Audi unveils its first all-electric compact SUV’s: the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron…

Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Colour: Geyser blue, metallic and Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Edition One Colour: Typhoon gray

Versatile all-rounders for everyday use that transfer the progressive design of the concept cars into series production and that can be driven locally without any emissions: The Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron are the first compact electric SUVs from the brand with the Four Rings.

Both of them impress with a new spacious dimension in the interior and pioneering solutions when it comes to operation, display, and assist systems. The augmented reality head-up display connects the virtual and the real worlds in a totally new way.

Q4 50 Sportback e-tron Quattro Colour: Florett silver

The range comprises three drive versions, spearheaded by a quattro model with a maximum output of 220 kW (299 PS). Attributes that they all share are zero local emissions driving  and high ranges, charging times of around ten minutes for sufficient power to travel about 130 kilometers (80.8 mi) in ideal conditions (WLTP) and convenient charging with the e-tron Charging Service. The rear-wheel drive Q4 40 e-tron achieves a range of up to 520 kilometers (323.1 mi) in the WLTP cycle. It goes on sale in Europe in June 2021, with prices in Germany starting at EUR 41,900 – where the customer can claim a subsidy of EUR 9,000 (net).

Audi’s next step: the exterior design

With the Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron, Audi is taking the next step in the design language of its electric models.

The two compact SUVs bring into series production the body line that the Audi Q4 concept and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron concept show cars demonstrated at the beginning of 2019.

In the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, the especially low coupé-style roofline ends in an expressively designed rear where the spoiler sits deep on the two-part window.

On request, both of these compact electric SUVs can be driven off the assembly line with Matrix LED headlights. What’s more, the driver can switch between four signatures in the MMI touch operating system. At the rear, a light strip links the taillight units to each other. A choice of eight colors is available for the paint finish, including the new metallic shade aurora violet. In addition to the basic version, there are the two advanced and S line exteriors.

E-mobility for everyone…

Audi wants its new Q4 line to be an all-round car which offers everything for everyone. The available space in the interior is comparable with the full-size SUV class; there is no center tunnel. The feeling of spaciousness is not just confined to the front seats – with the generous legroom, passengers in the rear also benefit from the advantage of the technological platform, which is designed as electric-only.

Depending on the positioning of the rear seat backs, the volume of the luggage compartment is 520 to 1,490 liters in the Q4 e-tron and 535 to 1,460 liters under a power trunk lid in the Sportback. Both models can tow trailers with a weight of up to 1,000 kilograms (braked, at 12% incline), with the quattro versions even able to pull up to 1,200 kilograms.

Another strength for everyday use is the high range – the Q4 40 e-tron travels up to 520 kilometers (323.1 mi) (WLTP) on a single battery charge. Thanks to a maximum charging capacity of 125 kW, in ideal conditions it can charge enough power for about 130 kilometers (80.8 mi) (WLTP) in around ten minutes. Using the myAudi app, the owner can activate charging at home and pre-entry climate control from their smartphone.

In the interior, there are also quite a few innovations. For instance totally new is the steering wheel with its seamless touch surfaces, which the driver uses to control the digital instrument cluster.

Infotainment and navigation are operated primarily using the central MMI touch display, which will also be available in the largest configuration level of 11.6 inches towards the end of the year. Natural voice control provides the third operating interface.

On request, the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron can be equipped with another innovation on board – the augmented reality head-up display.

Fully digital: the Q4 e-tron is an e-mobility device

The Q4 e-tron models offer a fully digital user experience. The infotainment package in the electric compact SUV is structured in three levels – from MMI through MMI plus to MMI pro.

Different functions are provided depending on the configuration level, including the augmented reality head-up display and the Audi virtual cockpit plus. The optional levels provide the online services of Audi connect, including the intelligent e-tron route planner for working out the optimal route that stays close to the public charging infrastructure. For premium sound, the Sonos sound system which combines lifestyle, technology and design in a new dimension.

Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Static photo, Colour: Geyser blue, metallic Audi Q4 50 e-tron quattro Edition One Static photo, Colour: Typhoon gray

For urban commuters and long-distance drivers: battery, drive and charging options

The drive portfolio of the two compact electric models lives up to the expectations of very different groups of customers – from the urban commuter to the long-distance driver. It includes two battery variants and three drive variants. The compact battery for the Q4 35 e-tron has a net energy content of 52 kWh (55 kWh gross), while the figures for the large battery in the Q4 40 e-tron and Q4 50 e-tron quattro are 77 (82) kWh.

