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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lexus Nuaero by Jon Radbrink

NUAERO: (pronounced “no-ero”) represents new aerodynamics.

My final project at the Vehicle Design Dept. at the Royal College of Art is about creating a design that visually communicates sustainability through its form.

“As the environmental issues do close in, the days of vroom-vroom and big engines are gonna go away.” Kevin Gaskell, CEO, EurotaxGlass’s International

The core of concept of sustainability is efficiency. In the future we will have to have vehicles that are efficient in every way; from their efficient use of and lightness in materials, their efficient form and architecture, to their efficient use of fuel and resources.

My Lexus Nuaero concept proposes a new design language to communicate ecological efficiency through an architecture inspired by aerodynamics. I’ve been looking at different basic principles and ideas about aerodynamic efficiency and then combined them into a unique vehicle architecture. Usually aerodynamics is a final stage in car design, so this project kind of started where most projects finish.

The final design features a flowing catamaran underbody - made possible by in-wheel motors and hub-center steering - that ends in a massive venturi tunnel between the rear wheels. A super low-drag body is achieved by using an airfoil (wing profile) center, that blends between the nearly flat rearward tapered sides. To smoothly guide the air around the cabin, the angle of attack of the airfoil is optimized for efficiency while creating negative lift.

The design language of the Lexus Nuaero concept consist of two parts: Visual Aerodynamics and Contrasting Elements. The idea of combining seemingly contrasting elements in harmony comes from the local and global acceptance of Japanese-inspired design and cultural form (Toyota J-Factor). from Lexus Nuaero by Jon Rådbrink