Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Auto & Design - Issue 187 March / April 2011
Young ideas for tomorrow
'Bentleys of the Future' was the topic of the competition for 18 students of the Master's course in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London. The project, which concluded in summer 2010 and is known as the RCA Project, called for the definition of a 2 seat Bentley coupé for the year 2050, which combines the traditional values of the Crewe based marque with extreme aerodynamics. Headed by exterior design director Raul Pires with the support of Dominic Najafi, the project resulted in the selection of four finalists, who then tested and honed their proposals in collaboration with EXA, using CFG programme (Computer Fluid Generated - a program not only extensively used by Bentley, but also by Formula 1 teams). "Striking a compromise between design and aerodynamics", explains Pires, "is not always an easy task. Often, when you improve one of these elements, it is at the expense of the other." The winner, the young German David Seesing, and the second place finalist, the Korean Bora Kim, were offered a six month internship, which would then be renewed for another six months, in the design studio at Crewe. "These youngsters", notes Pires, "are always coming up with new ideas. Now they can prove themselves in real projects."