The Q4 35 e-tron and the Q4 40 e-tron have an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, with an output of 125 kW (170 PS) and 150 kW (204 PS) respectively. The top-of-the-range version Q4 50 e-tron quattro has two electric motors for the electric all-wheel drive. They give it a maximum output of 220 kW (299 PS) – sufficient for a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 180 km/h. For efficiency, the motor on the front axle comes into action only when high power or a strong grip is needed.

Another important factor in energy-saving driving is intelligent recuperation, which also incorporates navigation and topographical data.

Dashboard

Audi’s two new electric SUVs can be charged with different outputs using alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) depending on the battery. The compact battery can get up to 7.2 kW with AC charging and up to 100 kW when using HPC charging (high-power charging) with direct current. As standard, the larger battery allows for up to 11 kW with AC and up to 125 kW with HPC.

Audi e-tron Charging Service…

Drivetrain

The Audi e-tron Charging Service provides access to around 210,000 public charging points in 26 European countries, 4,400 of which are HPC fast-charging points (as of April 2021), using just one charging card. In the transit tariff, customers buying the Q4 e-tron do not pay any basic fee in the first year. They benefit here especially from the preferential conditions in the IONITY network: The charged kilowatt hour costs 31 cents, which corresponds to the price level when charging at home in Germany.

The Audi Q4 e-tron will appear in June 2021 on European markets, with the Q4 Sportback e-tron following in the late summer. Of course we are keen to sample driving impressions this summer!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

New ŠKODA ENYAQ iV earns five stars in Euro NCAP test.

The new ŠKODA ENYAQ iV truly scores: The new electric SUV has achieved the highest classification of five stars in tests conducted by the independent European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).

It now ranks among the safest vehicles currently available with a total of 86% of the possible points.

And there is more: The ŠKODA ENYAQ iV achieved the best result ever in the Euro NCAP test for occupant protection, with 94% for adult passengers and 89% for children.

ŠKODA’s first model based on the Volkswagen Group’s Modular Electrification Toolkit thus continues the string of top scores for ŠKODA vehicles in the crash safety reference test, even with the now stricter assessment criteria. ŠKODA’s bestseller, the OCTAVIA, the compact model SCALA and the SUV models KODIAQ, KAROQ and KAMIQ, among others, have all been awarded the coveted five star rating.

Needless to say that the ENYAQ iV inspires, with its styling and build quality, and we will be keen to sample driving and test impressions in the coming months…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Jaguar launches a stunning “R-Dynamic” version of their elegant F-Type…

Jaguar launches a mouth-watering version of their elegant F-TYPE: the Exclusive F-TYPE R-Dynamic Black. It boasts additional equipment as standard and is offered in Coupé and Convertible body styles

There is an even more desirable version: the so-called “Black Pack”, with 20-inch gloss black wheels, and choice of Santorini Black, Eiger Grey or Firenze Red metallic paint.

Refinement…

The driver-focused interior is equipped with 12-way adjustable Windsor Leather Performance Seats in Ebony with Light Oyster stitch or in Mars with Flame Red stitch. An Ebony coloured suede cloth headliner enriches the iconic ‘1+1’ cabin.  

The R-Type comes with many appealing details: A heritage-inspired monogram pattern is used for seat and door trim stitching and also embossing of the suede cloth wrap for the instrument cluster.

And abundant power…

The F-Type comes with what it takes: the 300PS Ingenium four-cylinder and 450PS supercharged V8 with rear- or all-wheel drive and eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ transmissions deliver engaging, exploitable performance and outstanding driver reward.

The new R-Dynamic Black models add to the purity and presence that already sets Jaguar’s definitive sports car apart.

The F-TYPE’s shape is further accentuated by the Black Pack and 20-inch, five split-spoke wheels with gloss black finish. Known as ‘Style 5039’, these wheels are not available on any other model in the range. Complementing these perfectly is the choice of three metallic paints: Santorini Black, Eiger Grey or Firenze Red.

