Take the free spirit of young future designers, add the evocative power of a trademark that has re-emerged from history to renew its splendour, mix with the savoir faire of designers responsible for some of the most sought-after cars in the world and see what happens. This is what the German tyre producer Fulda did on the occasion of the launch of his new range of sports products, the aim being to create an ad hoc car which was fast and aggressive enough to be able to fit the new Carat Exelero tyres without feeling out of place.
Coordinating this meeting between the Pforzheim polytechnic school of design, the Maybach, the Mercedes Style Centre and Fulda itself, was Harald Leschke, head of advanced design with DaimlerChrysler. “The project”, he explains, “is independent of both the Maybach badge and of Mercedes design. It is a commissioned assignment done with the support of Maybach and Mercedes styling but carried out exclusively for Fulda”.
After selecting the four best students on the course, Leschke, under the supervision of DaimlerChrysler design vice-president, Peter Pfeiffer, kept an eye on the development of their proposals before selecting the project to be carried out in the form of a full-scale running prototype.
To translate the project into a running vehicle, Fulda went for the experience of the model-makers and technicians at Stola in Turin, with whom Leschke and Mercedes advanced design have been working for some time. The final result is a successful concentration of power and aggressiveness. Any doubts about the competitive vocation of the Exelero fall by the wayside when you sit in the cab, where the red of the moulded seats, the multi-accessoried dash and a sports steering wheel enable you to control the 700 bhp heart under the bonnet.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 154