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Mustang Design Incorporates Cues From Past in Modern Interpretation


LOS ANGELES – Designing a new Mustang is no easy task. While not the top-selling vehicle in Ford’s lineup, it’s arguably the most important, as few vehicles define an automaker as the iconic pony car does.

Chief designer Chris Svensson was well aware of the challenges he faced living up the high expectations set throughout the car’s 50-year run as he began work on the all-new ’15 model.

Rather than rely too heavily on the design of past Mustangs, Svensson says he set out to craft a vehicle that was modern, yet paid homage to the car’s illustrious past.

“We really wanted a modern car,” he tells WardsAuto during a Mustang media drive here. “We really didn’t want to do just a retro car, so we picked key elements that we felt were key to identifying the car as a Mustang and put them it into a contemporary modern wrapping.”

Drawing styling cues from every Mustang would be nearly impossible given the number of design changes made over the years. So, Svensson selected the ’65 and ’67 models, considered two of the most classic Mustang designs, from which to draw inspiration.

Of the styling cues borrowed from the past Mustangs, the silhouette is the most prominent. Svensson says designers sought to recreate the car’s classic profile, which he describes as a “long hood, raked screen and fast roofline that finishes with a tiny deck.”

Other elements include the strong trapezoidal front end and “nostrils” that adorned the ’65 and ’67 models, he says.

“You can see it has that prominent grille, a functional intake for cooling and angled back headlights that emulate the ’65 and’67 cars,” Svensson says.

Other parts of the Mustang’s design were influenced by the older models, but not literally. An example is the tri-bar LEDs embedded in the front fascia that are made to look like the inset depressions in the sheetmetal of the ’65 Mustang.

Another challenge facing Svensson and his team was designing a Mustang that would appeal to a global audience. The ’15-model pony car represents the first to be offered outside North America.

Svensson says consumer research groups were formed both in North America and abroad to weigh in on a new design direction. Each group was presented with several possible versions of the new Mustang’s design before the final iteration was chosen.

What Svensson found was that design tastes don’t vary as much around the world as they used to.

“Both in North America and in Europe, there was no contradiction between the two,” he says. “When we take cars out to consumers, we find there is more of a global understanding of design languages, and the nuances and tastes between different regions are becoming smaller and smaller.”

The ’15 Mustang rides on an all-new platform that allowed designers to further accentuate traditional styling cues. Svensson says the new architecture opened the door for a design that reflects the car’s improved driving dynamics.

“We had engineering and design teams that co-developed a car that has improvements in every area,” he says. “The improvements in aesthetics are way beyond what we have achieved previously with the Mustang.”

bpope@wardsauto.com

Article source: http://wardsauto.com/auto-makers/mustang-design-incorporates-cues-past-modern-interpretation

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No New RX Sports Car Without A Rotary, Says Mazda Design Chief


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1999 Mazda RX-7

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There are probably few cars hinted at more via official channels than a new generation of the Mazda RX-7, but despite the rumors going back more than half a decade it feels like we’re still no closer to ever seeing a new rotary-powered sports car being launched by Mazda. The last we heard is that Mazda is looking at not one but two rotary-powered sports cars, a new RX-7 as well as an RX-9, and could have both on the market by the end of the decade.

MUST SEE: Lamborghini Pranksters Get Tased For Being Dumb: Video Justice

Unfortunately, Mazda design chief Ikuo Maeda has revealed that nothing has been decided yet. He told Automotive News (subscription required) that he hasn’t given up hope of Mazda launching a new RX-7 but explained that it must have a rotary engine otherwise it wouldn’t be an RX.

Mazda has developed a new rotary, the 16X, which it first unveiled in 2007, but despite ongoing development the engine still isn’t quite up to scratch in terms of meeting current emissions rules.

There’s also the issue of potential sales to deal with. Mazda discontinued the RX-8 in 2012 due to falling sales. In its last full year on the market, just 759 examples were sold in the U.S. Its best year was 2004 when 23,690 examples were snapped up.

