“To get to the Colt we have undertaken a process, taking our clients from the DNA of the concept car up to the production model”. The satisfaction of Olivier Boulay, director of design at Mitsubishi, is justified and comprehensible. On the stand at the Geneva Motor Show, but even more so on the streets of Barcelona where the international launch was staged, the new Colt destined for the European market stands out for its appealing, original and very modern design.
The design for the new model started out with a competition between the Japanese and European style centres, which ended with a win for the latter in 1999, when one of the 1:4 scale models created at the design centre in Trebur, Germany, was selected to form the basis for the exterior design of the car. The full scale model which was created underwent clinic tests in Germany, Italy and Spain, which proved the validity of the concept.
The interiors too are modern and polished, spacious and attractive, and were developed from 2000 onwards, based on a concept involving a rigid structure for dashboard and door panels. In the finished version these elements feature a striking geometric pattern textile upholstery.
The second objective for the interiors was clarity and ease of access to the various functions, both in terms of shape and ergonomics. The backlit grey-blue translucent plastic inserts lend a modern, inviting feel, inspired by the computer sector and the cutting-edge Japanese products in that sector. The world of product design also inspires the seats, which are upholstered in a warm red colour with light borders.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 147