic and UV ray resistant materials, centered around a simple structural design which makes the car appear almost seamless. It's simplicity is its beauty, with an added element of fun throughout the design. by Andy G

Transportation

July 18 2006



It's a little Mad Max, without the madness, or umm, the max. It's the Wothahellizat, the off-road, knows-no-bounds 6x6 turbo diesel motorhome with bite!

As many of us eagerly inch towards a mobile, nomadic lifestyle without wanting to sacrifice our digital obsessions, we find the things like the Wothahelliza providing the answer. Like all diamonds in the rough, this motor home looks less glamorous outside then it is practical inside. However considering the vehicle is capable off roading, beautification would be alike to wearing stilettos to the New York marathon.

Stay online, work from home and dare to roam. With a price that challenges that of a one bedroom apartment in most major cities, the Wothahellza is tagged at around $260,000, with a small catch. It's available only in Australia. by Lisa Evans

Transportation

July 12 2006



With world oil prices continuing to soar through the roof, alternative transport energy is a hot topic. The world's latest design in electric cars comes from what is possibly the world's most unlikely source, a fashion design house. Unveiled this week by Paris-based house Maison de Courreages, the Zoop is a high performance 150 kw three-seater electric car. Designers Andre and Coqueline Courreages got their start in fashion working for the legendary French house Balenciaga. Thanks to them the worlds of fashion and engineering may no longer be worlds apart. by Bill T

Transportation

May 12 2006



The 2 photos above were taken at Volkswagen's new storage facility in Wolfsburg, Germany. The actual space that the facility occupies is approximately only 20% of a comparable facility with the traditional design that is used primarily in the US. Not only is the German structure less expensive to build, but vehicles are also "retrieved" in less time and without the potential of being damaged by an attendant.  Collecting your new car is an event in itself. "In a fully automated procedure, your new car is brought down to you from one of the 20-story Car Towers. Large signboards in the Customer Center show you when your turn has come. Then, you're handed the keys, your picture is taken, the glass doors open and your brand-new car appears. You're all set to go". Also, check out the transparent factory in Dresden by Bill T

Transportation

May 2 2006



For those who dream of a downtown residency without the associated cost of convenience, designer Michael Rakowitz has the solution.  By focusing on the purpose of public space, he developed P(Lot), which enables the rental of municipal parking spaces for alternative living. In this regard, anyone can put some change in the meter and lease their own temporary car shaped encampment.  His car cover canvasses are currently offered in the shape of a sedan, Porsche, and a motorcycle.  In case camping isn't your thing, the Rebar Group have come up with another ingenious way to use municipal parking spaces.  Their PARK(ing) initiative transforms parking spaces into strips of greenspace, complete with grass, a tree, and a bench. Passerby's are encouraged to feed the meter and enjoy this green refuge, while watching drivers search for an empty spot. by Harold C

Transportation

June 25 2009

How far will your need for speed take you?  If you’re like many of us, dreams of sitting in the cockpit of any kind of aircraft rolling through the clouds are unlikely to ever happen... until now.  The US Air Force has teamed up with Galpin Auto Sports and built the stealth-looking Dodge Challenger Vapor – part muscle car, part fighter jet – all military strategy.

The designers fitted the body of the car with jet enhancements that would even make Batman look twice.  Special radar-blocking black paint covers the car, while a stealth exhaust allows it to run virtually silent.  A roof-mounted camera detects any type of movement within a quarter mile.  Biometric verification via the driver’s thumbprint gives access to the vehicle through gull wing doors. 



All that’s left to do now is strap on one of the custom-designed helmets, climb inside the cockpit and take off.  Once seated behind the wheel (or wheels, as there is a passenger-side steering wheel as well), the pilot and co-pilot can use an advanced computer-system complete with internet access, a GPS tracking system, exterior proximity sensors, as well as switch on a thermal vision projection on the windshield to track enemy forces through the darkness.

Jumping back to reality, only briefly, the USAF designed the Challenger as a recruitment tool for future cadets.  The military planned a Super Car Tour and is visiting various high schools across the US, along with a handful of auto shows to entice young hopefuls into military service. - Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

February 17 2006

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It's the Star Trek deck minus Dr Spock. The Nissan Terranaut concept is graced with design features reminiscent of
aeronautics, rather than your run off the mill R.V. The interior is more like a station desk rather than a passenger vehicle. With an opaque and transparent roof, the Terranaut focuses on the details that set it in a class of its own. Warning: This is not a vehicle for soccer moms, this is serious! by Bill T

