} ;

Interior Motives - Winter 2009/10

18 January 2010 | by Euan Sey


Toyota FT-86

Renault Zoe ZE

Peugeot BB1

Bentley Mulsanne

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Toyota FT 86 Home
Vehicle type: concept prototype/2-dr coupe
Studio chief designer: Gen Ikeda
Chief interior designer: Takayuki Nakajima
Lead interior designer: Jaromir Cech
Colour & trim designers: Junya Abe,
Katsuji Kanamaru
Project started: July 2008
Project completed: October 2009
Launch: Tokyo/October 2009


The design of the FT-86 was carried out at Toyota’s ED² studio in France, with chassis, packaging and engineering support from Subaru and Toyota Japan. The four-seat coupe is much more than just a concept – it is a fully driveable prototype for a rear-drive sports coupe due in 2012, and the first of a new wave of exciting Toyota sports cars.

Seen here are early theme sketches from July/August 2008 by lead interior designer Jaromir Cech. “The concept behind these sketches was to emphasize the lightweight feeling and toned muscle body of the dashboard, which is supported by a centre tunnel expressing a low center of gravity,” he says. “Our goal was to come up with a fresh new design for a compact sports car in order to capture the imagination of young customers. At the same time we were aware of the importance of keeping all the essential elements of a sports car – therefore the key phrase for the FT-86 concept is ‘Functional Beauty’.”

Read the full design review


Renault Zoeze Home
Vehicle type: concept/4-seat compact
Design manager: Stephane Janin
Interior designer: Stephane Maiore
Colour & trim: Kana Watanabe
Project started: February 2008
Project completed: August 2009
Launch: IAA Frankfurt/September 2009 


The major drive behind the most ambitious concept shown by renault at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show was, according to interior designer Stephane Maiore, “the idea of designing an interior that doesn’t look like an interior”. It certainly doesn’t look like a conventional car cabin, as Maiore’s sketch – full of oval, round and undulating lines – shows. Renault management’s initial brief was to explore urban electric mobility for four people in a fl uid, modern and dynamic fashion. The team was also asked to incorporate, “in a very futuristic way, some genes of the production car”, which is due on European roads by 2012 as a Clio-plus-sized, 4/5- seat supermini with a fully electric powertrain.


Peugeot BB1 Home
Vehicle typeconcept/4-seat city car
Chief designerGilles Vidal
Interior design director: Amko Leenarts
Coloumaterials designer: Hélène Veilleux
Project started: January 2009
Project completed: July 2009
Launch: IAA Frankfurt/Sept 2009


The brief for the BB1 was to fi t four people into an electric vehicle the size of a first-generation Smart ForTwo. Built at Peugeot’s Automotive Design Network facility in Vélizy, France, the car achieves that goal by using tandem seating. Design also worked in tandem with engineering, explains interior design director Amko Leenarts: “Because everything was so constrained towards functionality, we couldn’t fi rst do a sketch and a design and then play around to see if it would work. This was such a different layout in terms of how people would sit, get in and out, and operate the vehicle — almost all the interior elements are new.” The team started with proportion and ergonomic models, then made a functional prototype; there was no clay model phase.


Bently Mulsanne Home
Vehicle type: production/4-door limousine
Interior design director: Robin Page
Senior interior designer: George Bowen
Colour & trim designer: Lisa Reeves
Project started: June 2005
Project completed: May 2008
Launch: IAA Frankfurt/September 2009


“Our aim was straightforward: to design the most inviting, sumptuous interior possible,” says Bentley’s Head of Interior Design, Robin Page. Before the project began, Page and his interior team embarked on research to isolate the characteristics that have defi ned Bentley interiors since the 1920s: cues such as bullseye air vents, ‘reversed’ dials, organ stops, map lamps and folding picnic tables.

Read the full design review


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