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Article source: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1041587_no-new-rx-sports-car-without-a-rotary-says-mazda-design-chief

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Greenbrier Leads Call for Safer Tank Car Design


LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. (NYSE:GBX) today continued its leadership in advocating for safer tank cars by filing comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  The full text of Greenbrier’s comments is available at gbrx.com. Also posted at gbrx.com are separate comments submitted by Greenbrier’s affiliate GBW Railcar Services, LLC (GBW), a newly-launched 50/50 railcar repair joint venture with Watco Companies, LLC for retrofitting and repairing railcars through a network of 38 shops across North America. Greenbrier’s comments center on enhanced standards for new tank cars and support PHMSA’s proposed “Option 2″ design for new tank cars in flammable service built after October 1, 2015. In comments solely focused on retrofitting the existing tank car fleet, GBW endorses PHMSA’s timeline for retrofitting by 2020 all existing tank cars in flammable service, currently estimated at 98,000 units, and notes its plans to invest in four streamlined facilities to help achieve these aggressive targets. The comments are in addition to those that Greenbrier previously filed in September 2014 in the counterpart regulatory process now underway by Transport Canada.

“Our chief engineer witnessed the devastating aftermath of the accident at Lac-Megantic including the profound and unforgettable loss of 47 human lives. A key objective in offering our comments is to prevent tragedies like Lac-Megantic by mitigating the consequences of train accidents through improved tank car design,” William A. Furman, Chairman and CEO of Greenbrier said. “It is time for PHMSA to prescribe fundamental safety standards to guide our industry. Time is of the essence.  Secretary Foxx has recognized this in his stated commitment to finalize rules as soon as possible and we strongly encourage federal regulators to act no later than the end of 2014.”

Among rail equipment providers, Greenbrier has been a leading voice in safer tank car design, meeting with key industry leaders, top railcar engineers, elected officials and the appropriate government agencies. Greenbrier was the only tank car manufacturer to appear before the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), during its April 2014 forum on the safe transportation of crude oil and ethanol.

“We have invested our time, our financial resources, our energy and our passion into this rulemaking because it is important to Greenbrier, our customers and, most of all, to the safety of the communities where our railcars travel.  The design for a safer tank car is known, materials are available and customers are now ordering tank cars built to the safest design standard.  We are proud Greenbrier is aligned with some of the best customers in the world who understand the power of serving the public with the primary goal of safety foremost in mind.  It is now PHMSA’s time to act by issuing a substantial and workable final rule,” Furman continued. 

New Tank Car Standards: Up to Eight Times Safer with the Same Carrying Capacity

Greenbrier supports PHMSA’s effort to direct new design standards for tank cars used in flammable liquid service, specifically, “Option 2″ published in the NPRM. Greenbrier was the first to announce plans to design a tank car with these specifications, which Greenbrier calls the “Tank Car of the Future”, and plans to double its production capacity for new tank cars over the next 12 months to meet surging demand.

Greenbrier’s Tank Car of the Future is designed for safer transportation of crude, ethanol and other flammables in North America as well as use with other hazardous materials traffic.  The car has advanced safety features which include a 9/16″-thick steel tank shell, more robust top and bottom outlet protection and jacketed shells with thermal protection. These new design features combine to inhibit discharge of contents during a derailment, to reduce penetration of the tank shell and to slow “pool fires” that can result when hazardous contents of a tank car escape in a breach and are ignited. The new design will also be equal in capacity volume to the legacy DOT-111 tank car with a loading volume of 30,000 gallons.

Conditional Probability of Release (CPR) measures the likelihood of tank car spills in the event of a derailment at different speeds and by different car types. With the Tank Car of the Future design, at a derailment speed of 50 mph, CPR improves by more than 8 TIMES versus the least-protected DOT-111 legacy tank car. Also when measured by CPR, the Tank Car of the Future is twice as safe as the current state-of-the-art tank car for transporting hazardous materials—a fully jacketed and insulated CPC-1232.

“While it is impossible to eliminate all risk of accidents, it is our industry’s responsibility to offer a safer tank car alternative. We are confident that the design features identified as ‘Option 2′ in the NPRM will lead to safer transport of flammable liquids at any speed,” said Greg Saxton, ‎Senior Vice President Chief Engineer at Greenbrier.

