[YesAuto Design Decoding] This year's GAC booth was particularly lively. MOCA, EMPOW55, and Aion Y have three different models with different personalities. As a local auto company, the Guangzhou Auto Show is of great significance to GAC. This can be seen from the three cars on the booth-the Trumpchi and Aeon that we are familiar with seem to have disappeared, but something completely new is brewing.
● MOCA with a special shape reflects that in the era of mobile Internet, cars will exist as a tool similar to consumer electronics.
●Aion Y is born out of the Aion family and is different from the previous three cars in the Aion series. Perhaps the most attractive part is the light-wing-style lamp group shape.
●In the face of the user's evaluation of “moderate, plain, and characteristicless”, GAC chose to build the high-performance coupe EMPOW55 to completely subvert the stereotype of it.
During the one-hour communication between me and Deputy Dean Zhang Fan of the GAC Research Institute, he mentioned many times: Consumers think that GAC seems to be becoming more and more modest, flat and stable. The strange thing is that GAC has not changed anything. It is the consumers who make the changes.
The problem China faced in the early years was that most people did not have a car. The first car needs to undertake many different tasks and scenarios. So cars at that time didn't need to emphasize individuality in terms of appearance and interior. Being able to drive a car already explained many problems.
This also directly affects the automakers have to start to study what “young people” are looking at? What do you think? And what do they need? This is the most common vocabulary we have heard in recent years-youthfulness.
I personally don't really like the term “younger” because “no one can be young forever, but someone is always young.” The 60-year-old thinks that 40 is young; Leslie Cheung thinks that Jay Chou is young; those who like to play Dota think that playing King of Glory is young. Young is a relative concept, not an absolute concept.
When car companies explore how to make products that young people like, they often use market research to help them sort out their ideas. But market research will only tell you that young people like pan-entertainment content. What it won't tell you is that what young people in the Internet circle are passionate about is not entertainment, but the deconstruction behind the entertainment to death.
In the final analysis, the method of deconstruction is to break the old tradition and so-called authority, but breaking is only a means, and the purpose of deconstruction is to reorganize and produce new things from the ruins. The concept car MOCA unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show is well aware of its essence.
So is it just to make a difference in appearance to make such a bold statement? Zhang Fan said that traditional aesthetic design can only account for a part of car design, and all current designs should be inseparable from function.
“When we designed MOCA, we first wanted to design something that was out of the traditional car, more like an electronic product like a smart phone.” The designer of GAC chose to start with the interactive method because this was also a sweeping sweep of Apple a few years ago. The first thing to disrupt the entire mobile phone market.
Now when we talk about modularity, we always think of modular platforms. It is true that MOCA also uses GAC's pure electric drive platform + modular architecture, but it is more modular-even the interior interior of the car is a highly modular design.
According to the current mass production model, how many different interior solutions can car companies provide even if they work harder? What GAC wants to do is to open up and cooperate, so that more manufacturers in different fields can develop and build together, which is like the “ecological platform” that can always be heard in the Internet field. With a platform, various possibilities can be created, not only users can freely combine, even some well-known brands can also withdraw from joint models, limited models, and special models.
Regarding some other features of MOCA, my colleague has previously written “This is Real Customization! Interpretation of GAC MOCA Concept Car. Friends who are interested can expand their reading, so I won’t go into details here.
The emergence of MOCA first expresses the deconstruction of the traditional “car” by the GAC design team. They try to examine the car from the perspective of the new era: If we start from the current functional requirements, will the designed car be the same as before? It can be said that the existence of MOCA is anti-traditional. When car designers do not regard the car as a design goal, they have already completed a deconstruction and reorganization. This kind of gameplay is essentially the same as the “Mr. Ma” who frantically screens in the ghost animal area of Station B.
The second element is always bundled with words such as “X-Zero” and “young people”. In recent years, there has been a trend of gradually changing from a subculture to a mainstream culture. Many manufacturers have tried to work in this direction before, but most of them are relatively poor imitations and self-confidence.
