Friday, October 05, 2007

And to think it all started with a Ford in any color (as long as it was black)

Closing out this week of car-related blogs, I thought I’d share some of the recent brand innovations in the car design world.

1. Merecdes-Benz Smart Car – started in 1994, the Smart Car has taken Europe by storm. Mercedes is going to try pushing this two-seater, fuel efficient (and down-right cute) mini-car for 2008. Should be a big seller for urban singles.
2. Ford Sync – this is actually a feature rather than a car, but it is transformative. An onboard computer allows you to sync your music player and cell phone with the car. Through an audio interface, you can have complete hands-free control of your gadgets. The car will even read back text messages from your cell phone!
3. Mazda Needle – this sleek concept sports-car is designed for 3 or 4 people. The driver sits in the middle of the front, taking up the entire “cockpit” area, while the back seat features an expandable set of seats, allowing either two buckets or a single “couch”.
4. Buick Super – bringing back a brand after 50 years can be a risky endeavor, but Buick is making the gamble anyway. For now, the Super name will be applied to redesigned versions of the LaCrosse and Lucerne sedans. But who knows how this old name might reach new heights.
5. Infinity LDP – another feature. The Lane Departure System is designed to keep people from straying lanes. Safety may not be sexy, but it is an important selling feature nonetheless.
6. Suzuki Flix - based on the all-new 2007 XL7, as the ultimate mobile movie experience for film and entertainment enthusiasts. Once parked, the Flix's clamshell roof can be opened, revealing a maximum-size moonroof that serves as a 40-inch movie screen. Additionally, the front roof panel opens for a high-density digital projection system to display movies. For a traditional drive-in movie experience, Flix's projection system can be positioned to display movies on the side of a building, a billboard or almost any wall.
7. India’s Tata Motors, Ltd – they’re teaming up with France’s MDI to create an air-powered, plastic car for sale under $3000. Talk about green!
8. GM Mini cars – Trax, Beat, and Groove: The Groove has a retro style, the Beat is a futuristic three-door hatchback, and the Trax looks like a rugged SUV after being put through the shrink ray. As an innovation, GM is allowing the public to vote for their favorite designs, with the winner having the best chance of making it to production. Rock the car brand vote here!

No comments: