[YesAuto Design Decoding] Upgrading a set of systematic design concepts is not easy for any designer. Three years ago, the SAIC design team led by Shao Jingfeng was determined to bring the MG brand back to the global market, and thus created the “sensibility” design concept. At the same time, it created the ZS, E-motion concept car, MG 6, HS and Popular models such as EZS have achieved good results in both domestic and overseas markets, and with this, the label of young and trendy play is re-engraved on MG brand products. Today, three years later, the second chapter of “sensibility” design is about to begin. A new round of brainstorming is a great test for the young SAIC design team. How much has our time changed in the past three years? How have consumer tastes changed? Are people's car habits more avant-garde? As the most popular model of the MG brand family, the new MG ZS still appears as a pioneer in this round of brand changes.
● The strategic change of the second generation of “sensibility” design
We are not unfamiliar with the three words “sensibility”. In recent years, we have heard this word on almost every new car of MG. In the eyes of SAIC Group's global design director Shao Jingfeng, he insisted on using “sensibility”. “It is extremely risky to design a language to create MG's new products. Now we see that compared with other domestic car companies, the MG brand has almost the most publicity in terms of youth and dynamics. However, in the market at that time, sports models were not a trend in the mainstream market, and most consumers were still paying more attention. For those products with rich application scenarios and comprehensive functions.
“At first, we only emphasized that the vehicle should have a dynamic component and sporty design elements. The bosses will also be worried about sales. Can they sell well? We also need to consider whether the product can be accepted by the global market. This was at the time. All need to be carefully considered, so we are very careful about the launch of each product.” Shao Jingfeng said when evaluating the products under the first-generation “sensibility” design.
If the first generation of “perceptual force” design is only an exploration and experimentation of dynamic design, then according to Shao Jingfeng's idea, the second generation of “perceptual force” design is a big change from the main flow to the real movement. He believes that this era is an era full of uncertainty. There is no experience and standards. The way of life is completely open and diversified. There is even no obvious generation gap between the young and old in their understanding and pursuit of innovation.
“You can see that the host of the news network is active on the Douyin platform every day, and you can also see the official Weibo of the People's Daily active as a Weibo big V. So nowadays, consumers' car selection concepts are also very different from before. Now, we can add more design elements that we have not dared to adopt in the new car. The concept sports car E-motion, which has always been very popular, has also been scheduled for mass production. We will meet with you in the near future. The launch will also allow the MG brand to regain the sports car culture in a real sense.” When talking about the changes of the times, Shao Jingfeng simply had two eyes on it. From a designer's point of view, now is one of the best times.
● No matter how good the age is, it depends on the product: three major themes
As the leader of every change of MG product line, MG ZS is not only responsible for the sales of the brand, but also leads the design trend of a whole generation of models. Therefore, the evolution of the “sensibility” design still starts with the MG ZS model. The design team summarized three themes for the design evolution of the new MG ZS: high expression, black knight and new pop.
Shao Jingfeng believes that high expression is the biggest issue facing all car designers in the entire car market. In daily life, more and more young people like to express their emotions with some special facial expressions, and people's aesthetics of celebrities are also changing day by day. What we once thought for granted is gradually being overthrown, which makes car designers continue to think about whether people’s lifestyles are related to car emojis? The answer is yes.
Therefore, in the design process of MG ZS, everyone realized that the once “gentle and dynamic” was too conservative, and what modern people need more is the kind of “strong vitality”, so the front grille of MG ZS adopts an inverted button. The design is a little bit different from the previous stable feeling. Compared with the old ZS, the upper edge of the front of the car extends more forward, lowering the visual center of gravity, creating a more fierce and powerful sports image.
The anti-concave design in the grille has been preserved, and the interior adopts an inner mesh shape called “Obsidian Matrix”, which is full of three-dimensionality and adopts a high-gloss reflective coating to provide a more integrated visual effect. The edge of the inner net has a certain thickness. Shao Jingfeng believes that this thickness must be solved in the process, because this is a traditional element of the British brand. Similar designs can be seen on Jaguar and Aston Martin. This represents a kind of inheritance.
The air intake grille and LED headlights have begun to be independent on the new MG ZS, which also means that under the new “sensibility” design concept, subsequent models will also have a high probability of adopting a similar front face design. In the words of Shao Jingfeng, designers worked hard to connect the grille and the headlights ten years ago. However, as the saying goes, long-term integration must be combined. When more and more manufacturers begin to use this design, the design world has begun to gradually There is a tendency to separate the grille from the headlights.
However, the front face of the new car does not simply redesign the grille and separate it from the headlights, but each single part needs to be redesigned and emphasized, so as to bring about the overall change of the front of the car. The design team believes that the shape of the headlights is an important part of the facial expressions of the new ZS. In order to highlight the sporty temperament, the headlights inspired by the MG family models under the new design concept will all come from the track, and the front and rear lights will be completely inspired. echo. For example, the headlight design of the new MG ZS is inspired by the pit building of the British Silverstone circuit.
