A delicate balance of cultures where the harmony of Oriental philosophies meets European rationalism. The D70, the second concept car of the Senova Offspace series developed by Baic Motors Design Centre in collaboration with GranStudio, foreshadows the design of the Chinese brand’s future premium saloon.
“The aim with Senova is to create a brand with a strong identity. After the 2016 Offspace (see A&D 219), a concept car workshop that explored new styling features, the OffSpace D70 applies those formal elements to a realistic model, with a view to future production”, says Lowie Vermeersch, CEO and Creative Director of GranStudio.
The styling idiom of the OffSpace D70 is firmly connected to the capital Beijing, “the City of the North”, home of Baic. Here, tradition and innovation coexist and are expressed in a unique combination of values reflected in the aesthetics of the car, where the classic beauty of well-crafted proportions is combined with elements taken from technological design.
“The front of the car is an important element in the evolution of Baic’s styling language, currently characterised by a pronounced grille with the double inner wing enclosing a central detail that was inspired by the “North” ideogram, in homage to the city of Beijing”, says Vermeersch.
“We have revisited this graphic while trying to keep the main elements unchanged. Instead of slotting them one inside the other we chose to overlap them, positioning the wings – with their more fleeting and freer form towards the exterior with the symbol of the North kept in central position – over the wide grille”. A solution that increases the size impression of the front, fundamental for the Chinese market.
“China is a country with a scale of dimensions very different to what we are accustomed to in Europe and we need to adapt our point of view”, says Vermeersch. “In Europe everything is compact and small, everything in China is sweepingly expansive”.
This styling approach has been translated into sculpted shapes with taut, assertive lines that give rise to fine, sophisticated surfaces such as “taut silk” with seamlessly lined powerful shoulders giving dimensions and formal tension. In the rear, the aerodynamic design encapsulates the team’s experience in the design of sports cars, to the benefit of efficiency and sustainability.
Among the signature elements of the D70 are the chromed details that embellish the forms and the dynamic graphics, without closed lines, which blend in with the body sections.
“The creation of a mixed team with the designers of the Baic Design Centre in China allowed us to work with a different cultural approach. While in Europe language is typically geometric, including written characters, with both defined and closed forms a heritage of a modernist imprint, in the East forms tend to be more open and elusive, in art, architecture and form of graphic characters. One obvious example is the Taoist symbol of Taijitu, in which Yin and Yang originate a form without borders”.
In the interiors too, it is the sense of balance that characterises spaces. Traditional, precious materials, such as native natural wood and leather, are combined with innovative trim, such as technical silver effect fabric and wide digital touchscreens of the latest generation in a balanced mix that does justice to the will to combine the sense of premium quality with sculptural forms and high-tech solutions.