The Design Museum played host to a fascinating evening where Italy’s famous carrozzerias discussed Italian tradition and creativity in car and industrial design, before a private view of the inspiring Ferrari: Under the Skin Exhibition.
The discussion, extremely well chaired by Richard Charlesworth, felt like you were eavesdropping on a friends’ private evening, with the conversation flowing easily between Fabrizio Guigiaro – Founder GFG Style and Carlo Bonzanigo – Pininfarina Head of Design, as they revealed the beginnings and pedigree of their respective companies, enlightened us on their inspirations, and gave us insight to their particular approaches to design, projects and clients.
Johann Lemercier – Design Manager Centro Stile Ferrari gave intriguing accounts of his experiences having been on both sides of the client / consultancy relationships, as well as clearly outlining the design language approach adopted by Ferrari. Louis de Fabribeckers – Touring Superleggera Head of Design, explained why design houses such as his will always have a place to bring objective and fresh eyes to the in-house design projects of the large manufacturers, whilst new kids on the block Frangivento Italia were keen to explain their ideas to shake up the established order.
Following refreshments and a chance to catch up with colleagues from the industry, there was the opportunity to study the Ferrari exhibition. A history of the man himself Enzo Ferrari, leads on to the comparison of traditional and modern techniques in producing designs, models and production cars.
Ferrari wouldn’t be Ferrari without the motor racing running through its soul, and the exhibition has plenty for a fan like myself to enjoy. Images like the one below capturing a moment in time between Enzo Ferrari and Gilles Villeneuve, the Ferrari 312 engine and crash helmets of heroes providing plenty of conversation topics later that evening at the Italian restaurant over the road!
Special thanks has to go to Paul Torres Mantilla (ITA) who invited us to the event organised by ANFIA – Carrozzieri e Progettisti Group and The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in collaboration with SMMT and MIA.
New Design magazine editor, Alistair Welch, recently visited Drive for their consultancy feature in the 2017 automotive design edition.
The article records his conversation with Drive directors Chris Longmore and Mark Pritchard and looks at some recent milestone projects in the company’s 20 year history, while design lead Mark Przeslawski gives his thoughts on both the challenges and opportunities that electrified powertrains and autonomous systems are presenting automotive designers and companies.
Read the article here Drive – Automotive Design Company – New Design Magazine
Alistair Welch @alinewdesign
The Epsilon Engineers had an extremely successfull trip to the World finals in Abu Dhabi, finishing 5th overall, winning the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing Trailor challenge and 2nd in the main driving test component of the event. This is an incredible achievement for the team. Congratulations to all involved.
At the recent Niche Vehicle Network Forum, one of the most professional presentations was by Epsilon Engineers: clear and precise with all relevent information presented within the allocated 5 minutes.
Epsilon Engineers is an all female engineering students team of five, year 13 students, based in Milton Keynes. Their aim is to motivate and inspire all girls in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and make their community and school proud.
How they have chosen to do this is by showcasing their passion for design, innovation and engineering in the 2017 Land Rover 4×4 In Schools Technology Challenge. In the UK finals they finished 2nd overall and England Champions, securing them a place in the World Finals at the Yas Marina Grand-Prix Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
The Land Rover 4×4 challenge involves team members working together to design and build a radio controlled four-wheel drive (4×4) vehicle to set specifications. The vehicle must be able to successfully negotiate a specially designed test track emulating real life and it must perform as a full scale 4×4 vehicle would do in an off-road situation. Teams also have to show valuable business skills through seeking sponsorships and mentors to support them on their journey.
The Epsilon Engineers, who are determined to break the stereotypes in a male dominated industry, are the only all female team to make the final in Abu Dhabi and they were at the NVN forum to raise awareness and seek financial support.
They impressed and convinced us at Drive to support them, and we wish them every success at the Yas Marina Grand-Prix Circuit 8th – 13th December 2017
If you would like to support Epsilon Engineers follow this link www.epsilonengineers.co.uk
The Niche Vehicle Network (NVN) Forum took place at Silverstone University Technical College over looking the Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire.
NVN is an independent association of over 800 niche vehicle manufacturers, specialist technology, design and engineering companies. The event was well attended, over 150 people getting the opportunity to see formal presentations by selected companies on their specific business capabilities and current projects they are working on.
Silverstone UTC proved to be an excellent location for this event, with students on hand to explain about the college with a tour to see the facilities and look at projects they are involved with, such as Formula Student, Europe’s most established educational engineering competition. The conference space on the top floor, with the backdrop of students studying, provided an excellent networking opportunity whilst enjoying the excellent food and refreshments.
Niche vehicle manufacturers including Zenos Cars, Ariel, Caterham, BAC and Delta Motorsport have collaborated with suppliers such as Mahle Powertrain, Emerge Engineering and Surface Transforms to develop technologies and systems.
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.