Lexus Nuaero by Jon Rådbrink

| 34 comments

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Swedish automotive design graduate Jon Rådbrink presented a concept for a catamaran-shaped car at the Royal College of Art graduation show in London last month.

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Called the Lexus Nuaero, it features motors in the wheels and a touch-screen dashboard where the information and controls can be moved around.

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The driving system is controlled solely by hand without the use of foot pedals; to break, the driver pushes the steering wheel away from their body.

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Rådbrink, a graduate from the RCA's Vehicle Design course, won the Pilkington Award for Best Use of Glazing for his design.

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See a YouTube video of Rådbrink's design here.

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The following is from Jon Rådbrink:

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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).

This design paradox can be found in the contrast between the geometric side surfaces and the organic volumes in-between. The glazed side layers are inspired by building facades to give depth and to erase the border between the interior and the exterior.

The spacious interior is centered around a multi-point touch screen dashboard where you can re-arrange the controls and information as you like it. The drive-by-wire steering pad is designed to focus on your hands. Its form controls the way you interact with it; to improve safety when driving. Your fine motor skills are far more advanced in your hands than in your feet, so all controls are located in the steering wheel. Since the car is powered by electrical motors, there is no transmission and you break intuitively by pushing the steering wheel away from your body.

The Lexus Nuaero has the dimensional impact of a luxury car, with an overall length of 4730 mm and a wheelbase of 3300 mm. The width is 1999 mm and the height is 1245 mm. But, in spite of its large presence, the approximated weight of just over 800 kg is not far from that of a SMART fortwo. I believe that this design paradox of low weight and large presence could be the way we’ll define premium in the future.

| 34 comments

Posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2008 at 3:10 pm by Rob Ong. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • Ben

    Love at first sight. Great design and concept.

  • Lim

    All i can say, This car looks pretty much like a cellphone, or a tazer.. Hmm..

  • olgv.

    ooooooh, my God ….. I know that Lexus was the name of a famous gay porn star … but I don’t think batman was a gay porn star too ……….

  • Tyler

    iLexus, where’s white version?

  • chris

    i just love the view from the side showing the hard line of nose and tail. nice
    from above it looks like a mix between a manta an the batmobile……

  • Q

    very flashy, very batmaniac but it seems to me pretty un-functional!those front fins appear to block the vision of the driver! styling is very much alive!!!

  • bald skull
  • http://tr3sDosUno.blogspot.com tr3sDosUno

    This car looks cool i would love to drive one……

  • Xit

    Needs to be in a sci_fi film, very gothic futurist !

  • Azeem

    Marvelous!!.
    Hat’s OFF!!

  • Mark

    This design is ok. I much prefer the Lexus concept used in Minority Report.

    http://image.blog.livedoor.jp/decobocobo/imgs/a/8/a83b2279.jpg

    Looks like it would be easier to get to market.

    The main problem is that every year we all see these concepts, they take they to shows and get consumer feedback and then NEVER put them on the street. I don’t get excited about rides until they are already in production. Until then, it’s just all a big tease….

  • edward

    Real slick. but it would be nice to see some cross sections to better illustrate the aerodynamics involved.

  • http://www.finkel.se Martin

    What about the electric beam between the front tyres? :)

  • http://eyecandy-webcandy.blogspot.com Eric

    Know we know what happens when the batmobile mates with a steath fighter jet…….

  • Azeem

    If can understand it,the car does’nt reqire beams, there’s independent motor in each wheel to propel the car!.

  • pimpatect

    how u get dat over da speed bump?

  • Nathan

    Have to admit it’s attractive and fresh-looking, but you’ll only see this on the road after they repeal all pedestrian safety standards.

  • Maxence

    Ohhhhh Karim Rachid loves it.

  • http://www.bikepolo.com.au Alex

    Nothing screams self-importance and hyper-inflated ego like a car that looks like it’s designed to cut pedestrians (and any other road users not armour-clad in metal coffins) in half.

    [img-Bicycle]
    NEXT 500 YEARS
    GET USED TO IT

    “and you break (sic) intuitively by pushing the steering wheel away from your body.”

    I would have thought intuitive braking would involve pulling the column towards you. You know, like the throttle on a plane.

    Also: “supertinting” like this impairs on-road communication between drivers and other road users. I would also suggest that, unless it’s some kind of wacky one-way tint, it would make this impossible to drive on a road with varying degrees of lighting. You know, like, in your average urban environment. And not on a floodlit test track.

    Are they actual holes in the wheel fairings, or in the hubcaps? Either way, they would make a wonderful oscillating whistling noise, or screw the balance of the wheel.

    It’s a shame when the real world ruins a design ‘vision’, isn’t it?

  • fuZzyOne

    love the rims…

  • spooki

    these rendering should have been done in a more (visualy) legable material. i really cant tell whats going on

  • Esa

    seen this about a month ago??

  • LOW

    BATMAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! tiririririririririririririririririririririririririririririri BATMAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

  • mia

    this design is so cool!!

  • Joolzy

    I must say, i’m not a fan. Very impractical.

    and…

    Very ugly (IMO)…..There, i said it!

    @ Alex: exactly what i was thinking, imagine being hit by that bad boy….Ouch!

  • rech

    very futuristic as i see..!!!may be we need some time to familiarize such models.

  • Madaboutoldcars

    Environmental?, Sustainability? Two pasenngers in a 4,7m car……..
    And as early said: pedestrian saefty………
    It’s not politically correct, but I love vrommmmm and big engines (“there is no substitute for cubic inches”).

  • http://www.dellatecnica.com Vishwakarma

    cooooooool! looks great.

  • http://www.fabrikenldkp.se Claes Boman

    Good work Jon! Bra jobbat! Claes (ex Transit Studios, now Fabriken LDKP)

  • Andy

    Where the hell do I put my groceries, my hockey bag, my anything? Ultra stylized and no doubt sexy, but realistically what a let down.

  • Gonzo

    Mycket bra!
    Looks like those bicycles where the driver/cyclist lays down.

    I lajk!

  • john paul

    this car is the son of cars design to syd mead.
    more or less batmobile ,but is blade runner cars !!
    the good design ,the time dont kill ;but other copy this design like the tumbler/batmobile of batman begins is the son of flying car of blade runner design to syd mead.
    http://www.bladezone.com
    http://www.sydmead.com

  • Tuco

    How do I turn the wheels? Seems limited.
    Very sexy though…

  • http://lexusofrenoblog.com Lexus Blog

    Thats definitely different, would be quite a spectacle on the road.