Dubai: Going fully electric isn’t only about ditching internal combustion engine. Even the concept of designing a car gets to undergo a makeover.
Kemal Curic, Global Design Director at Lincoln Motor Company, does get lyrical when talking about those very possibilities.
“In the future, there will be more of an opportunity to focus on the interior space, due to the elimination of the traditional elements,” said Curic, who’s down in Dubai for the launch of the Aviator SUV. “In terms of form and functionality, we have great opportunity to change the design. “Every design has a different thought process — so designing an electrical platform will be different from designing a fuel power-based model. It will require a different thought process, imagination, and inspiration.
“This provides a great opportunity to invest more in components like the interior space and exterior body, without worrying about traditional fuel power components.”
While a Lincoln all-electric is still a couple of years and more away, design has been central to the ongoing renaissance at the great American brand.
In the US, China and elsewhere, Lincoln’s recent crop of launches have re-connected with luxury car buyers, even winning over too hard to please millennials. How the cars looks and feel has been central to the turnaround. And not least, being inside of a Lincoln.
“It’s an exciting time for car designers — we see the integration between human centred design and services, and solutions, combined as one holistic approach,” said Curic, who uses metaphors found more in poetry or great prose when describing how it all comes together. “The Aviator is a perfect example for today’s design possibilities that come from various inspirations. It was inspired by aeroplanes and aviation, which is clear in the design that is routed in four tenets — beauty, gliding, human and sanctuary, and based on Lincoln’s “Quiet Flight DNA”. We feel we’ve achieved the most expressive Lincoln to date.” (In the US, the mid-size Aviator is priced between $51,000 to $88,000. It carries a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 powering 400-hp.)
The gradual shift in the auto industry to using aluminium for the frame is also helping with the designing. The Lincoln “design team use the material to our advantage to play up the very dramatic sculpted body panels (on the Aviator), while at the same time it also reduces the car weight for efficiency,” Curic added.
“Aluminium is a great opportunity for the brand to reflect the true understanding it has for clients, as they are always looking for efficiency that aluminium can provide without having to compromise on performance or design.”
Ford’s “Mustang-inspired” all-electric SUV will have its first global reveal on November 17, according to a teaser the US carmaker has put out. The manufacturer now has one of the most ambitious electric vehicle programmes among volume brands, and it’s a strategy that will be followed at Lincoln as well.