Performance galore…

Exclusively rear-wheel drive, the 300PS, 2.0-litre turbocharged Ingenium four-cylinder engine generates maximum torque from just 1,500rpm, delivering exceptional throttle response throughout the rev range. It also provides the performance expected from F-TYPE and enables acceleration from 0-60mph in only 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. 

The 450PS, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 has been developed to offer exploitable, useable and rewarding performance – maximum torque of 580Nm is generated from 2,500rpm. It is offered with a choice of all-wheel drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics or – for purists – rear-wheel drive. Both 450PS powertrains feature an electronic active rear differential to optimise traction, and both enable 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 177mph.

The 300PS and 450PS units are also available in other F-TYPE models, but for truly exceptional performance in all weathers and on any kind of road there is the F-TYPE R. Offered exclusively with all-wheel drive, its supercharged V8 delivers 575PS and 700Nm: the benchmark sprint to 60mph takes just 3.5 seconds, while maximum speed is an electronically-limited 186mph. 

Tailoring your Jaguar to your personal driving style…

The F-TYPE R and P450 models are equipped as standard with Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system with Configurable Dynamics. Using electronically-controlled, continuously-variable dampers, Adaptive Dynamics optimizes both low speed comfort and high-speed control, while Configurable Dynamics enables the driver to tailor the settings for suspension stiffness, steering weight, throttle response and gearshifts. All 300PS four-cylinder F-TYPEs use meticulously tuned passive monotube dampers to deliver the ride and handling attributes which give these models their unique character.

Needless to say that we are keen to sample test driving impressions from these wonderful, sporting and elegant Jaguars soon…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Bentley celebrates the production of its 200.000th car…


The Bentayga Hybrid, destined for a Chinese customer, met the oldest surviving Bentley, EXP 2, and a number of long serving colleagues, as it rolled off the production line at the home of Bentley in Crewe this week.

Things have taken off for the inconic brand over the last 18 years. Thanks to the success of the Continental GT and more recently the Bentayga SUV, daily production has soared. Indeed, over that period, over 75 per cent of 101 years of production has been hand-built at the Crewe factory, more than ever the home of Bentley. Current daily production, 85 cars per day, equals monthly production numbers of two decades ago.

The Bentley Continentals – then and now…

I vividly recall the interview I made at the Frankfurt Motor Show more than a decade ago with Franz-Josef Paefgen, then CEO of Bentley Motors and Bugatti Automobiles, posts he left in 2011.

During his time as the Chief Executive Officer of Bentley Motors Ltd., he was responsible for the Bentley Mulsanne and the Bentley Continental series of cars. From 2003 to 2005, Dr. Paefgen was responsible for the development of the Bugatti Veyron.

Every Bentley is actually a four wheeled chapter in automotive history…

I asked him then whether a hybrid Bentley was not on the cards, as Bentley’s could be considered the pinnacle of engineering and an electrified Bentley would be proper. It clearly was not in the strategy of the VW Group then, as the idea was immediately brushed aside by Mr. Paefgen as unrealistic, customers not wanting this at all…

Well times have changed quite a bit since then, as we now read that Company aims to be end-to-end carbon neutral by 2030 with entire model range switched to battery electric vehicles(!). Bentley will move to full electrification – PHEV or BEV only – by 2026, then switch the entire model range to battery electric vehicles by 2030. The industry-leading Beyond100 Strategy will transform every aspect of the business as Bentley accelerates into its second century of luxury car production.

Six cylinder Bentley engine production in the ’50s in Crewe…

What this means for the retail value and depreciation of the existing and historic Bentley’s remains to be seen…

But back to the production history.

The Continental GT was the first landmark…

In 2003 the introduction of the Continental GT represented a transformative moment for the brand, and this Bentley alone, has represented 80,000 sales of the total of 200,000, and created both a new segment, and a contemporary image foundation for the Bentley business.

The Crewe factory in 1940…

…followed by the Bentayga

The success of the Continental GT has been mirrored by the Bentayga, offering a true Bentley driving experience and unparalleled luxury. Launched in 2015, when it established the luxury SUV sector, the fastest SUV in the world has reached its 25,000 production landmark. It is expected that the Bentayga could surpass total sales of the Continental GT within a decade and become the biggest selling Bentley model in history.

And now in 2021…

Since 2005, the company has also built 40,000 examples of the Flying Spur, the most successful luxury sports saloon in the world.

