Students at the Royal College of Arts have revealed their luxury car designs as part of the creative challenge sponsored by car brand Lexus.
The Lexus 2040: the Soul of Future Premium design challenge involved 20 postgraduate students from the RCA’s Intelligent Mobility MA in the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre.
Tasked with imagining what luxury mobility will look like in 2040, RCA students explored new vehicle architectures able to meet changes in European city life, society and demographics.
Finalists of the Lexus challenge will now refine and develop their work ahead of a public exhibition on March 15th at the RCA’s new campus in Battersea, during which the three winning projects will be announced.
The RCA students have been assessed by the president of Lexus and Toyota’s ED2 Design Centre Ian Cartabiano, the general manager at ED2 Lance Scott, and RCA professors Dale Harrow and Chris Thorpe, who shortlisted six projects.
“We were very impressed by the breadth of creativity and innovation shown by all the designers,” said Cartabiano.
“They demonstrated skill and imagination in bringing together their ideas for future mobility and vision of how the concept of Lexus premium quality might evolve.”
RCA professor Dale Harrow said: “The staff and students from RCA Intelligent Mobility are delighted to have collaborated with Lexus on The Soul of Future Premium. The project has provided an exciting and challenging context in which to explore future mobility with a premium global brand.”
2040 Lexus Vision in-season by Bangning An aims at creating luxury mobility highly in sync with the season, by featuring an intelligent roof that controls the intensity of daylight entering the car, and a colour scheme that changes with the seasons.
Crucible by Benjamin Miller is a hydrogen-fuelled escape vehicle that aims at combining shared ownership with the flexibility of an owned vehicle interior, allowing users to choose a different vehicle while using a morphing interior that can adapt to any configuration.
Alto by Richard Newman is a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) hydrogen-fuelled, pendant-style airborne vehicle that the designers described as “jewellery in the sky, like a cloud’s earring”, and is a cross between a plant terrarium and a hot air balloon.
Lexus UrbanSwarm by Maxime Gauthier is a modular design that aims at combining the convenience of micro-mobility with the efficiency of mass transportation systems through its tessellation feature in which it can link with other pods.
Lexus NEKO by Jan Niehues is a micro-mobility concept with an insect-like exoskeleton that can operate both as an independent vehicle with conventional driving and in sharing mode where the occupants can view scenery recorded on previous journeys.
Lexus #Units by Zhenyu Kong is a luxury sharing space that, on arrival at a destination, can link virtually to other vehicles where it can be used as a projector device to join concerts or parties virtually, for example.