Tank Car Retrofits: Triage Approach Improves Safety throughout the Existing Fleet

GBW supports PHMSA’s effort to retrofit the existing fleet of tank cars currently used in the transport of all flammable commodities.  Furthermore, GBW agrees with PHMSA that every packing group classification—PG I, II and II—within the Class 3 flammables category must be transported in a retrofitted tank car by 2020, an aggressive but achievable timeline. GBW will deliver on retrofit designs for the legacy DOT-111 tank cars that include optimally-sized pressure relief valves, head shields, top fittings protection, thermal protection and shell jackets with thicker metal for tank car exteriors.  Appropriate retrofit choices permit extended service for DOT-111 tank cars in flammable liquids service and for other hazardous materials transport as these cars are placed in lower risk service over time.  GBW also offers retrofit alternatives for the most recently built CPC-1232 tank cars, with features including enhancements to the bottom outlet valve and pressure relief valves that will reduce the likelihood of tank cars releasing contents in derailments.  Combined, these retrofits meaningfully improve the safety performance of all tank car types in continued service.

“We believe the retrofit timelines outlined in the NPRM can be met,” said Jim Cowan, CEO of GBW. “To address this need GBW is making multi-million dollar investments in our repair and retrofit shop capacity to perform large legacy retrofits in a streamlined production environment at four of our locations including three in Texas and one in Georgia.   GBW will do its part to ensure our industry can deliver on the retrofits that PHMSA will require.”

About Greenbrier

Greenbrier, (www.gbrx.com), headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is a leading supplier of transportation equipment and services to the railroad industry. We build new railroad freight cars in our 4 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico and marine barges at our U.S. manufacturing facility.  Greenbrier also sells reconditioned wheel sets and provides wheel services at 9 locations throughout the U.S.  We recondition, manufacture and sell railcar parts at 4 U.S. sites.  Greenbrier is a 50/50 joint venture partner with Watco Companies, LLC in GBW Railcar Services, LLC which repairs and refurbishes freight cars at 38 locations across North America, including 14 tank car repair and maintenance facilities certified by the Association of American Railroads. Greenbrier builds new railroad freight cars and refurbishes freight cars for the European market through our operations in Poland. Greenbrier owns approximately 8,550 railcars, and performs management services for approximately 238,000 railcars.

About GBW

GBW is a joint venture between The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. and Watco Companies, LLC (“Watco”) formed in June 2014.  Greenbrier is one of the leading designers, manufacturers and marketers of railroad freight car equipment in North America and Europe.   Watco is one of North America’s largest short line railroad operators, and provides terminal and port services to a variety of industries, including crude oil and ethanol transloading, and fleet management services.   GBW owns and operates the railcar repair, refurbishment, and maintenance businesses formerly operated separately by Greenbrier and Watco.  GBW is the largest independent railcar repair shop network in North America.  The company operates 38 railcar repair, refurbishment and maintenance shops, including 14 repair shops specializing in tank car repairs that are certified by the Association of American Railroads for such work.  The company can repair, maintain qualify and retrofit tank cars.

“SAFE HARBOR” STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995:  This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding expected new railcar production volumes and schedules, expected customer demand for the Company’s products and services, plans to increase manufacturing capacity, restructuring plans, new railcar delivery volumes and schedules, growth in demand for the Company’s railcar services and parts business, and the Company’s strategic initiatives and future financial performance. Greenbrier uses words such as “anticipates,” “believes,”  “forecast,” “potential,” “goal,” “contemplates,” “expects,” “intends,” “initiatives,” “targets,” “plans,” “projects,” “hopes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “could,” “would,” “will,” “may,” “can,” “designed to,” “foreseeable future” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from in the results contemplated by the forward-looking statements.  Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, reported backlog is not indicative of our financial results; turmoil in the credit markets and financial services industry; high levels of indebtedness and compliance with the terms of our indebtedness; write-downs of goodwill, intangibles and other assets in future periods; sufficient availability of borrowing capacity; fluctuations in demand for newly manufactured railcars or failure to obtain orders as anticipated in developing forecasts; loss of one or more significant customers; customer payment defaults or related issues; actual future costs and the availability of materials and a trained workforce; failure to design or manufacture new products or technologies or to achieve certification or market acceptance of new products or technologies; steel or specialty component price fluctuations and availability and scrap surcharges; changes in product mix and the mix between segments; labor disputes, energy shortages or operating difficulties that might disrupt manufacturing operations or the flow of cargo; production difficulties and product delivery delays as a result of, among other matters, changing technologies, production of new railcar types, or non-performance of subcontractors or suppliers; ability to obtain suitable contracts for the sale of leased equipment and risks related to car hire and residual values; difficulties associated with governmental regulation, including environmental liabilities; integration of current or future acquisitions; succession planning; all as may be discussed in more detail under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Forward Looking Statements” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2013, and our other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s opinions only as of the date hereof.  Except as otherwise required by law, we do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140929/149136-INFO

SOURCE The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. (GBX)





 

Article source: http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/SF24866.htm

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Exclusive: China’s Wanxiang to relaunch Fisker Karma car with 2012 design …


BEIJING/DETROIT – Chinese auto parts producer Wanxiang Group, which bought stylish electric car pioneer Fisker Automotive from bankruptcy, is accelerating the relaunch of Fisker’s Karma hybrid luxury car by using a design from the company’s last year of production, people close to the companies said.