We show you here some photos, lifting a veil of the very interesting and multifaceted production history of the brand, and then we have told nothing of their sporting achievements…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Maserati MC20 wins “Best of the Best” at the Red Dot Awards with its outstanding design…

The new Maserati MC20 receives the prize for “Best of the Best” at the Red Dot Awards 2021 in the Product Design category.

Competition run by a German design center…

The Red Dot Awards is well known, although not everyone is aware that this international design competition is run by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany, which has been assessing and selecting the most aesthetically exciting, functional, intelligent, innovative products from all over the world since 1955.

Every year, this prestigious competition rewards excellence in the field of product and brand design and communication at the global level, with criteria constantly updated to the socio-cultural context.

A jury of 50 international experts chooses products in almost fifty different categories, from fashion to accessories and from furnishings to vehicles.

This reward puts of course a smile on the faces at Maserati…

We cite a few comments:

Maserati CEO Davide Grasso: “Our mission was to develop a car that would be remembered in the future as the model that launched the Maserati New Era. And I think we’ve achieved our goal with MC20. Maserati is innovative by nature, powered by passion and unique by design: the new super spots car embodies all these values and is a watershed, the founding model of this new phase in the Brand’s history.”

Klaus Busse, Head of Maserati Design, added: “We are honoured to receive this coveted accolade, which recognises the work of an entire team who have worked hard on this unique project, creating a car that opens a new chapter in Maserati’s history.”

Truly Italian

MC20 is designed by the Centro Stile Maserati in Turin and inaugurates a new Era for the Trident Brand.

The new super sports car represents the pure form of speed, with Maserati style: a work of sculptural engineering, showing the way to the Brand’s aesthetic future.

Developed by the Maserati Innovation Lab and built at the historic Modena plant, Maserati MC20 is genuinely an all-Italian car.

Besides its innovatige, good looks, it is also fast…

With the new 630 hp V6 Nettuno engine the MC20 catapults from 0 to 100 km/h in under 2.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of over 325 km an hour. The patented engine was conceived, developed, designed and built entirely by Maserati, and uses a pre-chamber combustion technology derived from Formula 1 engines… wow!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

BMW’s new generation iDrive further explained…part 1

We will bring you in several reports some further details about the latest iDrive, which is a further step into improved vehicle interaction in this era where things get increasingly smarter.

BMW’s operating system equips the vehicle to actively engage in its relationship with those on board. As BMW states, a natural dialogue is created with the aim of precisely tailoring all the functions controlled via BMW iDrive to the driver’s needs and preferences as the situation demands.

Underpinning the unique user experience are the new BMW Operating System 8, a new generation of displays, controls and software, and extremely powerful connectivity and data processing. The new iDrive will be rolled out gradually across all vehicle classes, making its debut later this year in the BMW iX before also featuring in the BMW i4.

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant adjusts to the driver’s individual needs and routines, as well as the situation at hand, and this makes it – more than ever – a central operating channel of human-machine interaction.

The operating system is designed with a clear focus on dialogue-based interaction using natural language and touch operation via the BMW Curved Display.

But there is more. BMW speaks of “Great Entrance Moments”, bringing emotionality to the relationship between driver and vehicle even before the driver climbs on board.

This new customer experience welcomes the driver and invites him or her into the vehicle with a thoroughly choreographed routine. During the journey, the new “My Modes” use an all-encompassing interplay of various functions to conjure special moments from a combination of vehicle characteristics and the interior ambience adapted to the situation at hand.

Processing data leading to further personalisation…

The new BMW iDrive constantly processes a large quantity of self-generated data, information available online and data imported from the BMW Group vehicle fleet to implement the driver’s wishes in a context-related way.

This is paving the way for even greater personalisation, and this system is called the “BMW ID.”

This system recognises repetitive situations, learns from them and provides suggestions on how functions can be activated accordingly. There is even more to keep the system up to date: Remote Software Upgrade allows the new BMW iDrive to benefit from regular over-the-air improvements, integrate additional functions and stay up to date at all times.

Design approach and operating concept.

The BMW iX all-electric Sports Activity Vehicle was developed from the inside out. It’s the same story with the user experience for the new BMW iDrive. The wishes of those travelling in the iX underpin how the user experience is designed – in all its facets and for all the senses.

