Our Insight List is designed to keep us on our toes and you in the loop, on a regular basis. Our
Quarterly Insights is sent to our clients and friends four times a year. Our Show Insights provide
in-depth reports from the major International Auto Shows.
BMW: weaving its way into the future?
Much has been made of the so-called ‘lifecycle’ architecture BMW’s using as the basis for its new i cars. The structural approach – which features an aluminium lower chassis (onto which engine, batteries, suspension are bolted) with a carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) upper structure – is cutting edge in technology and material terms.
In fact, the i8 the I drove last week while moonlighting in my occasional role as an automotive columnist for a technology magazine, stands for something altogether more futuristic and technology-led in image than any supercar that’s gone before it. It’s a very interesting way of moving the typology forward, one that largely abandons the pretence of motor-racing heritage as the basis for prowess and image.
Are Google’s driverless cars set to change car design?
The Google self-driving car has taken a bit of stick in both the mainstream automotive and specialist design press for the way it looks. We’re not about to start defending it, as from a purely automotive design resolution perspective it leaves quite a lot to be desired.
Nonetheless we do think that some people are missing the point. And in a video released by Google to chart the development of the car (and why it is like it is), we find some interesting clues as to the car’s looks.
With the official introduction of Android Auto at their annual I/O developer's convention last week, Google has already jumped ahead of Apple by offering smart solutions to in-car usability and not just a simple conduit to control your phone. Several manufacturers, including Audi, Bentley, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo were announced to be the first to feature the technology, although Google claims a huge list of nearly 40 (all?) major carmakers are on board.