In Praise of – Mindset

Current Competitive Intelligence project at work had me looking around at some ‘eco’ vehicles that are due to be launched within the next year or so. There’s the Aptera, a fairly extreme iteration of aerodynamic design which has taken upwards of 5K orders and is due for launch towards the end of this year. I’m more intrigued though, by the Mindset. I saw the prototype of this car in Wallpaper last year. Its thin-wheel, long-wheelbase proportions were instantly something new – though at the same time comfortingly familiar. There’s a more than a hint of Karmann Ghia around the front-end. Almost a 911 reference about the fender/wheelarches. Maybe not so surprising given it was designed by ex-VW designer Murat Guenak. Clearly – it’s been designed as a desirable automotive object first, an envrironmentally-sound car second.

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Check out the link in the bottom right of their main page – it opens up a page of great little films – one of which;  ‘”what does your car for your climax?” (which has a cheeky Aphex-Twin soundtrack) shows a pedal-car tootling around a Swiss town. The interesting point being people’s generally positive reaction to a small, personable, friendly, almost comical car. Gone is the driver / pedestrian conflict, the feeling that in an urban environment a car can be an anti-social and potentially lethal weapon.

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What I like about the Mindset is that it’s an optimistic automotive outlook, one that doesn’t ‘de-car’ the car. We love cars because they represent freedom, self-expression, sex-appeal, and our individuality. The negative baggage that has developed with mass car ownership we prefer to ignore. But Mindset is the first, and I’m sure not the last, of the new eco-OEMS that celebrates all those positives, but addresses the negatives without having to make a compromise. It’s quick: 0-60 in 7 seconds, and has the right enviro-credentials…the downside right now is the projected price; £45K. I sincerely hope economies of scale bring this down to a much more realistic level, otherwise this’ll be a museum peice….and that’ll be a tragedy.

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4 comments

  1. Flora Stubbs · June 22, 2009

    Nice car philosophy bro 🙂

  2. ONE COMMENT · June 23, 2009

    You have the best job in the world
    keep updating, getting paid to research and design future cars, looking forward to some exciting models, next cmax, not sure about the x6 competitor? not very eco or is it a usual auto epxress anti climax… over pshop!

    • The Face · June 23, 2009

      Photoshopped!….the red one. Surprisingly they were spot on with a vehicle that had been developed a couple of years back …..I can say that now because it died. But you’re right – there may be some mileage in the mini X6 segment. A little bit like the LandRover LRX concept from a couple of years back – if that was suitably ‘eco-ed’ it could be a winner.

  3. COMMENT · June 29, 2009

    suprising what they pay to get a shock cover image, very poor standards if you ask me, wonder which car was canned, the capri – Visos, or a Fiesta B max / mav… keep up the great job , great bit of resarch on the renault, i never knew this one existed, yes the r class has been a bit of a failure, kind of a car before its time, like the vel satis and avant time, perhaps badge snobbery will propel the BM sales up. Your eco, crossover has potential, give people what they think they want, eco, tall driving position, load flexibility, etc whilst remaining sporty… ie the opposite of the Brick Volt . One model i would like revived is the Puma, build on the fiesta, one engine line up (econet), 3 door coupe, dramatic roof line, but not a simple TT copy as done by Peugouts new RCZ, Keep the originals character and coke bottle waist line and rounded fenders. The new Ka is a real dissapointment, a real missed opportunity to stand out in the congested supermini crowd. The rear simalirities with the corsa, and the front is just a clone of fiesta etc. The proposal from Dunton I saw in AD , looked more radical, espically the rear glass hatch, one feature to stand out, I would have liked the rubber, plastic gray bumper panels for the front / back also. These are key rub areas and would be cheap to touch up , replace, instead of the body coloured panels. The personalisation seems a bit of an afterthought, how many green and black, tatoo neon cars are you liely to see? the Mini is king at this, the MiTo is a joke, I have only seen one in alfa red, and this was standard trim, Sorry to go on, just bored silly in my current job and determined to get into this industry one day to let off some steam! a quick question, how many are in your studio? 20 – 30? also youngest age, 20’s, and oldest, cheers, just a few of the q I have in my mind when sending off for jobs / placements etc and never gettig a reply

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