Transportation

June 15 2005


Style has rarely been a priority in industrial design for the disabled - until now that is. Designed in Hungary, the Kenguru is a car specially designed for wheelchair users. The car's interior space has no front seat, just a space built to house the drivers own wheelchair so all he/she has to do is simply roll in through the extra large car doors and into position. The wheelchair locks into place, within easy reach of the car's controls which are centred around a joystick. It's light years away from the current options for disabled drivers, which involve having to hoist themselves into the driver's seat of standard cars. by Bill T

Transportation

February 5 2007



The boat you see here is a 30-foot concept from designer David Borman. He has designed and developed it to be the efficient future of transport. "That Wally powerboat, which I think is $20 million for the 50 footer, it sucks down something like 2,000 gallons of fuel an hour and it only does 70mph. I'll be using less than a tenth of that amount of fuel going twice as fast."

"My tag line is: helicopter speed at a powerboat price. It's the ultimate status symbol, but it's got a practical side too. I love the Bahamas, love the Tortugas, but they're between 130 and 200 miles from here in Miami. If I were to have a conventional yacht that could only do 25mph and I've got a 3-day weekend with the kids, I might as well forget it. By the time I got there it'd be time to turn around and come back home. Scale up to a 64 footer Sea Phantom and you'd literally be able to cross the Gulf of Mexico with impunity. It would cruise at 150mph, you'd have room for several staterooms, and you could walk around in the wings. It would be fast enough to run from Key West to Cuba in 20 minutes, when Cuba opens up. It would literally take you longer to get out of the harbor at Key West and back into Havana than it would to make the actual passage."

Like a chimera between a stealth bomber and a submarine, the design is sculpted around the central body airfoil. "I was able to draw on NASA research, free over the Internet, from the '60s to integrate into my philosophy", David acknowledges. "I had to put a backbone on it to support the tail, and it just so happened that I had just seen a photograph of a children's model of the late 1920s Bugatti Atlantique, so I lifted it almost directly from there."

Borman has invested some serious time and effort in his dream project – thousands of man hours and $1.3 million in the project. But the rewards are potentially massive.



"The ultimate objective is passenger transport. For $2.5 million I'll have maritime transport capabilities similar to a $10-12 million aircraft. Not only at a fraction of the purchase price, but also at a fraction of the operating expense and I'm not encumbered by the FAA's rules. Airports are getting backed up; they've run out of expansion room. Aircraft can hardly get any bigger because the airports can't get any larger. 60% of the world's population live within 300 miles of a coastline; I could envision dozens of these just running up and down
the Florida coast alone. It could scale up to 90 feet if someone wanted to carry 100 passengers at high speed. It's a whole new world of transport."

The first customer Sea Phantoms will be 50 feet long, cost $2.5 million and be capable of cruising at 140mph with 24 people on board. By Wes Siler. Exclusive online extract from Intersection Magazine.

Art

September 16 2009

We are excited to soon be launching TCH customized designer car wraps, so that car can really feel they  a cut above everyone else on the road. We are imagining the fun that owners will have in selecting their favorite design for their very own car.


 
We would love to hear from designers/illustrators/art directors who would be interested in submitting a design for consideration as one of the final 25 options. If you are interested, please email us and we will give you the details on how to submit your design. Have you seen our Mini in Neon colours?

Other TCH initiatives by our new marketing agncey - ACCESS include - McFancy McDonald's - POP UP Skate Ramp, Virgin Atlantic by TCH, TreeLife by TCH, Puma Spinstar by TCH

Transportation

May 2 2011




Our latest car porn introduces Lamborghini's new super sports car Aventador with its 700 HP bull power - powerful and classy just like his namesake, Spanish bull legend Aventador - relentlessly fighting the forces of nature in a 3-minute special effect thunderstorm, shot in the Californian desert Coyote Dry Lakebed and directed by Ole Peters.

Transportation

October 16 2009

Mini goes Fluro with Neon wraps by TCH - Have you entered our Mini design contest? - do so here

Mini Neon by TCH Design

Transportation

January 21 2008



To celebrate the 3rd annual PARK(ing) Day, San Francisco based art collective Rebar decided to take things a little further, with their pedal-powered park on wheels; the Parkcycle.

This one-day global event encourages artists, activists and everyday citizens to temporarily transform parking spots into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public parks. This time around an astounding 180 parks in 47 cities were created.

"The process of rethinking the ways streets are used is an important first step in making permanent changes in our cities to improve the quality of urban human habitat," says John Bela, cofounder of Rebar.

The Parkcycle, which can be cycled by a team of three, but enjoyed by many more on it's 7m lawn, features a 5m tall tree and solar charged battery which run's the cycles breaks.

