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The Five Most Beautiful Machines of 2011

Design Inspiration - December 27th, 2011

2011 is coming to a close and it’s been another spectacular year if you’re anything like me and appreciate art and mechanics combined into beautiful objects. I’ve compiled my own little shortlist of the most awe-inspiring machines that’s been presented in their final production form over the year, there’s many more that could have made the list (and a few of them are presented below) but in my mind these are the ones that really stood out in 2011.

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Pagani Zonda F

Design Inspiration - July 28th, 2010

Zonda F

The Pagani Zonda F. Photo by Pagani.

The Pagani Zonda C12S was the car that redefined the slumbering supercar market in the beginning of the 2000′s. The first Zonda (the C12) was introduced in 1999 but it was really the 2000 C12S that changed the game and the F that through some small visual alterations tied together the entire package. Pagani was the first in the new era of boutique super car makers and was considered the new benchmark from day one. The Zonda had a couple of unique selling points, it was way faster than anything else on sale and the styling was out of this world. The small fact that the quality and craftmanship was also up to par didn’t hurt either.

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Confederate Motors B120 Wraith

Design Inspiration - July 9th, 2010

Wraith sideview

The Confederate B120 Wraith in side view. Photo by Confederate Motors.

Confederate Motors (along with founder Matt Chambers) and I live on the same planet. Their first motorcycle, the F131 Hellcat, was conventional but better looking than any production bike I’ve seen. With the B120 Wraith they took the step to the level of Cabestan, Zonda and a few others capable of creating a truly unique, exciting and beautiful mechanical sculptures.

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Geneva Auto Salon 2009

Design Inspiration - March 18th, 2009

This years Geneva Auto Salon didn’t see much of the downturn the global car industry has seen. Several manfacturers presented and showed new high-profile concept cars and other took the opportunity to present new production models.

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Automotive Steampunk

Design Inspiration - February 21st, 2009

Cars are usually an collection of cheap plastics and components made to suit as large crowd and as many purposes as possible by using the least common denominator approach. Some are making an effort though; Aston Martin pushes the design andtechnology inthe classic contemporary path while Spyker has created a car full of Steampunk elements.

Spyker C8 Laviolette

The Spyker C8 Laviolette, photo by Spyker.

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GM Fails to Mention The Faith of Opel

Miscellaneous - December 10th, 2008

Today GM (together with Ford and Chrysler) got its $18bn bailout from the U.S Congress which will hopefully keep them alive -until March 31st, that is. All good and well, but there’s one aspect that’s been mostly overlooked. GM has announced that they’ll focus on their core brands (Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac) and either sell (SAAB, Hummer) or bury (Saturn) their non-core brands and return one to a niche product (Pontiac). What they haven’t mentioned at all is what’ll happen to Opel, Vauxhall and Holden.

Opel has been GM’s main European presence since it was acquired in 1929 and many Opel designs are global platforms for GM cars.They were sold in Buick dealerships between 1958 and 1975 but has since been sold under Saturn and Pontiac brands in the U.S. Cars from Opel are sold as Vauxhalls in the U.K. and Holdens in Australia.

What does GM mean by forgetting to mention them? My guess is that they see them as a core brand and vital part of their operation but don’t want to upset the Congress and American public by displaying that American tax-payers money could potentially go abroad. Sneaky, but maybe that’s the way the game has to be played.

References

GM’s Government credit details from December 2nd: GM’s asks Congress to kickstart its ambitious plan
GM’s Letter of Apology: GM’S Commitment to the American People

Corporate Blunders – Chevrolet Volt

Miscellaneous - November 28th, 2008

General Motors is in big trouble, they’ll be out of money within months without some serious cash infusion. However, they presented a possible saviour to the company in form of the Volt concept car January 7, 2007. The plug-in hybrid featured lithium-ion batteries with a gasoline drive generator to act as a range-extender and a futuristic, edgy and muscular design appealing to technology and environmental geeks, designers,muscle car fans and hip city couples. When they presented the Volt in its final production form though, they sealed their own future.

Chevrolet Volt Production Front

The Chevrolet Volt in production form. Photo by GM.

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The BMW Mini-E and the Launch of Electric Cars

Miscellaneous - November 21st, 2008

Where some (GM Volt and Tesla Roadster) are fumbling to get their electric cars out to consumers, others are continously presenting concept models that will never see production (Volvo ReCharge) and some just don’t do anything at all (Mercedes). During this time though, BMW have remained quite and almost seem ignorant of the environmental and regulatory challenges lying ahead for the auto industry. BMW has sneaked up behind everyones back and will deliver 500 electric Mini-Es to customers in Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey from the end of 2008. The electric car is the automotive future and this surprising move by one of the most dominating players is a most welcome one bound to fuel the fire for the other major manufacturers.

BMW Mini-E

The BMW Mini-E. Photo by BMW.

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Spyker Presents the LM85 Lightweight Sports Car

Design Inspiration - November 20th, 2008

Spyker has now unveiled their offering in the class of road-legal lightweight raceversions of sport cars, the LM85. Direct competitors (on trackdays and for the buyers attention) are the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, Aston Martin N24, Porsche GT3 RS and customized versions of sports and supercars by firms such as Ruf, Gemballa, edo competition and a few others.

Spyker LM85

The Spyker LM85. Photo by Spyker.

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