[YesAuto Design Decode] The French cars in the impression are always associated with words such as “fashion” and “romantic”, and are unique in the vast sea of cars. The style that is always opposed to the current mainstream design often makes people who like it rush, and people who don't love it. What are the designers of French cars thinking? How do they understand the material and color of the product? This time we visited the Citroen Design Center in Shanghai, through a brand-new car “Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS”, to tell you the thoughts and ideas behind the birth of this cute car.
■ Designer profile
Unlike the former foreigners in Yishui, the design of Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS for us this time is the authentic Chinese designer Yu Ziqian. Yu Ziqian, who graduated from the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts, joined Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company in 2008. His professional resume covers the three major brands of the PSA Group, and he has a wealth of experience in the development of production cars and concept cars.
Part of Yu Ziqian’s current work is the research on the three major brand design languages of PSA. He has been involved in global projects such as Citroen C4L and Tianyi C5 AIRCROSS that we are very familiar with before. At the same time, he also leads the design and is responsible for including Important models such as the DS6, the new Peugeot 408 and the upcoming Peugeot flagship sedan 508L.
■ The appearance of Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS: Optimistic design, more affinity
If the French car design in the early years was described as “unique”, then in the past two years, perhaps due to the influence of the global design community or the pressure from the sales side, the proportion of “sensibility” in the design trend of the entire PSA Group's new cars Significantly down. But even so, whether it is Tianyi before or Yunyi who is going to talk about today, we can still smell the unique fashionable and romantic temperament of his French car.
From project approval to finalization, it took more than 3 years for Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS. Yu Ziqian told us that we can see Citroen's latest design concept-optimistic design on this car. In today’s automotive design industry, many brand products adopt very aggressive line design language in appearance, which makes the vehicle look very fierce. “But we think that a family car is a tool to serve people. Is it? Can people feel more affinity? Can people feel more sunshine and more passion for life?” This is the original idea of the design team.
So we saw the appearance of the existing Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS. Its first impression is that it is very clean, and it can even be described as “cute”. The lines have a sense of power, but they are not aggressive. It is gentle and positive. Feeling upward.
Family design is the mainstream of the moment, and Citroen is no exception, but in Yu Ziqian’s idea, family design does not mean designing in a “mock-up” way, the kind that is like twins that is difficult for even professionals to recognize at a glance. The practice is unacceptable for the brand. “Each car must have its own independent character, just like you stand with your parents, siblings, others will think you are very similar, but not as indistinguishable as twins.” Ziqian gave us a lift. This example.
So in the design of the front face of the Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS, the split headlight is the most typical family element. Now many brands are using similar designs, but if you want to trace the roots, it was first adopted in mass production cars. This design is still Citroen-the MPV C4 PICASSO we are familiar with.
In addition, a large number of rounded rectangular designs can be seen in the front of the car, from the air intake grille to the headlight cover, and even extend to the entire car. Therefore, the “rounded rectangle” is the core design element of Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS. Such a shape makes it easier for people to have a kind of affinity. When using iPhone or some electronic products, we will find that although their basic shape is rectangular, after carefully designed chamfering on the four sides, it will appear very comfortable, reducing the sense of distance and attack. Sex.
The shape and surface treatment of the engine cover is also as simple as possible, but visually it has enough power. Yu Ziqian believes that the Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS is a revolutionary new car in terms of the surface treatment. “You can hardly see a clear line on the whole car, because we are going to do subtraction design through purely curved surfaces. Change to show the appeal of the product.”
At the same time, he also extended his views on Chinese elements. “The Chinese elements that many people understand may be that after designing a car, adding some auspicious clouds, patterns, etc., but this is not what Chinese consumers need. Chinese people like atmospheric things, and atmospheric things are often very simple and natural, so we express this car through natural lines and curved surfaces, so that consumers can read the flow of light and shadow on the curved surface. This is an element that young Chinese consumers like now.”
On the side of the car body, the thick wheel eyebrows and the guard plate on the lower edge of the door visually increase the height of the car body. This is also to meet the requirements of Chinese consumers for the attributes of SUV products, and it can be more effective for consumers with crowded parking spaces. Reduce the loss of daily scratching. The details are also designed with rounded rectangles, and the matte orange rim is lively and moving, including the rearview mirror cover and the luggage rack inspired by surfboards, and there are many options for its color.
The shape of the wheel is abstracted from the four-leaf clover. Europeans have a unique preference for the four-leaf clover. In European culture, the four-leaf clover represents luck, so the design team also wants to bring this meaning to the new car. At the same time, the shape of the rim also follows the design requirements of a rounded rectangle, making it look more fashionable than the traditional multi-spoke shape. The orange embellishment in the middle echoes the body color, and it also provides a variety of color options.