Advances made in the field of digital design are likewise reflected in the design of a user interface which not only fulfils its functional role but is also clear, aesthetically pleasing and rich in detail.

This artistic approach creates surprising moments, with graphic presentation on the displays precisely designed, down to the last pixel.

The interaction between driver and vehicle becomes a unique experience in which the boundaries between the digital and analogue worlds melt away.

The digital design’s use of form fits in neatly with the geometric structures of the analogue elements in the new BMW design language. A prime example is the use of clear, minimalist design in both the exterior and interior of the car, which is reflected in the pure, reduced design of the digital elements of BMW iDrive.

The Curved Display takes centre stage…

The most distinctive new addition to the physical components on board is the BMW Curved Display, which groups together the information display and control display. This curving screen offers a futuristic interpretation of the traditional driver orientation in the cockpit design of BMW models. The BMW Curved Display is angled clearly towards the driver , making the intuitive touch control even more straightforward. In this new BMW Curved Display, the screen areas of the 12.3-inch information display and 14.9-inch control display merge together into a single unit.

The “Act, Locate and Inform” principle, which ensures information is distributed clearly and screen redundancy is avoided, takes the signature BMW driver orientation of the cockpit design to a new level. Pre-filtering ensures that only information relevant to the driving situation is presented to the driver – and always shown where they can absorb it as quickly and easily as possible.

Voice control and the touch function of the BMW Curved Display were prioritized as usage options in the development of the new BMW iDrive. The number of buttons and switches has been reduced by almost half. At the same time, control clusters for relevant and frequently used basic functions are retained where customers expect to find them. The control panels on the centre console and instrument panel have an all-new, minimalist design. The familiar iDrive Controller is the central control element on the centre console. The Touch Controller, designed in an extremely smart glass-effect finish for the BMW iX, is encircled by a bezel painted in Gold Bronze.

The upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant performs the role of a digital character which can engage in natural dialogue with the driver and front passenger – similarly to a relationship between humans.

More about the Graphical User Interface in a following report…

Last but not least, we are looking forward to drive some BMW and Mini products in June, and maybe get a first “real” experience of the iDrive also in the coming months…

Stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

BMW iDrive: a stunning presentation, and a bold step towards a safe personal driving experience…

We just witnessed the presentation, and of course we will come back on this with more details, but we can say already that BMW again produced a breakthrough in car to driver communication…

We show you here some screenshots of the presentation, but, as said, there is more to come about this very convincing approach…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Kia introduces its new design philosophy and presents it in the brand new EV6…

Kia Corporation has revealed the first images of the exterior and interior design of EV6, its first dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV), ahead of the car’s world premiere at the end of March.

EV6 was designed under the brand’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity.

At the centre of the design philosophy is a new visual identity evoking positive forces and natural energy, with contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes.It is definitely contemporary and has timeless proportions, which will please for years to come, with a purity not unlike for instance VW’s ID3 and ID4.

Boasting a distinctive crossover-inspired design and based on the brand’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated BEV to be influenced by the new design philosophy.

Opposites United: a design philosophy for all future Kia vehicles

The Opposites United design philosophy makes its debut on EV6, and will inform the design of all future Kia models. The philosophy is based on five key design pillars: ‘Bold for Nature’, ‘Joy for Reason’, ‘Power to Progress’, ‘Technology for Life’, and ‘Tension for Serenity’.

We explain it more in detail here.

Bold for Nature is based on interaction with nature, informed by the details, shapes and proportions found both in the natural and human worlds. This design pillar creates organic, yet technical structures and finishes for vehicle interiors; exterior designs are characterised by a combination of clear and simple lines with bold, ever-changing surfaces.

Joy for Reason focuses on the feel and ambience of Kia’s future vehicles. Future designs will fuse the emotional with the rational, creating vehicles that influence the mood of passengers, by relaxing and inspiring. It will also influence the adoption of new organic materials and more daring colours, expressing a sense of youth and playfulness.

Power to Progress builds on the brand’s current design strengths. By drawing on and developing the skills and expertise learned throughout Kia’s recent era of design-led transformation, the designs and layouts of the brand’s future products will continue to evolve. Future designs will draw on experience and creativity to invent and innovate new designs.