Wanxiang aims to reintroduce by next year Fisker’s electric cars, which enjoyed a cult following for their streamlined design among early fans including actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber before the company’s demise in 2013.

The “new” Karma that California-based Fisker, acquired by Wanxiang earlier this year, is rushing to finish is based largely on the 2012 model, said the people, who asked not to be identified. Wanxiang’s top U.S. executive said in February the Karma would be reintroduced within a year.

“It will have to be nearly identical to the 2012 model, or it would need to go through (safety) testing and certification again,” a person close to Fisker’s suppliers said. “I don’t think they want to put a lot of engineering into it either, as well as probably use up some of the old parts that are in inventory.”

Co-founded by Danish designer Henrik Fisker in 2007, Fisker had a mission to build a beautiful, “green” car that could rival exclusive European brands like Maserati and Aston Martin.

The company was an early rival of Tesla Motors Inc but their fortunes went in opposite directions. A series of missteps and recalls led to disappointing sales for Fisker and eventually the company’s bankruptcy filing. Wanxiang acquired Fisker’s assets for $149.2 million in a U.S. bankruptcy auction in February.

OLD SUPPLIERS ANGRY

In Wanxiang’s effort to revive the brand, the timeline could be at risk. Some of Fisker’s old suppliers, which the Chinese company has contacted, remain angry because of losses suffered due to Fisker’s failure, the sources said.

“They lost money and had dedicated facilities that were severely underutilized,” a second person with knowledge of the matter said. “Many scrapped their tools or took them out of their facilities.”

Fisker does not plan to simply reintroduce the 2012 Karma, a source close to Fisker said. “Not 100 percent identical,” the person said. “The new Karma will be different in many key areas. It will have noticeable upgrades.” He declined to provide details.

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Article source: http://www.todayonline.com/business/exclusive-chinas-wanxiang-relaunch-fisker-karma-car-2012-design-sources

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Jackson Co. students use toys, raw eggs to design safer cars


GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Young engineers in Jackson County are learning how to design cars that could one day protect you and your passengers. On Tuesday, the gifted students at St. Martin Middle School tested their custom-made vehicles at a car dealership in Gulfport.

After a final check and some test drives, it was time to rev-up the competition. Thirty-eight students from St. Martin Middle School took part in “Mission Egg-cellence”. Their challenge was to design and build a vehicle out of KNEX toy pieces that would not only survive a crash down a steep ramp, but also protect a fragile passenger, a raw egg.

The assignment gave the students a different perspective on the importance of safety features in cars.

“We compare that to the idea of you not wearing your seat belt, or hitting that windshield, or hitting that tree,” said Gifted Teacher Virginia McLaughlin.

“Thousands of people die a year, and it just makes you think how can you change that? How can you make safer cars?” said eleven-year-old Ana McCarty.

Scott Allen, co-owner of Allen Automotive, served as judge and mentor.  

“It’s really about planning, about goal setting, about safety. Why is it so important? When they watched their egg get smashed to bits, they say, ‘I’m glad my car doesn’t do that,’” said Allen.

Then, came the final test. Did their creations crack under pressure when they took on the dreaded “Death Drop”, an eight-foot fall?

“It’s really cool, because it’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, mine survived,’” said 12-year-old Alyssa Ferrara. “I kept it in a cage and I guess it made it safer for it to not crack, but it was really hard.”

“It broke. I don’t know what happened,” said eleven-year-old Maddex Krause.

But that’s part of the lesson, to go back to the drawing board for some tweaking.

“You get to learn with your mistakes. Cars are supposed to be good or else you’ll get hurt,” said Maddex.

“If it was a real car, then I know it would keep the person safer,” said 12-year-old Carleigh Russell.

