eBay Motors Exclusive Interview with Adrian van Hooydonk, Director of BMW Group Design
After BMW’s exciting press conference at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show, Justin Bell, host of The World’s Fastest Car Show, snagged an exclusive interview with Director of BMW Group Design, Adrian van Hooydonk. Their brief conversation covered some interesting ground regarding the iConcept vehicles BMW showed off at L.A., as well as the future of electric and hybrid automobiles.
Some of the more interesting moments of the interview came from Bell and van Hooydonk’s discussion of the new rules of auto design, and the importance of emotional connection as the car moves forward into a new era. New technologies tend to inspire distrust and put off most consumers, and it seems van Hooydonk and BMW understand that establishing and keeping the eye of the driver is as important as the advancement of technology in said cars. After all, it would be hard to sell even the most efficient powertrain ever built if the body it was clad in wasn’t attractive, able to lure the eye and stir emotions within the consumer that say “I want that.” BMW is finding ways to take advantage of the new technologies not only to push the envelope of fuel economy, but to find new ways to make design work and look better.
Van Hooydonk has driven prototypes of both the i3 and i8 Concepts, and discusses BMW’s range of potential vehicles providing different experiences for different customers. Specifically, van Hooydonk mentions the difference between customers looking for the more reliable, average-commute efficiency of the i3 to those looking for more of a performance vehicle, which is a want the i8 is quite literally built around. The i8 showcases the continued viability of the internal combustion engine as both a range-extender and performance booster; the future of the sports car is in the i8’s combination of a smaller, more efficient gas engine and electric motors.
All in all, the conversation between Bell and van Hooydonk revealed much of BMW’s philosophy toward the future of motoring. This vision is broad in scope and should provide for some remarkable vehicles hitting roads near you sooner rather than later.