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<< News >>

2013 North American International Auto Show

 

 

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Maserati Quattroporte discussed at 2013 Autoweek Design Forum

 

PHOTO BY DAVEY JOHNSON ©AUTOWEEK

A panel discussion featuring GM Design's Kirk Bennion, Fiat Group's Marco Tencone, LA Holding's Lapo Elkann and moderator KC Crain at the Autoweek Design Forum on Jan. 17, 2013.

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- The 2013 Autoweek Design Forum discussions on the 11th floor of the A. Alfred Taubman Center were centered on the several endorsements of several new American and European models by three major design figures in their theatre of industry.

First up on the panel of three, following a tribute to recently passed Imre Molnar and comments by Tom Gould, was Kirk Bennion, Exterior Design Manager for General Motors Design who is behind the new Chevrolet Corvette on display at Cobo Hall for Detroit's North American International Auto Show. Bennion explained that the basis behind what reached the Auto Show was to try and get almost everyone involved.

“What we did, starting out, was we felt that it was important that every designer at GM be given the opportunity to design the new Corvette,” he said. “We opened this up for both interior and exterior [designers], across all ten studios, the General Motors has.”

The response to that offer, according to Bennion, was over 300 design sketches from all over the globe, all of which would undergo review. “We usually look at a design, and we’ll give it a shot, we’ll give it two weeks in scale. If it doesn’t mature or show promise after that, we’ll just recycle that scale and move on to the next one.”

“What we really wanted was something that was [going to] resonate outside the Corvette community. We’re looking to get a car more global.”

The next figure to speak was Marco Tencone, the Head of Design for Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati of Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. Among the cars designed under Tencone is the Maserati Quattroporte, also on display over at Cobo.

He commented how he and his team at Maserati decided to rely on age old terms that described what should be represented in the design presented models, terms like elegance and purity. Via visual aids showing diagrams of the Maserati models, Tencone described how the team approached designing each portion with care in trying to make the model in a sporting style.

“We decided to underline all the useful elements… of elegance and purity; putting a touch of already on the air vents… the gear shift, and the… handles.”
Last to represent this year’s panel was Lapo Elkann, President/Founder of Italia Independent and Independent Ideas as well as a Founding Partner of LA Holding.

Opening up, Elkann was rather prideful of repeating the tradition of “elegance, refinement and taste. We need to leverage it at small, high, medium, and low cost.” He applied that pride to the Fiat 500, which he described as “not a car; it’s a love brand, it’s an icon.”

He also discussed the differing “worlds” that Ferrari was dedicating itself to, especially racing design. “We Italians have a lot in our hearts, and in our souls. In this environment, nothing is impossible. Besides tailor-made, also Ferrari has a project that is even further in terms of… a special service which is a car of a kind… where we work with a client [on choice].”

Elkann made it known that in terms of design, no matter the age or appeal of the car marketed, there is always room for striving to jump over the bar no matter the distinction. “Every time I work with cars, I always think one can do better, one can do more, one can bring more, one can deliver more.”

When asked later how this urge to improve upon comes to fruition, Elkann alluded, “It’s the love of life, the passion of life that I have never lost. The beauty of life is pushing for things you believe in.”

For more information about the Autoweek Design Forum, visit designforum.autoweek.com.

Related Stories: Pickup trucks to make a resurgence in 2013, analysts say; Chinese automakers facing hurdles in entering U.S. market; What to Look For at the 2013 North American International Auto Show; Honda introduces the Urban SUV Concept at 2013 NAIAS; Ford EcoBoost Technology: Transitioning to Gasoline Fuel Efficiency; Comparing two multi-purpose vehicles: Scion xB vs. Fiat 500L; Lincoln debuts the MKC Concept crossover vehicle at 2013 NAIAS; Chevrolet shows off its redesigned 2014 Silverado pickup truck at 2013 NAIAS; Hyundai reveals the HCD-14 Genesis Concept at 2013 NAIAS; Volkswagen introduces its Cross Blue Concept plug-in hybrid at 2013 NAIAS; Jaguar debuts 2014 F-Type S two-door roadster at 2013 NAIAS; Hyundai at the 2013 North American International Auto Show

 

 
PHOTO BY PETE BUBLITZ / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray was unveiled inside the Russell Industrial Center on Jan. 13, 2013.

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte was unveiled during a press conference at the NAIAS.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Autoweek Design Forum was held inside the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education.

 

This page was last updated on Mon, February 4, 2013 4:43 PM

 

 

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