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  7. Interpretation of Roewe iMAX8...

[YesAuto Design Decoding] As I grow older, I don’t know when to start, I also quietly added MPV to the alternatives. Previously, the impression that MPV left on Chinese consumers was nothing more than a “commercial vehicle” and a “nanny car.” However, when the automotive industry encountered a cold winter, we were surprised to find that MPV, a market segment that originally only had less than 5%, seems to be quietly rising. More and more car companies are also aware of this and start to gradually Make efforts in the MPV market. The protagonist we are going to talk about today-SAIC Roewe iMAX8, is such a product that tries to meet the needs of the times.

It doesn't matter if there are many children in the family, or if there is only one child but the whole family needs to travel. MPV can well demonstrate its functional value. But in such a model that seems to be known for its “functionality”, how many points can design add to it? This will start from the different understandings and different needs of MPV in different regions.

Many people know that the full name of MPV is Multi-Purpose Vehicle, that is, multi-purpose vehicle, but a long time ago, MPV actually had another abbreviation-Mini Passenger Van (small passenger van).

Even among the models designed for manned demand, MPVs are clearly divided into two factions. For example, in Europe, because many people drive MPV alone to commute or travel far.

In North America, whether it is MPV or other models, consumers want to get a vehicle as large as possible.

Japan is actually a relatively special region. From an emotional point of view, the Japanese actually admire American style very much, which can be regarded as a “historical issue” left by the Black Boat incident that year.

The thinking of Chinese consumers on this point is actually similar to that of North American people. Although we are not considered “a vast land with sparsely populated”, traditional Chinese culture has been truly beautiful since ancient times. Generally speaking, the larger the model, the more representative of social status and economic strength. This can also be felt from the trend of SUV models becoming bigger and bigger in the past ten years. However, in real life, large-sized cars are often incapable of facing congested traffic and small parking spaces. Therefore, from a rational point of view, it seems that we should learn from Japan's experience in this regard. In the SAIC Roewe iMAX 8, I think that some clues and characteristics have appeared.

Chinese car consumers like bigger (at least it looks bigger) cars because they can better set off the car owner's aura, which is the so-called “face”. Imagine a scene. If you go to the airport to pick up an important customer, you think Buick GL8 or Honda Odyssey, which one will make your welcome look more grand? Obviously, the effect of volume is unobstructed here.

Comparison of size data of three SUV models
Model Length*width*height (mm) Wheelbase (mm)
SAIC-GM Buick GL8 5238 *1878*1776 3088
GAC Honda Odyssey 4847*1820*1702 2900
SAIC Roewe iMAX8 5016* 1909 * 1788 3000

It is not difficult to see from the data comparison that the body size of the SAIC Roewe iMAX 8 is larger than that of the Odyssey. Although it is slightly inferior to the GL8 in terms of length and wheelbase, it has considerable advantages in terms of width and height. This is actually a little trick used by the designers of iMAX 8.

In addition to relying on size, the most intuitive way to obtain visual volume, iMAX 8 also takes advantage of the characteristics of many geometric figures. For example, compared to round trapezoid triangles and other shapes, rectangles often give people a more intuitive “feeling of filling.”

Everyone should not be unfamiliar with the term “heaven and circle place” that often appears in Chinese traditional culture. In fact, the ancients have realized the beauty conveyed by geometric figures through observation and summary of the world.

Everything has its two sides. The rectangle brings positive information and there are bound to be some negative emotions, such as stubbornness, rigidity, and lack of change. How to reduce this feeling through the design of the front of the car? The iMAX 8 approach is to use the power of computational design.

Compared with the previous comparison by drawing pictures bit by bit, the calculation design can save a lot of design time and manpower, and it also makes the comparison of design drafts with different effects more intuitive and simple. It is a new branch subject that is currently the most popular in the design industry. It has unlimited development prospects in the field of architectural design and industrial design in the future.

The complicated grille pattern of the iMAX 8 front is actually derived from the calculation design. Although it seems that every pattern resembling flying feathers is similar, in fact, except for the symmetry, the size and angle of each piece of flying feathers There are subtle differences in radians. For humans, drawing such an artwork requires a lot of energy, but for a computer, it can be generated at the fingertips.

In addition to the more distinctive grille, the design of the car lights is also what I think is more interesting for iMAX8. In recent years, as LED technology has become more and more sophisticated, open ring-shaped daytime running lights have also become popular.

Opening an opening on a geometric figure can effectively guide the user's sight to the direction of the opening. This is similar to water flowing out of the bottle mouth, giving people the feeling of “non-static picture”.

The lower front lip is one of the few chrome-plated parts on the front of the car. Nowadays, many younger-designed models use this kind of high-gloss material as little as possible, because it is easy to appear “soil” if it is not used well.

There are millions of good designs, but the bad ways are always the same. The chrome plating is still the same chrome plating, but it is much more exquisite when pressed on the dark flower. This is also a good way to change the “earth” design into “western style”.

