Another world premier for the Istituto Europeo di Design which returns to the Geneva International Motor Show to present Tomo, the electric concept car created in partnership with Honda Design. Tomo is the thesis project produced by the 13 students of the two-year Master in Transportation Design at IED Torino, a venue of the network that has attracted young people from all over the world and educates them to become the designers of the future. Just like in an automotive design centre, the Japanese company asked students to work on a brief, Honda next “fun” driving, with the aim of designing what they think should be the ideal means of transport for young people in the next six years.
Months of planning and extensive research on key values like friendship, driving fun and respect for the environment led to the creation of Tomo, an electric concept car halfway between a smart device and a mobility tool that combines the needs of free time leisure outside the city with the demands of working in an urban setting. A vehicle of this type, designed to be a faithful companion of its user and able to adapt to his or her wishes and needs could only be called Tomo – friend in Japanese – to underscore the image of a vehicle that contains everything that the user needs in everyday life, inside and outside of the city. Tomo’s design (length 3997 mm – width 1893 mm – height 1556 mm – wheelbase 2690 mm) is the result of research oriented towards the product, its functionality and its youthful appearance. In Tomo the traditional barriers between the exterior and interior of a vehicle exist physically but are conceptually eliminated: the coupé volume and the functions of a mini pickup are in fact “masked” by an external appearance that is both fashionable and youthfully urban.
The interior is therefore designed to offer experiences in line with the easy, friendly setting of the screens, steering wheel and head-up display on the windscreen. The exterior, on the other hand, is shaped around these functions, becoming almost an empathetic, identifying wearable device that adapts to the urban or suburban setting. Tomo was designed for a new market segment where age doesn’t count. It seeks to spark the interest of new generations who increasingly have a non-traditional occupation, who want to experience their car in a fun and useful way. These are people for whom the environment, ecology and sustainability are fundamental values to build their futures on.
«Starting with the active participation of young designers, through partnerships and internships in Europe and in conjunction with the presentation of the evolution of the Honda Urban EV concept in Geneva, we asked the young IED designers to propose a variation on the fun and freedom mobility theme. It was an exciting, constructive journey both for us and the students thanks to the fusion of the Honda Design philosophy and the creative energy and commitment of the young IED designers», said Taku Kono, General Manager Styling Design Division Honda R&D. «Giving our students the opportunity to work with Honda, one of the world’s top car manufacturers, and then to present the skills, professionalism and values they have acquired during their studies on a global stage is a source of great pride for IED», said Paola Zini Director of IED Torino.