The previous Aion series models have been compressed as much as possible in the traditional grille position, but in order to ensure that the look and feel is not so “jumping”, they still desperately left some designs to dilute the “no air intake grille” a feeling of.
However, on Aion Y, GAC finally completely gave up its obsession with traditional energy. The clean front face clearly told everyone-I, pure electric.
Most car designers nowadays treat the sensor as “hidden” and try to make it as inconspicuous as possible. For example, the millimeter wave radar is hidden behind the car logo, or placed in the lower grille, and covered by black paint.
Contrasting color design is also a different feature of Aion Y and the previous Aion series models. The only relatively bright main color among the Aion models sold before is Tiffany Blue, and the other colors are relatively dim. This is why consumers think that many of GAC's designs are relatively dull today.
Through our communication with Deputy Dean Zhang Fan, we learned that some details of the appearance that are not good for mass production will be adjusted in the future when it is fully mass-produced. For example, the current customized wheels and tires are not suitable for large-scale production. If mass production is required, it will also cause inconvenience to users when repairing and changing tires in the future.
For those consumers who buy cars as electronic products, GAC will offer Aion Y, a new cuisine. As for the other part of “gasoline flowing in the blood”, for users who are keen on traditional performance cars, EMPOW55 is “the right medicine.”
The air intake grille has only one meaning at the beginning-that is, heat dissipation. Before automakers continued to increase the size of the air intake grille in recent years, the size of this component on most family cars was actually not that exaggerated. Only some high-performance models will increase the size of the air intake grille. After all, the heat emitted by a large-displacement engine is higher than the small heart of a family car. In addition to intense driving, it is easy to cause the temperature of the water tank to “explode.”
With the popularization of electronic water pumps and the emergence of active air intake grilles, the demand for “heating” in automobiles can now be more refined control, which in turn liberates the restrictions on the size of the air intake grille.
The same is true for the various “air intakes” on both sides of the air intake grille with blue paint. Most cars do not necessarily have such an urgent need for heat dissipation, but it can create a strong sense of performance.
In my impression, some performance-oriented original cars will paint the calipers in different colors when the cars leave the factory in order to highlight the sense of movement. Generally speaking, red or yellow calipers are more common, but blue calipers seem to be rarely used in original cars.
The overall design of the rear of the vehicle is even less like an original car. In this era when 2.0T is jokingly called “large displacement”, many original fuel vehicles have also designed the exhaust to be flushed, and installed a set of fake exhaust pretends on the rear that looks pretty handsome.
According to relevant national regulations, the vehicle should be marked with this information at the rear of the vehicle when it leaves the factory, so we have reason to suspect that there will still be some details that are different from the show car when the car is finally mass-produced.
The little detail that impressed me the most was not the carbon fiber or the blue calipers, but the blue indicator arrows and Chinese-English bilingual signs scattered around the vehicle. Some of them are written “lightweight components”, while others are written “downward airflow”, full of designers' careful thoughts.
If you remember the Tesla Roadster that was launched to Mars on the Falcon Heavy rocket before, you probably will not forget that Musk wrote a piece of “Made on Earth by humans” before launching. The circuit board made by humans on the Internet was stuffed into that car. This kind of tribute signature can neither add 5 horsepower to the EMPOW55, nor can it turn it into a valuable limited edition. But this seemingly useless “one extra step” may contain cultural concepts that young consumer groups agree with.
Write at the end
In the process of communicating with Zhang Fan, I felt his pride in these three models. From MOCA, which implements deconstructionism and explores the concept of modularization of the entire vehicle, to Aion Y and EMPOW55 for young people with different attributes. What GAC wants to show to users through these is not just a simple car, but a kind of spiritual resonance of “In this world, we still know you so much”.
Regrettably, the two cars Aion Y and EMPOW55 are currently only shown on the exterior, and the interior part can only be seen in 2021, but this can be regarded as a foreshadowing that is expected. Can the interiors of Aion Y and EMPOW55 shine as brightly as the exterior? Or is there something more interesting nirvana? We might as well look forward to it. (Picture/Text Car Home Yang Peng)