“In every kind of car out today, there are certain areas that automatically crumple in case you get in a wreck. They do a really good job of replicating that with the breakaway bumpers and things like that,” said Allen.

The class also had to draw a safety feature for cars. One student came up with an adjustable seat belt that’s custom-made for each person’s height, weight, and age. Another student designed a bracelet that beeps when parents forget their child in the car.

They plan to put on a demonstration for the entire school to encourage their peers to wear their seat belts.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Article source: http://www.wlox.com/story/26607297/jackson-co-students-use-toys-raw-eggs-to-design-safer-cars

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New apartment design guidelines NSW: Balconies mandatory, car parking slashed


New guidelines for apartment design in NSW would introduce mandatory
balconies and access to open space as well as independent design experts to
provide advice to councils.

The proposed planning changes coming in the Apartment Design
Guide include:

  • More flexibility around design to suit particular sites
  • Ensuring every new apartment has a balcony and access to
    well designed and functional shared open space
  • Allowing no car spaces in new apartment buildings in certain
    council areas within 400 metres of a transport hub like a train station or
    light rail stop
  • Greater protections from noise in surrounding areas
  • Independent design experts to provide advice to councils
  • Extension of the policy to include mixed used and shop-top
    housing
  • A minimum size of 35m2 for studio apartments
  • New sections dealing with the adaptive reuse of buildings to
    apartments
  • Certainty and consistency around standards

Planning Minister Pru Goward said the proposed changes took
into account changing demographics in the state, where single-person households
are the fastest-growing dwelling type and by “2031 one in five people living in
NSW will be aged 65 and over”.

“This means the type of homes our State needs into the
future is also changing, with more and more people choosing apartment living
with the lifestyle benefits it delivers,” she said.

“In fact, research has shown only 41 per cent of
Sydneysiders would choose to live in a detached house, but this type of housing
currently makes up 62 per cent of Sydney housing stock. We need to do more to
meet the needs of the community and close this gap.”

“Apartment living should not mean that quality is sacrificed
– and that is what our changes ensure by setting minimum standards for communal
open space, light, air and privacy,” Goward said.

Goward says the policy is part of the NSW Government’s
continued efforts to put downward pressure on house prices, provide more
housing choice and better reflect changing consumer preferences.

She claimed it could see the cost of a new apartment costs
slashed by up to $50,000, where car parking space requirements may be removed.

“Importantly, this change is restricted only to particular
councils, applies only to development within close walking distance of
transport services, and strongly discourages councils from allowing residents
of these buildings to receive street parking permits,” she said.

Developer group the Urban Taskforce supports the changes

“The Urban Taskforce has been involved in the development of
these guidelines for apartment living and we believe they are an important
benchmark for the industry and the community,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris
Johnson.

“The main change from an industry perspective is to change
the previous Residential Flat Design Code to the Apartment Design Guide. A
guide gives much more flexibility in the interpretation of key design issues
that supports innovation while achieving the outcomes.”

“The proposal to reduce car parking requirements for
apartments within 400 metres of a rail station is an acknowledgement of the
preference of many apartment dwellers to use public transport. The minimum
requirements still allow more parking if the market supports this.”

“The previous design code had been over ridden by some
councils wanting to set their own standards. The new amendments to the State
Environmental Planning Policy makes it clear that council development control
plans cannot be inconsistent with the Apartment Design Guide. This applies
specifically to balconies, solar access and a range of other criteria. The
planning policy specifically identifies standards that cannot be used as
grounds to refuse development consent including ceiling height, apartment areas
and car parking provisions.”

“It is important that the state government sets these
standards rather than allowing each individual council to have separate
controls.”

“We are keen to look in more detail at the issue of above
ground car parking due to the excessive cost of below ground parking. The
government may need to review the impact on floor space ratio requirements in
this area.”

The NSW Government has called for community input into the
proposed changes. They will be on exhibition for public comment until 27
October 2014. Visit www.planning.nsw.gov.au/proposals

Article source: http://www.infolink.com.au/articles/news/new-apartment-design-guidelines-nsw-balconies-mandatory-car-parking-slashed-n2508512

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London Design Festival 2014: Dominic Wilcox’s Stained Glass Driverless …



Design Festivals

UK design blog Dezeen have collaborated with car manufacturer MINI at London Design Festival this year to create an exhibition of commissions exploring the future of transportation. Far from a showroom for shiny self-driving cars or connected-car dashboard concepts, was eclectic collection of exploratory interpretations by artists, designers and architects was on display in the ground floor entrance of design and furniture fair designjunction. The exhibition space itself embodied the theme—architect Pernilla Ohrstedt teaming up with 3D-scanning specialist ScanLAB to create her contribution ‘Glitch Space’—an enormous arrangement of vinyl white dots meticulously laid out across the exhibit floor as a representation of the swaths of environmental data that will flow through the city in a future of driverless cars.

