The Future of Automotive Design?

Gary S. Vasilash


London’s Design Museum is undertaking its fifth annual Designs of the Year Awards, which has categories including Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product, and Transport.

It is the last category that is of greatest interest here.

And the two cars that are nominees in the Transport category have us wondering about what the future of vehicle design just might be.

The Transport category includes things ranging from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to a bicycle storage unit designed by Manifesto Architecture of New York.

There are two cars:

--The T.27 electric car from Gordon Murray Design

--The mia from Mia Electric

And here is what they look like:

T 27


The two are city cars. And both are electric vehicles. The mia has a 9.7-kW motor and utilizes a 8-kWh lithium iron phosphate battery. The T.27 has a 25-kW motor and a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery.

But look at these odd-looking cars. They appear to have been designed by someone who might otherwise be developing wooden toy vehicles for the Scandinavian company Brio.

Yet in the case of the T.27, it is worth noting that Gordon Murray is responsible for the design of such things as the McLaren F1, so he is no slouch in the styling department.

It appears that what’s occurring is the triumph of function over what many have come to expect, a sexy form.

So the future is. . .practical?