With a top speed of 5mph, it is hardy going to get a yellow jersey in the Tour de France, but makes for an incredibly scenic picnic. By Brendan McKnight

Transportation

February 1 2008



Many of the world’s automobile manufacturers use the North American International Auto Show as a platform from which to unveil new design and new concepts in car design. This year’s exhibition just came to an end in Detroit, Michigan and we are happy to report there were at least a few new designs that caught our eyes. 

A series of concept cars comprise the Lexus LF, or “L-finesse” line — and this year the Toyota Motor Corporation introduced the LF-A Roadster — a topless version of the previously revealed LF-A coupe. The LF series represents a new direction in design for Lexus — centred around the philosophy of intriguing elegance, incisive simplicity and seamless anticipation. 



The high performance topless roadster will be set to compete with some of the most desired vehicles on the roads today. At a glace, the low-profile aerodynamic form is built from lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium, and a rear wing ascends automatically as a trigger speed is reached. While there is no official word yet about which type of top the LF-A roadster will be fitted with, we’re expecting to see a fully automatic retractable hardtop as Lexus will want to keep its competitive edge. By Andrew J Wiener



Transportation

February 13 2008



Inspired by the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, US$1.5 million Lamborghini Reventon was unveiled. If numbers mean anything to you — the new supercar is powered by a 650hp 6.5L V12 engine, accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and has a maximum speed of over 340 km/h.  The Lamborghini design team used the technical base of their Murcielago LP640, compressed it and then amped it up.  As with other current models, the Reventon is defined through its sharp edges, smooth surfaces and aerodynamic lines.  Tempted as you may be, put away your cheque books and credit cards, all twenty models that will be manufactured are taken as the Lamborghini brand reinforces its legendary status. By Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

April 4 2008



The annual Detroit Auto Show serves as a platform for American automobile manufacturers, specifically, to flex their muscles, so-to-speak — and this year the Chrysler Corporation did just that. Dodge unveiled three models of the Challenger that will be available in 2009: the SE (3.5 liter V6, 250 hp), the R/T (5.7 liter HEMI V8, 370 hp) and the SRT8 (6.1 liter HEMI V8, 425 hp).

Originally hitting the streets in 1970 at the dawning of a new generation of design in automobile manufacturing, the Challenger was one of the original American muscle cars (along with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro). Power and steel were king, gritty, dirt solid performance ruled over clear smooth edges and lavish aesthetics. The auto industry in Detroit was destined to enter its glory days.



Now, almost 40 years later, the auto industry, especially in Detroit is facing more than a handful of obstacles — including attempting to recover from an arguably failed race to build the largest petrol-guzzling trucks on the market. Compact and fuel-efficient has been all the latest rage — but what about performance? Based on the model chosen, Dodge almost guarantees blood-pumping sensation. The SE model doesn’t come with racing stripes and spoilers like its two bigger brothers, and the less sporty version only has a single exhaust pipe in the rear, rather than duel pipes on the more powerful models.

Dodge believes a retro-styled coupe can deliver exactly what auto enthusiasts are seeking in the three Challenger models: a varying array of performance options and features including voice-activated MyGIG Multimedia and UConnect systems, Remote Start with Keyless Go and five-speed manual models get the Hill Start Assist. Time to kick up some dirt — driving’s about to get messy again! By Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

May 22 2009



Whether your cargo is kids, laundry, groceries or beach gear, the coolest way to haul it is the Madsen Cargo bike. These handy urban transporters from Salt Lake City, Utah, can carry 271 kg (nearly 600 pounds) either in a bucket or on a rack. The bikes and the buckets come in three colors: dramatic black, yummy cream and sweet baby blue. Accessories for the bucket include seat belts and a seat for your progeny, pet or bride. The creative heads at Madsen are constantly tinkering with the bike and accessories, and according to their blog, a lid for the bucket is in the works. With their long tails, these bikes command attention. - Tuija Seipell

Transportation

February 18 2010

Some motorcyclists just want a cheap commute to work. Others are speed freaks seeking the ultimate expression of individuality and power.

For these guys and girls, the dream machine is a Confederate Fighter or MV Augusta F4CC. But a few riders will aim even higher, and these are the people the 135hp Ecosse Iconoclast was designed for. It’s effectively a shopping list of high-end motorcycle components, based on Ecosse’s existing Heretic model.



After handing over your £44,000.00 (US$69,000), you get a bike with car-sized 2-liter engine. It’s machined from solid billet aluminum, and wrapped in a hand-welded custom frame that also stores the engine oil. The bodywork is carbon fiber; suspension comes from the favored brand of MotoGP racers, the Swedish company Öhlins.