On the same theme, Dominic Wilcox, ever the inspiring out-of-the-box thinker, turned a lot of heads with the revealing of his incredible ‘Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car.’ Not just a pretty piece of craft, Wilcox’s creation is actually a profound reflection on the future design possibilities for the automobile. In a future in which cars are self-driving and super safe, the forms, materials and uses that have constrained automotive design in our time may no longer apply. Although Wilcox’s fictional future car manufacturer’s website shows a spectacular array of possibilities this could present, the stunning stained-glass model on view demonstrated the equally appealing option of rolling around town in a half-car, half-bed ‘hybrid,’ revealed when lifting up the hood (below).

Equally thought provoking, artist and designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg explored the materiality of mobility, imagining a future world in which biological materials have become the mainstay of manufacturing and production. The abstract, miniature models on show hints to Ginsberg’s hypothesis of a new ‘ecosystem’ of car parts; recycling and more localixed manufacturing perhaps encouraging the emergence of divergent designs reflecting local climates, tastes and fashions.

Keiichi Matsuda, architect and artist of LDF’s past, displayed an extract of his upcoming films Hyper-Reality, exploring the seemingly dystopian possibilities of the colliding worlds of visual augmentation (think Google Glass and windshield heads-up displays) and auto-motoring.

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Silvermine 11SR track car takes shape


Silvermine bv – Press release September 2014
SILVERMINE 11SR

Silvermine presents the exterior design for the new 11SR, a track day dedicated racer. Classically sensual lines meet a very straight-forward and functional race chassis. Production of this new body is now taking shape.

Exterior design

Starting point for the design process was the already finished chassis built by engineer and maritime designer Frank van Rouendal. The exterior design was developed afterwards in a new phase of the project. This differs from a usual situation in which a product is designed as a whole within an integrated design process. The 11SR is the embodiment of Van Rouendal’s racing and engineering dreams. The straight forward approach he used to create his light weight chassis, eventually also inspired the exterior design.

The brothers Marco and Andries van Overbeeke tailored the new exterior around the hard points the chassis provided them with, like a race suit protecting the internal parts whilst showcasing them. This creates a high contrast where the fast appearance of the body drapes on top of the hard core exposed chassis like a silk dress. Inspired by the great race car heritage of the 50′s-70′s, a design has come to life evoking echoes of a bygone era. As the new design evolved, these familiar lines were rediscovered and carefully penned down into a recognizable new blend. The result is a timeless design, a car that induces associations with highlights from the past. It is not intended as a retro design, but a deliberate search for where old meets new, where nostalgia meets contemporary engineering.

The design is clean with very few lines and contains a classic curved beltline, voluptuous wheel arches and classic surface treatment. The air ducts are kept simple and purely functional, no excessive design is applied. The form language of some elements are inspired by elementary fabrication techniques, like the front nose grill (milling aluminium), side skirts and rear diffuser (pressing and bending sheet metal).

At the rear, the exposed chassis frame shows its raw engineering and functionality. Underneath the tailgate, the engine bay is visible as is the gear lever mechanism and the adjustable rear suspension. The complete exhaust system is not even styled at all. The front suspension is visible through the wind shield which on itself is also part of the nose air duct outlet. Opening the front and rear hood, exposes the carefully crafted chassis with bolt-on sub frames and adjustable suspension with the one-of-a-kind up-rights.

The off-the-shelf headlights and the brackets on which they are mounted, are maintained as Van Rouendal has originally fabricated them. They are fully visible through the front light panel, providing also a peak into the car’s front internals. The transparent engine cover exposes the longitudinally placed 325 hp Subaru 3.0 liter six-cylinder boxer engine. One of the most exquisite and remarkable pieces of engineering on the car is the exposed gearshift.

