Insights Archive

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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.

July 2014


BMW: weaving its way into the future?

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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.

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Are Google’s driverless cars set to change car design?

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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.

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The battle for your SatNav just got interesting

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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.

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