Once the design of the LRX – the concept car which was to debut at NAIAS 2008 just a few months later – was already defined, Gerry McGovern realised that the chrome plated blade on the air vent behind the front wheel arch was remarkably similar to a Porsche Design knife he had at home.
“There was no direct inspiration, we noted the formal analogy later”, says the director of Land Rover design, citing the extensive iconographic studies conducted during the project in an interview at Gaydon, the style headquarters for the British marque. “However, it is a sign of how in tune we are with contemporary product design.”
The strength of the LRX, the most interesting and aesthetically convincing prototype exhibited this year at Detroit, lies precisely in its close links with modern architecture and premium products, from furniture to yachts and from electronics to watches. An affinity mediated by its creators’ passion for the culture of design. McGovern lives surrounded by ‘classic’ pieces of modern design, not just at home but also in his studio, and owns a fully fledged collection of designer chairs, with examples such as the Barcelona armchairs by Mies van der Rohe, the Tulip by Eero Saarinen and thesteel chairs by
Harry Bertoia counting among his favourites.
These cultural references are crucial for understanding the design philosophy of the Land Rover brand and, therefore, of the LRX – a study for a possible new addition to the range. “Our vision is based on four key points.
The first is a fresh, functional approach, applied to a product that then becomes more sophisticated – just folding the seats to modulate space must be simple and fun”.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 169