The front and rear headlights use a completely black background to express an unknowable sense of power, which also corresponds to the “black knight” theme in the new design concept. Black is the color that all designers like to wear. Black symbolizes power, represents coolness, and is also the most business and safe color. It is also widely used in the sports system of car design. The new ZS not only has black air intake grille, black headlights, but also black fog light accessories, black rearview mirrors, black side skirts and black wheels.
“Three years ago, we didn’t even dare to use these elements. Leaders would definitely not approve and the market would not accept them. But now we think the time is ripe, and even the company’s leaders have come to ask me if they can. You can’t make it black here and black there…so I think it’s a very open and innovative era. It’s time to apply these elements to new cars.” When talking about the use of black decoration, Shao Jingfeng said.
The changes in the side of the body are not too many compared to the old models. Whether the waistline should be retained has caused some internal discussions within the company, but in the end, everyone believes that this is a classic element of MG as a British brand for a century, and it is worthy of being used. . In the part close to the front of the car, where does the waistline begin to turn? This turning point and the ridgeline of the engine cover echo each other. The 17-inch Tomahawk-style two-tone fine wheel rim is also much more dynamic than the old model. Shao Jingfeng also admitted that if the size can be larger, the proportion of the whole car will be more perfect. However, limited by tire specifications, fuel economy and later maintenance costs, this size is now the result of many trade-offs.
The changes in the rear are relatively smaller. The golden ratio between the rear windshield and the overall rear is still followed. The tailgate switch hidden in the LOGO is still one of Shao Jingfeng's favorite designs. The design of the taillights has been mentioned before, and it echoes the headlights, and the position of the fog lights on both sides of the rear bumper also echoes the front of the car, and the visual effect similar to the wide-body kit is outlined through simple lines. The interior also uses and The front grille is similar to the bright black inner mesh design.
The third theme “New Pop” should be extended to the inside of the car to understand. In fact, the origin of the early Pop style is in the UK, and the so-called “Pop” is actually a homophony of English Popular. Pop style itself is opposed to monotonous and outdated concepts. It is hoped that there will be new exaggerated and visually strong design styles to reflect new consumer concepts, new cultural identity positions, and new self-expression centers. Therefore, Pop design is very Emphasizing flexibility and consumption, the life of products should be short in order to adapt to changing social culture.
Therefore, in the new ZS car, we see a new immersive cockpit based on the Pop design. This is a more driving design that emphasizes vitality, so the color scheme is bolder. There is no compromise in terms of materials. Soft materials are used in all the places that can be touched by the driver and passengers. The soft-covered carbon fiber textured leather and red stitching are added to the interior for the first time, including the steering wheel and other places. Red stitches can also be seen.
There is no difference between the circular air-conditioning outlets, only the color is changed. Shao Jingfeng believes that the red color can better highlight the performance. The full LCD instrument panel and floating multimedia screen are the most suitable match for young people, not to mention that this car also has the L2 assisted driving + Zebra Zhixing 3.0 system. The integrated piano button is also a layered design technique, which makes it more designed than the traditional car and machine buttons, and it is more comfortable to use.
A total of 4 USB charging ports and rear air-conditioning outlets appeared on the MG ZS for the first time. From the design drawing, the wireless charging function may be added in the future. Shao Jingfeng believes that the design team also needs to understand the needs of users, so the new ZS has a significant improvement in the user-friendly configuration, and we can even see a practical handle on the co-pilot side.
Regarding the pop design style, the sense of color may be the easiest way to create a sense of atmosphere. Therefore, another major change of the new MG ZS is the combination of colors. In addition to the three color schemes of Snow White, Speed Red and Electric Orange on the old models, the biggest change in the new car is the use of St. Moritz Blue. This color scheme is inspired by the ski resort of St. Moritz. The sun shines on the Alps, the snowy mountains reflect the blue of the sky, and the blue reveals the white pearl of the snowy mountains. The visual effect is very stunning.
In addition, Shao Jingfeng also revealed the looming green trend in the market today, including some luxury brands with sporty characteristics, and their green models are also very popular. Therefore, the color team of the SAIC Design Department is also conducting research on green paint. Will meet everyone in the follow-up new car. Of course, he also joked that he is still not daring to launch green models in China. After all, it is a more “topical” color scheme. Now let's try to do it first, and think about how to define this color scheme. And guidance, after all, green is also a very classic and important color for British brands.
● Edit summary
Finally, let’s summarize this model. In terms of design, the new MG ZS should be regarded as a mid-term facelift. After three years of introducing “sensibility” design and initial success in the market, the design team has now entered the second round. The upgrade phase. With the changes in lifestyles of modern people and changes in their understanding of new things, more ideas and design elements that were previously unacceptable are now being applied to new cars, making new cars look like brand sports and their positioning has improved. One step, and ZS is only the first step in this evolutionary process.
As the most popular model under the brand, the new ZS not only goes further in styling design, but also significantly upgrades the configuration and power system, adding L2 level assisted driving and Zebra Zhixing 3.0 system, and adopts general-purpose The combination of 1.3T engine and Aisin 6AT gearbox can be upgraded no less than a replacement. With the release of this design interpretation article, we will continue to bring you new car static interpretation and dynamic test drive articles. If you are interested in the MG ZS car series, you might as well wait patiently for our follow-up report. , Stay tuned.