The side ABCD pillars are all concealed design, the purpose is to make the side of the car look cleaner, so all these elements are integrated into the whole, combined with the all-black roof painting, to bring rich layers to the body sense. Citroen officially calls this approach “Timeless Design”, which means a design that can stand the test of time.
“The design of the rear of the car is completely unified with the front of the car, so it is still very clean, very round and friendly,” Yu Ziqian said after arriving at the rear of the car. He said that the biggest highlight of the whole rear of the car is the lights and rear insurance. Bar, because Chinese consumers are very concerned about these two parts. Therefore, on the one hand, the round lights are in the shape of a rectangle with rounded corners. On the other hand, they also satisfy the Chinese people’s pursuit of orderly beauty. Don't worry about making small bumps.
■ The interior of Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS: la maison
If the outside of the car is more for others to see, then the inside of the car is part of the driver's private space. Here, Yu Ziqian spoke a French term “la maison”, which means “home”. The design concept of home always runs through Citroen's products, and the Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS is no exception. “We believe that in today's very fast-paced era, everyone needs a space where they can slow down and calm down to think about something.” This is Ziqian's cognition of the interior design of Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS.
“When you get in the car, the first feeling is like your home. It is a very relaxing and comfortable space without visual pressure. There are friendly designs everywhere.” Yu Ziqian said. Indeed, the interior of the Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS is unique among small SUVs of the same level. The rounded rectangular elements are also run through the interior of the car, such as the design of the air-conditioning vent, the instrument panel and even the steering wheel.
In the process of designing these elements, young designers will seek inspiration from various places, including past classic models. For example, the upper and lower flat-bottomed steering wheel is designed to implement the rounded rectangle concept on the one hand, and on the other hand, it is also a tribute to the Citroen WRC racing car. “You will find that we used piano paint, silver plastic rings on the steering wheel, and two layers of leather covering the inner and outer layers of different colors. At this level, no one will cost more than us in details.” Yu Ziqian Say.
In 1989, Citroen cooperated with Hermès to launch a special-edition 2CV model. As a national car of the year, the Hermès version of 2CV was hand-stitched with a lot of caramel-colored premium leather, and this classic design is now used to the cloud. On Yat C4 AIRCROSS. Therefore, we can see that the interior of the Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS is also covered with a large area of leather. For a small SUV, the materials are very particular and cost-effective.
The shadow of the leather can be seen in the door handles and the center console. The leather trim on the right side of the center console can be regarded as an embellishment. It is inspired by the high-end French leather design. In the material and color design room We have seen a variety of preparatory plans. In the end, the interior of the Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS has a total of 4 color combinations.
As for the seat, the key word of Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS is “two tune”, which means two tunes. From the simple color scheme, we can see why the design team is named here. This is also a unique design in the same level, showing the unique fashion sense of French cars. The texture on the seat cushion and backrest also implements the concept of rounded rectangles. High-profile models will use two-tone nappa leather, while low-profile models will also use high-grade fabric + leather stitching, and the area on the back of the shoulders is also You can see the fabric embellishment similar to the wool blend, which makes the shape of the seat look more homely and lively.
The overall design of the rear seats is the same as that of the front seats. The vertical angle of the backrest is 27°. The design team believes that this is the most ergonomic value that can protect the spine of the passengers during a longer ride. Thanks to the introduction of the extended 60mm leg space after the introduction of domestic products, the ride comfort of the rear row has been greatly improved. In addition, the rear row also provides a USB interface for passengers, and the decorative strip underneath is covered with leather.
In other parts of the car, the lighting area of the panoramic sunroof reaches 0.68 square meters, which is already very large for a small SUV of this size. The details are also very attentive. The umbrella slot on the center console is made of non-slip dot matrix processing. The left side is designed with a card slot. The color HUD head-up display can also be seen on high-end models. It is a car machine that cooperates with Zebra Zhixing. The reputation of the system is the first in the industry. In order to cater to the preferences of young people, the car has even designed a wireless charging function.
The height of the tailgate has been specially designed to ensure that female users can easily close it. The space inside the trunk is also as regular as possible. Through the movable floor design, the trunk space can be effectively expanded, and it also reflects some careful thoughts on the use of space by French cars.
● Edit summary
With the increasingly fierce competition in the field of small SUVs, if you want to break through in this market segment, it will be impossible without showing some sincerity and competitiveness. Obviously, Citroen Yunyi C4 AIRCROSS will be a good choice. Gentle appearance, stylish details, unique French design and the materials used in the next version, all of which make the new car look so “leapfrog”, and it is enough to bring pressure to competitors. With the official launch of Yunyi C4 AIR CROSS on September 20, the starting price of 109,800 yuan is really not expensive. It is to follow the trend to choose those ordinary models, but try to embrace the avant-garde fashion of French design, everything You have the final say.