- ABOUT US _ Drive is an Automotive Design Consultancy building long term relationships with design-driven companies worldwide, designing products that enhance their brand's DNA and position in the market place.
The annual Goodwood Festival of speed never disappoints. Every year I think it has the potential to become the victim of its own success as it borders on being too crowded, but there is no denying it is still one of the automotive and motorsport highlights of the year.
This year it was Aston Martin’s turn in the spotlight with an elegant 31m high sculpture towering above Goodwood House, which had a beautiful DBR1 balanced as its centrepiece. Celebrating 60 years since it first won at Le Mans, the marque had every era of their history represented with many taking part in the main event, the hillclimb. The weekend was split by contrasting weather conditions: Saturday’s spectators hid from the blistering midday sun, with Sunday seeing incessant rain. VW brought along it’s ID-R electric race car, and made the best of Saturday’s grippy conditions and during the official timed session at the end of the day, it broke the hill climb record that had stood for over 20 years crossing the finish line in 39.90 seconds. Given that it was a car tuned for specifically for the climb, it was then astounding to see the WRX cars climbing the hill only a handful of seconds slower.
The festival speed is usually dominated by modern day race and supercars and often the only place in the UK that you’ll be able to see new rarities in the metal. Indeed, given Goodwood’s prestige, some OEM’s use it to launch new cars. One of the most talked about new releases was the new De Thomaso that made its public debut at the event. Beautifully finished in a deep burgundy with Rose Gold trim finishes, it was on the whole very well received, as were the quartet of Zagato’s that were lined up alongside the Aston Martins. McLaren showed off their new 3 seater Speedtail hypercar alongside the 720S Spider, and being a family event, they made their stand even more appealing to the dads with their full size Lego model of their Senna. Given that the new Lotus hypercar, the Evija, was released to the public only a week after Goodwood, it was surprising to a few that Goodwood wasn’t used to at least provide a sneak preview of the car, but it could be argued that in such a crowded space some of the impact would have been lost.
As impressive as it is walking around the Supercar Paddock getting close to cars retailing at 6 figures or more, the event always attracts the old favourites. The supercars you remembered from your childhood, the rallying icons, or the famous race liveries. A Sainz era Toyota Celica parked next to a Martini liveried Delta Integrale. A GT40 in classic Gulf colours parked next to another Martini Porsche. And then a collection of classic Stirling Moss era Mercedes Mille Milia cars. We all love modern day exotica, but we all still love the romance that comes with such historical cars, and this year it was impossible not to well up slightly at the sight of thirteen F1 cars that were all driven by Michael Schumacher throughout his racing career. Celebrating 25 years since Schumacher won his first world championship, the cars lined up next to each other which as well as serving as a wonderful tribute to the great F1 driver, for the F1 fans it clearly showed the progression of the design changes over the past three decades.
As always, Goodwood put on an event that showed why it is still the centre piece of the British motoring calendar. Next up, the Revival!
Drive has provided consultancy services to many low volume vehicle manufacturers and during that time has built up an understanding of the challenges that these businesses face in developing and establishing a successful vehicle in the market.
Niche vehicles have always provided opportunities for entrepreneurs to build successful businesses but now more than ever they are providing a solution to specific transportation problems. This is leading to opportunities for OEMs to use niche vehicles to expand their brand into new markets, become leaders by redefining a market or exploiting new technologies.
Low volume vehicles provide unique challenges in the product offering, manufacturing constraints and the commercial demands. Drive have been involved in numerous programmes and have built up experience of the various approaches to the business proposal, from designers wishing to produce their concept, technology led business opportunities and brand experience products. Spectre Cars, Delta Motorsport, Magna Styer, Zenos Cars, Caterham Cars and Lightning Car Company have benefitted from Drive’s expertise at various stages during their projects.
Whilst the funding for niche vehicle projects is provided from varying sources depending on the circumstances, the necessary underlying business case has to be rigorously tested and proved just the same, before investing of valuable time, resources and money. Drive’s in depth experience can help build the background to the project, give crucial investor confidence in the participating parties and provide experience and guidance throughout project timeline.
Through the development and refinement of the design our experienced team maintain the initial design intent whilst answering the engineering and economic challenges posed by these unique projects.
Drive’s understanding of the difficulties facing niche vehicle manufacturers (NVMs) trying to establish a company or product make them ideal partners to be involved in the development of a robust product concept and commercial strategy, whilst helping identify design and manufacturing efficiencies through collaboration with strategic partners.
Not every venture can be the success that everyone is looking for but minimising the risk by being fully aware of the undertaking at the start, with suitable gateways mapped out so that owners and investors can make informed decisions before embarking on the next phase, help to increase the chances of a sustainable business.
As July approaches our creative team are beginning to get the usual requests to produce animations and visuals for the Monaco Yacht Show in September 2019.
Drive have always shared the expertise and methodologies gained in automotive design with other product and transportation studios. Our aim is to provide a quality service, building our reputation of bringing real value to our clients. All knowledge gained from other industries is then incorporated into our work flows and brings benefit to all our clients across all sectors.
Working with yacht manufacturers’ marketing teams as well as supporting brokers, naval architects and yacht design consultancies, is an enjoyable experience allowing our creative team to work on projects without 4 wheels.
Driving down to Goodwood on Sunday morning, following a Lamborghini and keeping a watch on the Ferrari behind, I was reminded of a comment by Peter Stevens, “there are a lot of super cars, but not many super drivers!”.
Feeling a little bit of a fraud in the Zenos E10R, I parked up in the paddock whilst the line up of exotic machines on the start finish straight extended beyond the chicane.
It was great to walk round and discuss the various cars with friends and colleagues, and listen in on the comments of the crowd about the differing designs and what is the definition of a supercar! As far as our discussions were concerned they seemed to concentrate on details that we are currently in negotiation with engineers about, under/over flush conditions, door release positions and legal light heights!
This event has changed over the years and is now huge with very organised parking, a simulator ride, numerous breakfast bars to satisfy the bacon butty brigade and various stalls selling their products.
One of the more interesting exhibitors being Greenpower Education Trust who are a UK based charity which gets young people enthusiastic about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race an electric car. Have a look at their website here.
So with a clear road up through Petworth on the way back allowing me to enjoy the great handling of the Zenos, I look forward to catching up with more of you at the next ‘designer’s breakfast club’!
The Coventry University Automotive and Transport Design Degree Show once again showcases the talented designers graduating from this highly regarded course.
Chris Longmore presented the Drive Sketchbook Award to Marco Gulla whose sketching output clearly demonstrated his ideas and concepts through inspiring and engaging hand-drawn sketches.
Along with the Award he received £500 to enable him to continue his design appreciation and development. Hopefully he will use it to travel!!
Marco was a deserving winner, with other designers such as Alexey Andreev and Yinhan Zhang also displaying a clear understanding of the benefit of a sketchbook to capture ideas and thoughts at any time; realising it is the instant impulse that makes them so valuable rather than sketches retouched through photoshop.
To see more of the exhibits please follow the link here XXX
Worth visiting to see the professionalism of all the designers –
Automotive and Transport Degree Show times –
Thursday May 16th 2019 6-10pm : Industry Preview night
The Collective at Coventry
Thursday 16th – Saturday 25th May 2019
*Sunday May 19th Degree Shows are closed