The Iconoclast is quick, at less than three seconds to 60 mph. But you’ll need to be even quicker to get your hands on one. Just eleven will be made, and they’re exclusive to 20ltd.com—an online gallery that only sells limited editions, from fashion to jewelry to furniture.



If the Ecosse represents the ultimate motorcycle available today, the RogueMoto KickBoxer reveals what might be in showrooms tomorrow. It’s a concept from designer Ian McElroy, and uses Subaru’s rally-bred WRX motor for propulsion. The engine is turbocharged for even more grunt, and feeds into a Baker Torquebox—one of the few motorcycle gearboxes able to handle sportscar levels of power. If the KickBoxer makes the transition from CAD program to showroom floor, the Ecosse will have a serious rival at the stoplight Grand Prix. - Chris Hunter - aka Bike Exif

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April 16 2010

We are wondering why it is that car manufacturers are tripping over each other inventing boring and redundant “super modern” and “high design” cars, when the end result is a sea of lookalikes. One can no longer recognize a “premium” make from a lower-end car, certainly not by distinctive and recognizable design features.


 
They are unimaginative, uninspiring and suffer from a serious case of follow-itis. As opposed to being leaders and, in particular, design leaders. We see design tweaks and add-on features advertised as if they were a revolution when in fact, there’s nothing really significantly new or exciting. No wonder so many are giving up cars altogether. Why spend all that money to get what?


 
Our hopes are up a bit with a sighting of the carbon fiber-bodied “Bella Figura” Bugnotti. It is Delahaye USA’s tribute to Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean, and it was inspired by the 1937 classic Type 57S. This retro beauty will debut at the Retro Auto at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Aug. 13-15 in Monterey, CA.


 
We are all for going back to the basics, to looking at the best and most beautiful models of the past and resurrecting them. For example, there is nothing to add to the iconic design of a classic Saab. It was designed for minimal drag and that was partly the reason why the Saab was such a hot ticket as a rally car in the 1960s. And they had 3-cylinder engines, too.


 
Imagine if we could again drive cars this cool? Of course, they’d have the relevant and useful modern technology and electric power as well. Why is that not possible? - Bill Tikos

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June 20 2010

There’s not much about American muscle cars that scream hot pink, but the 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 manages to elegantly blend the strength of the form of the iconic design with the unexpectedness of the bold fuchsia colour.  The limited edition ‘Plum Crazy’ model comes with a matching seat-stripe insert, and holding true to the Challenger heritage, the hood has a raised center, black stripes and functional dual scoops. Of course purists can choose from more standard colours, but we all know the more vibrant option certainly caught our eye. 

The philosophy “race inspired, street legal” underpins all Dodge models with Street and Racing Technology (SRT), and the Challenger is no exception.  Muscle car enthusiasts can expect high performance in a car ready to tear up the streets – so anyone behind the wheel can look bad-ass – even in fuchsia. - Andrew J Weiner.

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July 16 2010

The motorcycling world loves a ‘barn find’—an old, obscure machine wheeled out of the woodwork for the first time. And this is one of the biggest revelations of recent months. It’s a 1930 Henderson that was customized before WW2 by a fellow called O. Ray Courtney and fitted with ‘streamliner’ bodywork.



The art deco influence is obvious; legendary automotive designer Harley Earl could have drawn those curves. It’s all the more unusual because the mechanicals are hidden: even at the height of the Art Deco movement, most motorcycles were a triumph of form over function, with exposed cooling fins, brake drums and suspension springs.


 
The bike is owned by collector Frank Westfall of Syracuse. It caused a stir in June 2010 when it appeared at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet, a motorcycle show held a couple of hours drive north of NYC. Grail Mortillaro (of the chopper blog Knucklebusterinc) had a camera to hand, so we have him to thank for these images.



Henderson was a Chicago brand and one of the American ‘Big Three’ (with Harley-Davidson and Indian) until the onset of the Great Depression. It went bust in 1931. But you can see the influence of the ‘streamliner’ style on another contemporary North American brand—Victory. If there’s a spiritual successor to this Henderson custom, it’s the Victory Vision Tour, a gargantuan cruiser with completely enclosed bodywork and not a leather tassle or saddlebag in sight.—Chris Hunter of motorcyle design website - Bike EXIF.

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January 4 2011

Some design is classic. Some design is innovative. And some of the most interesting design seamlessly blends classic styling with innovation. 



Vizualtech's Bo Zolland specializes in technical illustration and custom design - using modern influences to transform the chassis of cars from new to old. 



