[YesAuto Design Decoding] In 2012, BAIC released the new brand of Saab, which opened up its own mid-to-high-end product line. Today, it has quietly gone through six springs and autumns. It’s also time for the D70, the first model of Senova, to be updated. This is not a brand-new mid-size car, but it is no longer called D70, but has a new name: Zhidao. In today's “face value is justice”, BAIC has also begun to try to cooperate with foreign design directors. What kind of transformation this 100,000 yuan family sedan has, let's take a look from the perspective of styling design.
When chatting with design director Lowe, he emphasized the differentiation of car design. In today's flourishing Chinese automobile market, consumers have too many choices, and the shape is bright enough and attractive enough to win everyone's attention. However, if it is designed for pure uniqueness, it is easy to go astray and make strange products and be shunned by consumers. Therefore, how to find a balance is the design director's need to handle well.
Lowie Vermeersch was born in Belgium. Before joining BAIC, he was a design director of Pininfarina Design Company in Italy. There he once led the design of sports cars for Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and other brands, and was also responsible for design projects for Chinese brands such as Chery Tiggo 7 .
Lowe's grandfather and father are well-known European sculptors and painters, and his brother is also an artist mixed in New York. It can be said that he is a lucky man born in a strong artistic atmosphere! Make people jealous! What is more enviable is the combination of father and mother, who grew up in an engineer's home! Combining the two atmospheres of engineering and art is in line with the profession of car designer.
There are more than 150 designers in the BAIC Design Center, and the design team is a younger team. Compared with the century-old European car companies, the Senova brand is like a young child, and there is still a certain difference in car-making experience and level. Design Director Lowe needs to travel frequently between Turin, Italy and Beijing, China, to share his design experience and ideas accumulated over the years with the design team.
After all, the car is designed for the Chinese, so Lowe needs to better understand the needs and preferences of Chinese consumers. Shan Wei, the head of the design department (former design director) with many years of experience, is a local design talent. The exchange and collision of the two people summed up the future design direction of BAIC Saab. However, this has to be achieved step by step.
-Step 1: Get rid of the Saab gene
After Lowe, who has rich experience in international project development, came to BAIC, the model design of the Saab brand began to gradually get rid of the shadow of Saab, or to have its own design features of the new era.
The level of car design often does not lie in the details of the lights, air intake grille, etc. The overall contour, posture, and volume of the car body are the key to testing the level of the designer. There is still a trace of Saab from the body of the Saab D70, such as the swooping waistline and the generous C-pillar design, etc., and you will see a brand new face on the Saab Zhidao.
-Step 2: Balance the aesthetics of the times
The adjustment of the body posture makes the Saab Zhidao indeed seem to be no longer connected with Saab. However, in order to gain more consumers' love at the moment, it must conform to the trend of the times. For example, the front of Zhidao looks more acceptable than the current D70. The “big mouth” grille, the “eyes” that penetrate the grille, the horizontal chrome trim, etc. are all in line with the current aesthetics. View.
In the mid-term change, the air intake grille of the D70 was changed from the original “aircraft propeller type” to a straight waterfall type chrome trim, but the “mouth” is still small; the front face of Zhidao adopts car lights and a large mouth type. The air intake grille intersects, with the horizontal chrome trim, the visual width of the front of the car is wider, so the sense of stability and momentum are enhanced.
-Step 3: Emphasize brand characteristics
The early OffSpace D70 concept car showed BAIC’s thinking on the new generation of cars. From concept cars to mass production cars, designers and engineers will inevitably have some disputes, because as a 100,000 yuan car, it has to be in design and cost. To make a balance, it is necessary to ensure functionality, cost control, and aesthetics.
-Interior changes brought by female designers
Compared with the current D70, the interior design of Zhidao also has “sharpening” changes. As a 100,000 yuan family sedan, the interior materials are limited by cost. The center console and door interior panels cannot be covered with a large amount of soft leather, but from the visual effect point of view, it does not give people the feeling of being too cheap.
It is difficult for the instrument panel to integrate into a larger touch screen, so BAIC chose to strip out the 12.3-inch screen and set it above the instrument panel, the height of which is roughly the same as that of the instrument panel. This is a method that many car company designers will choose today to keep the driver's attention on the same level and improve driving safety.
A few years ago, the interiors of 100,000 yuan models often gave people a cheap texture. Nowadays, in order to dispel the sense of cheapness, we can see that the interior of the Saab Zhidao reflects the designer’s careful thoughts. Among them, female designers play a great role, especially their control of materials, textures, colors, etc. is more delicate. .
In the air conditioning outlet/control area, shift lever, etc., the designer uses chrome decoration, and according to the location, there are high gloss and matte points. The combination of wood grain decoration and chrome trim enhances the leveling of the instrument panel, which is very different from the early dim and monotonous interior design.
– to sum up
The latest generation of Senova models began to be named with the word “zhi”. Zhixing and Zhidao are the two new products this year. From the perspective of styling design, they are very different from their predecessors. It is beneficial to the joining of foreign designers, and also to the background of the rapid development of Chinese brand automobile design, the design resources are more abundant and international than a few years ago. In today's “appropriate appearance”, many people buy cars to see what they see. The brand-new Saab Zhidao is positioned as a 100,000-yuan medium-sized car. Can it impact the market of other Chinese brands and joint venture brands? Can it touch your heart?