Vice President of Design for Opel/Vauxhall, Mark Adams, first joined the company back in 2002. For his first project, he was tasked with designing the Insignia concept, which at the time hadn’t even been given a name yet. Whatever he came up with, he wanted to design something sculpted and with emotion, but still wanted it to convey the no nonsense functionality of a German car. He coined his ‘sculpted design meets German engineering’ design philosophy in 2005 after designing the car, a mantra which he’s stuck with ever since. So where is Opel design heading next? A recent interview with the lead designer gives us a little insight.
Adams said the Insignia was the first car that carried the ‘sculpted design meets German engineering’ values. With the philosophy, he wanted to create consistency, something that would last. So he and the design team have stuck with the same idea for every model they’ve redesigned since and will continue to do so with every new Opel model going forward.
“The good thing is that our philosophy doesn’t limit us, but gives us a lot of creative freedom instead. It provides a frame within which we can work, yet it doesn’t restrict us. We have a very broad range of customers, which is why we need different cars each with its own individual personality,” said Adams. “We have carried this philosophy with every new vehicle since the Insignia. It is currently reflected in our entire model range: The Astra, Meriva, and Zafira Tourer all embody it. So do the cars that have expanded our portfolio, the Ampera, Mokka, Adam, and Cascada. For example, the Adam is clearly an Opel, but it has a totally different personality than the Insignia.”
Going forward, consumers can expect the Opel design language to adopt features from the rakish Monza concept, just as Opels of today did with the Insignia concept.
“The seed for Opel Design 2.0 has been planted in the Monza concept, which will define the design of our production vehicles for the next eight to 10 years,” said Adams. “It takes some of the well-known features, gives them a fresh, new interpretation, and executes them in a contemporary way.”
Other ways Opel is looking to advance its products is in ease of usability and technology. Changes in technology can alter the overall design for vehicles in the future, especially interior designs.
“Today, drivers use a touchscreen to communicate, but voice recognition will soon take over. This also contributes significantly to safety since it allows drivers to keep their hands on the wheel. And Opel intends to be the leader in this field with our next generation of cars. Our focus is on making vehicles simple to use,” Adams said.
The full transcript from the interview is available for viewing on Opel’s website.