A car’s body production takes shape

After finishing the exterior design of the 11SR body, a new phase has started: preparations for production, keeping the product true to the design, and fitting it all to the chassis.
To start with the second item, the ‘plug-mould-product’ production method was selected, in order to produce an exact ‘copy’ of the exterior design. Complex 5-axis milling of plug parts will be performed, resulting in a 100% file-based model. Multi-part moulds will be taken from the plug and joined together, to produce the complex exterior shape with no compromises regarding undercuts or mould release limitations.

Don’t underestimate the number of jobs needed for the metamorphosis from design file into real product: Break down the body into logical parts for production; select materials, parts built-up and production techniques; create tooling files, produce plug parts; produce moulds including joining flanges; produce body parts. Accompanied by checking, some more checking and checking again of all the details.

In the meantime, discussions take place with suppliers of the tooling, the plug and moulds and the body parts.

This phase will most likely be taken up outside of Holland. An announcement revealing the selected companies will soon be made.

Then there’s the challenge of designing and producing hinges, locks, brackets for things like headlights and gas springs, and “hard points” in the body parts to connect it all.
Last but not least, a scale model of the body will be produced, for evaluation of the body shape and study of production details.

Currently Silvermine concentrates on the development of the production of the body. No wonder that this all takes a little bit more time than originally foreseen. Silvermine now aims to get the first body parts ready in 2014, for assembly and finishing early 2015.

For more information about the Silvermine 11SR, visit www.silvermine.nl or send an e-mail to info@silvermine.nl. The web site also shows the actual development process and a (tentative) delivery specification of the 11SR.

For more information about Marco en Andries van Overbeeke, please visit marcovanoverbeeke.nl , behance.net/marcovanoverbeeke and behance.net/andriesvanoverbeeke


SILVERMINE 11 SR, Sports Racer

Standard features:
- Numbered chassis with certificate, maximum 5 of the same type will be built
- Chassis, equipment, systems and body designed in 3-D CAD
- Aluminium / Nomex® honeycomb central frame
- 3-litre 6 cylinder engine, 325 bhp
- Ceramic coated exhaust system with catalysts and silencers
- Sequential 6-speed gearbox
- Gearbox oil cooler
- Limited slip differential
- Central locking aluminium wheels 8.5″ x 17″ front, 9.0″ x 17″ rear
- Track-day tyres 235/40-17 front, 255/40-17 rear
- Adjustable suspension, different spring rates available
- Adjustable race dampers
- Race type brakes, 4-piston front, 2-piston rear
- Race type brake pads
- Driver-adjustable brake balance
- Brake cooling
- Adjustable anti-roll bars
- Choice of left or right hand steering
- Quick release steering wheel
- FIA approved fuel safety cells, electric fuel pump
- Race seats with 6-point safety harness
- Carbon fibre body with hinged front and rear sections
- Aerodynamic package with splitter, flat floor rear wing
- Xenon/LED lighting
- Fixed fire fighting installation
- High-end ECU and power distribution module
- Closed-loop Lambda and knock control
- Dash display data logger, with g-force sensors
- Launch control
- Video camera video logging (option)

“Street” options:
- 225 bhp engine
- 5-speed synchromesh gearbox
- 50 mm higher ride height, with softer springs
- Adjustable brake balance
- Manual hand brake
- 4-point safety harness
- Composite body, individual body style possible
- Central locking aluminium wheels 7.5″ x 16″
- Tyres 225/45-16 front, 245/45-16 rear

Price on request
Delivery time: approx. six months, depending on running orders

Article source: http://www.autoblog.com/2014/09/23/silvermine-11sr-track-car-design-official/

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Postwar European Auto Design: In Praise of Cars With Real Curves


In August 1947 LIFE magazine shared with its readers a whole new world of car design taking shape in postwar Europe. “It is exciting in Europe,” LIFE wrote of the creative ferment on display at car shows in places like Paris and Rome, “but only promising in the States.”

The magazine then went on to discuss the ways in which European designers were outpacing their American cousins—a state of affairs largely unfamiliar to carmakers and consumers, alike.

Once again in a few favored places throughout the world [LIFE proclaimed] a man can ogle a new, well-turned fender and sniff the heady redolence that a new automobile’s paint, metal and upholstery distill. After six carless war years and two years of uninspired “face-lifting” some really new cars are on display. Mostly they are European. The top Continental cars shown in Paris and Rome last month were lavish, beautiful and original in design. Although far out of reach for most of the people who viewed them, they nevertheless might well be an inspiration to U.S. manufacturers. So far in America only five real postwar cars have appeared: the Hudson, Packard, Studebaker, Kaiser and Frazer. The long-awaited new cars of the Big Three, GM, Chrysler and Ford, are still subjects of nationwide curiosity.