The people who see the most from the front of the car are generally the car owner, and the side and rear of the car are the viewing angles of relatives, friends and passers-by. So if you want a car to look “lifting” in appearance, the design of the side and rear can't be improvised.

In many sports models, designers often use a more straight waistline in order to reconcile the streamlined design of the vehicle itself. In this MPV that is already square and upright, it is natural to do the opposite.

Perhaps it is because the dim color of the entire rear of the vehicle is too bulky, the designer still added a chrome plate with a small area behind the third row of windows.

As an MPV, it is obviously not enough to drive seven people away. Where can I go without my luggage? Therefore, the tail of MPV suffers from relatively large limitations, usually relatively plain, and iMAX8 cannot escape this functional limitation.

In the concept car, there is also a “Ronglin” pattern at the bottom of the tail that echoes the air intake grille, but the excessively large decorative area makes the trunk opening forced to move up, which is obviously an unreasonable design for an MPV. local. Therefore, during mass production, the design team must also consider the convenience of actual use and simplify this.

Roewe's design team did not stop at making iMAX8 a “qualified” MPV product. Based on a large number of user research, they believe that the future MPV consumers must be people with high quality requirements. Whether it is for family needs or business banquets, a car that can enhance the quality of life is the most powerful assistant. So on this iMAX8, Roewe boldly tried to integrate the concept of smart furniture into the new design of the vehicle-Magic Bar.

In fact, after electronic gears have completely become the standard equipment of the new era of automobiles, many designers are thinking about how to use the traditional platform to not only seem too detached, but also unique. Although from a functional point of view, we no longer need to deliberately reserve such an area in the middle, but if we cancel this design hastily, we are worried that users will not be able to accept such a big change and feel uncomfortable.

Think about it carefully, if the “Magic Bar” is in the front row and the passengers in the back row want to use it, reaching out to touch the operation is always not elegant. Of course, the designer also thought of the convenience of operation, just need to say: “Zebra, I want to drink Coke” or “Zebra, I want to drink tea”. The platform will automatically recognize which row of the vehicle the user who issued the instruction is sitting in, and open the refrigerator (Coke) or the curtain (teapot) after moving to the designated position.

Regarding the future malleability of this function, the official said that there are actually many possibilities besides tea sets and coffee pots. However, due to limited conditions, it is really difficult to realize the function of “boiling water” in the car. “So we designed a refrigerator with heating function. When needed, users can bring their own hot water and put it in the storage tank to start heating and keeping warm.” Roewe's staff said.

In fact, you can understand the lightweight interaction as as accurate and simple as possible to push the information and functions that the second-row passengers need to know and use to them. For example, if it is a business reception, weather, arrival time, flight information and stock information are very necessary items. The family needs are mainly based on karaoke, lyrics display, tourist attraction information and so on.

When talking about this magic screen, SAIC's global design director Shao Jingfeng said that they did not make the screen into a slender shape to save costs. “In fact, if you want to save costs, the price of standard screens (referring to some common specifications that manufacturers often purchase) is more advantageous. The special-shaped screen used in iMAX8 is more expensive. However, the overcrowded information is actually not what users really need. Thing, so we reduced the size of the magic screen to the minimum and made it integrated with the seat.”

The second row of seats is always the most important position in an MPV. Usually, it is not the father-in-law, the mother-in-law, the customer and the boss sitting here. So designs like leg rests and double independent armrests should be considered basic operations. Sleeping comfortably or uncomfortably may be the most stringent standard for measuring this seat.

Regrettably, due to the magic bar and the magic screen, iMAX8 still lacks two key props to enhance the commercial properties of the car-a small table and a three-phase power supply.

The third row of seats has always been a bonus point for MPVs compared to other 7-seater models. Due to the targeted design, the comfort of MPVs in this row is usually much higher than that of other models with three rows of seats. But for the same MPV, different products still have different strategies and tendencies.

For example, the GL8 is characterized by its long body length to provide the third row with a space experience that is not lost to the second row. The Odyssey is better at showing Honda’s long-standing “space magic” on the third row of seats. The flatness of the trunk provided by the seats is completely flat, which is unmatched by many opponents.

The seat in this posture can first of all allow the back to better share the pressure of the hips and waist, and it is indeed not easy to experience fatigue in long-distance riding. Secondly, a slightly angled sitting posture can also better free up head space, avoiding the situation where taller passengers need to “bow their heads” in the third row. The most important thing to improve the riding experience is that the inclined sitting posture will allow the cushion to better support the passenger's thighs, and avoid fatigue of the calf muscles due to prolonged “sit on the bench”.

Edit summary

SAIC Roewe iMAX8 can be regarded as SAIC passenger car's first attempt in the MPV field. In the current Chinese market, medium and large MPVs with luxury and comfort positioning are relatively rare, starting from the family. This also shows that in addition to GAC Trumpchi GM8, iMAX8's opponents should compete with joint venture models. Of course, the official has not yet officially announced its price, and we are just guessing about its real market goals. But if you are as interested in this car as I am, you might as well guess what range it will cost? (Picture/Text Car Home Yang Peng)