Zolland created a series of renderings of a 1955 Ford Thunderbird for a client. The car will be built from the body and components of a 2009 Ford Mustang, but will be completely remodeled to resemble the classic lines  of the T-Bird - proving that the reverse can be true: from the new can come the old. - Andrew J Martin

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March 9 2011

The era of chrome-and-billet choppers is drawing to a close. Even Harley-Davidson dealers are swapping the leather tassels for carbon fiber and murder-black paintjobs. In the UK, a south coast dealer called Shaw Speed and Custom is setting the pace, creating show bikes that win at the world’s top custom motorcycle shows—and beating the Americans at their own game.



In the build-up to the AMD World Championship held at Sturgis, the latest two bikes from SS&C are creating a stir. The ‘Nascafe’ is a low-slung, dragster-influenced machine created in association with the American watch manufacturer Bell & Ross. Embedded in the tank is a $4,000 BR 01 Carbon timepiece, a further touch of originality.



The XLST3 is another radical departure from the norm. Dirt-track tires and race plates give the bike a sporty look rarely seen on Harleys, and the stock suspension has been replaced by high-performance items more commonly seen on superbikes.



These are not the sort of motorcycles the Teutel family builds on American Chopper, and they’re all the better for it. Harley-Davidson is taking note too, with a new ‘Dark Custom’ range designed to attract younger, more style-conscious bikers. - Chris Hunter of Bike EXIF

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July 3 2011

Imagine a movie where you direct the star, his choices and decisions. Do you order a drink or coffee, turn left or right? It’s an interactive movie where you decide your own fate. Get involved by “Being Henry”.

Based on the original 'choose your own adventure' style of storytelling but bringing this concept into the digital age, the film takes you on a wild journey through a city in which you decide the outcome of the story's main character. With 9 different storylines and 32 unique endings the variety of choices and diverse consequences that occur ultimately result in the creation of the perfect Range Rover Evoque.

The Avant Garde Diaries

August 1 2011

In July, luminaries from the art, fashion, & music world descended upon Berlin to celebrate the launch of The Avant/Garde Diaries – the new digital lifestyle hub & event series from Mercedes-Benz.

The first event in a global series, Transmission 1 was curated by renowned fashion designer Raf Simons with the aim of showcasing emerging and innovative artists across the cultural spectrum.  Mercedes-Benz is collaborating with “cultural curaters” like Simons to create a connective tissue between the legendary carmaker and the next generation of tastemakers.


The centerpiece of the event was a showcase of the Mercedes-Benz Concept A Class screened by an Installation of glass, lighting and visual effects



British Art Director - Peter Seville, best known for his album covers for Joy Division and New Order, showcased his own 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL 500 at the event. Peter also attended the press workshop offering fascinating comments about avant-garde and pop culture. Other artists featured at the event included Germaine Kruip, These New Puritans, Fischerspooner, and Konstantin Grcic.

The tone and structure of the event allowed for guests to form their own opinions about the festival and what is indeed avant-garde.
 

As the inventor of the automobile, Mercedes Benz has long been an innovator in the automotive field. This festival and brand direction will also see them playing a similar role in the ongoing conversation of culture, expression, and innovation.
 

We look forward to seeing what comes next in this series of events.  Stayed tuned-in and look for Transmission 2 here The Avant/Garde Diaries.

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November 14 2011

Here’s the car we’ve been waiting for! Frantic buzz about the cool Range Rover Evoque started some time ago which is why the first 250 to arrive in Australia sold out immediately.

This has been the global reaction to this vehicle. It is a true prestigious Range Rover with all of Range Rover’s reliable bush-worthy qualities; it just happens to come in a very compact package with the look and feel of a stylish, city-worthy vehicle — one tester compared it with a Prada handbag -- and with unprecedented fuel-efficiency.



We are most excited about the five-door sporty coupe versions you can customize in a number of ways and in many colour combinations.


 
Find out what everyone is raving about! Explore all of the various option and configure your personal Range Rover Evoque by clicking here.

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November 26 2011

It would seem a shame to take one of these black retro beauties out into the unforgiving streets of a Detroit winter. It might be best to display the hand-crafted Madison Street bike indoors, perhaps in the living room, nicely leaning against the mantel. It certainly deserves a place next to other pieces of art.



Detroit Bicycle Company founder, Steven Bock, builds each bike to order from the finest parts. For those who appreciate high-quality bike parts, all frames are made with Columbus SL CRO-Mo tubing and Nova lugs. The Madison Street's main attractions are the beautiful copper-plating of the Campagnolo and Cinelli parts, track rims with Vittoria Zaffiro tires and the inimitable Books leather saddle.



Each bike is customised, so prices vary, but we've seen complete bikes priced at $3,200 and up. - Bill Tikos

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