Here, in this gallery, we present a number of the “lavish, beautiful and original” creations that greeted the curious and the covetous eight decades ago.


 

Article source: http://life.time.com/culture/postwar-european-auto-design-cars-with-real-curves/

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Exclusive: China’s Wanxiang to relaunch Fisker Karma car with 2012 design …



BEIJING/DETROIT (Reuters) – Chinese auto parts producer Wanxiang Group, which bought stylish electric car pioneer Fisker Automotive from bankruptcy, is accelerating the relaunch of Fisker’s Karma hybrid luxury car by using a design from the company’s last year of production, people close to the companies said.

Wanxiang aims to reintroduce by next year Fisker’s electric cars, which enjoyed a cult following for their streamlined design among early fans including actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber before the company’s demise in 2013.

The “new” Karma that California-based Fisker, acquired by Wanxiang earlier this year, is rushing to finish is based largely on the 2012 model, said the people, who asked not to be identified. Wanxiang’s top U.S. executive said in February the Karma would be reintroduced within a year.

“It will have to be nearly identical to the 2012 model, or it would need to go through (safety) testing and certification again,” a person close to Fisker’s suppliers said. “I don’t think they want to put a lot of engineering into it either, as well as probably use up some of the old parts that are in inventory.”

Co-founded by Danish designer Henrik Fisker in 2007, Fisker had a mission to build a beautiful, “green” car that could rival exclusive European brands like Maserati and Aston Martin.

The company was an early rival of Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) but their fortunes went in opposite directions. A series of missteps and recalls led to disappointing sales for Fisker and eventually the company’s bankruptcy filing. Wanxiang acquired Fisker’s assets for $149.2 million in a U.S. bankruptcy auction in February.

OLD SUPPLIERS ANGRY

In Wanxiang’s effort to revive the brand, the timeline could be at risk. Some of Fisker’s old suppliers, which the Chinese company has contacted, remain angry because of losses suffered due to Fisker’s failure, the sources said.

“They lost money and had dedicated facilities that were severely underutilized,” a second person with knowledge of the matter said. “Many scrapped their tools or took them out of their facilities.”

Fisker does not plan to simply reintroduce the 2012 Karma, a source close to Fisker said. “Not 100 percent identical,” the person said. “The new Karma will be different in many key areas. It will have noticeable upgrades.” He declined to provide details.

Using the 2012 Karma design could present problems given it has older features and technologies. “You’re not buying something that’s considered ‘state of the art’ necessarily,” the supplier source said. “It’s a big hurdle to overcome.”

A Wanxiang spokesman in China declined to comment on Thursday. People at Fisker’s Costa Mesa, California, headquarters, where about 90 people work, said on Thursday they were not authorized to speak to the media.

A third source said Fisker has the necessary funding thanks to Wanxiang’s backing. The source close to Fisker said the company was hiring people in the United States but declined to provide further details.

However, several sources were skeptical Fisker can meet the timeline laid out in February by Pin Ni, the head of Wanxiang’s U.S. unit. The source close to Fisker said the automaker needs to resolve issues related to suppliers and production location. He declined to elaborate but said Fisker was “not there yet.”

Ni told Reuters in February that Fisker planned to restart Karma production in Finland, where Valmet Automotive previously built the cars under contract, and start selling them again in the United States and Europe. The supplier source said Finland remains the starting point for production.

Once sales gained steam, Ni said Fisker could quickly commence U.S. production.

Ni also has said Wanxiang wants Fisker to complete the development of a second model called the Atlantic, a mid-size gasoline-electric hybrid sedan meant to be a more affordable “volume model” under Fisker’s previous management. A red version of the car was on display in the lobby of the U.S. headquarters outside Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Karma, a hybrid-electric vehicle equipped with a small gasoline engine that kicks in when its on-board battery is depleted, previously had a starting price of around $100,000.

About 1,800 Karma cars were sold, far short of initial projections of 11,000.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom in Costa Mesa, California, Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Additional reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in San Francisco and Sam Shen in Shanghai; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/18/us-fisker-wanxiang-idUSKBN0HD2H320140918

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