Technology for Life embraces new technologies and innovations to foster positive interactions between humans and machines. The brand’s future vehicles will adopt a next-generation in-car user experience (UX) through design and innovation and advancements in lighting, feel and in-car connectivity – to help customers engage with their cars.

Tension for Serenity evokes the tension between opposing forces and creative contrasts, and recognises the design equilibrium that comes from two opposing forces. It delivers striking design concepts that use sharp, highly technical details to create surface tension – and realise a harmonised, future-oriented design vision.

Exterior design: a future-oriented EV design characterised by high-tech details

The exterior design of EV6 is a powerful representation of ‘Power to Progress’.

At the front, characteristic daytime running lights create a sleek appearance. They form part of the car’s ‘Digital Tiger Face’, a design progression evoking the spirit of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose Grille’ for the electrified era. The design of the lamps also includes a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern.

The side profile displays a crossover-inspired design aesthetic, contrasting with sharp lines and high-tech details to create a sense of tension in the design.

Designed in part to realise ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping rear C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert which visually widens the window glass.

The EV6 is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Namyang (Korea), Frankfurt (Germany), and Irvine (California, US).

Interior design: a modern and spacious interior for the EV era

A distinct product of the EV era, the interior design is liberated as it were by Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform, which offers increased space compared to previous Kia EVs based on existing model architecture. Here Kia goes with VW’s trend set in with their ID series.

One of the most striking elements of the new interior is a seamless high-tech curved high-definition audio visual and navigation (AVN) screen. The simple form language of the wide curved screen and the slim dashboard give the space an open feel.

The width of the screen creates an immersive experience for the driver, while a minimal number of physical buttons offer an uncluttered and soothing driving experience.

Underneath the AVN screen, passengers control HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) settings by using haptic ‘buttons’, while below this panel, the dashboard slopes away towards the front of the car, creating a sense of space and openness for the front-seat passengers.

The seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics created using recycled plastics, which create yet greater openness in the cabin.

EV6 will make its world premiere in March 2021, during a special online event. We will keep you posted!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The Land Rover Defender has been named Supreme Winner Women’s World Car of the Year 2021.

The Women’s World Car of the Year is the first time a Land Rover has won the top prize at the awards and is the latest in a series of international honours for the most capable Land Rover ever made.

The new Defender remains true to the pioneering spirit that has been a Land Rover hallmark for over 70 years and redefines adventure for the 21st century. Iconic in name, shape and capability, it is available in a choice of body designs and can be personalised with a choice of four Accessory Packs to help owners make more of their world.

The Women’s World Car of the Year (WWCOTY) awards are the only car awards in the world with a jury comprised exclusively of woman, with 50 motoring journalists from 38 countries on 5 continents recognizing the best new models available.

The New Defender was named Best Medium SUV 2021 at the awards before being awarded – to coincide with International Women’s Day – the headline WWCOTY prize.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

How the Tonale prototype design model was born for the Geneva Salon…two years ago.

Klaus Busse presented the Alfa Romeo Tonale two years ago in Geneva…

Klaus Busse is the talented head of design for Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Chrysler, and he is also quite active on social media. We read today a post from his hand on his Instagram page about the presentation of the Tonale at the Geneva Show two years ago, together with some stunning photos showing how the Tonale was sculpted out of plaster and other materials to become a real looking car, to be shown as a styling model at the salon.

Craftsmen working on the clay model, succeeding into making it a real looking car…

The photos show how elements of the car were formed and made by hand. Some pieces were 3D printed, I believe, but personally I find it truly amazing how these craftsmen put the car together, and finished it to become a design model with gleaming paint and shiny elements, the result being indistinguishable from a “real” car.

I believe, 3D printed elements were used…
Also here 3D printed elements abound…

I found the photos so interesting that I want to show them here to you on these pages.

The steering wheel gets a “real” feel…
Craftsmen sculpting the rear end…

On the fourth of May 2019, I visited the Centro Style in Turin, and met Klaus Busse. You see me standing proudly beside the Tonale prototype, and also in a group photo with Klaus Busse himself on the left.

Sweet memories, and of course your servant would love to witness once how these craftsmen work to create such an unbelievably finished prototype…

Just enjoy the photos with me!

Hans Knol ten Bensel