Design

Nissan's design team shows what they're creating at home during the coronavirus lockdown

Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design, gives a peek at his lockdown life and what he's sketching these days.

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motors

Every new car starts with a single line. Lines bend, curve, and connect whether you're drawing the new Nissan all-electric SUV your version of a fish for your wannabe marine biologist son in an effort to keep him busy during the extended COVID-19-related lockdown.

Nissan's design team has been busy during this time of social distancing, woking from home and creating sketches of possible new vehicles as well as drawing some of the vintage models in Nissan's lineup.

"To draw, draw, draw, in our world, is one of the best ways to close the gap between wonderful creative impulses in your head and making it a reality – especially as we face this global pandemic together," said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design. "Our team of designers, worldwide, are using this time to breathe, to draw, to dream creatively. I know that some of their best work will come from the challenges that we're facing now."

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Dubbed the #DrawDrawDraw effort, Albaisa is launching this campaign with a video from his home, and with input from his two young sons, showing what he is currently drawing and why. Designers from his team will post additional videos in coming weeks to talk about their design inspirations, what they are drawing, how they became car designers, and tips for those looking to break into the business.

"Our inspiration for this project came from Nissan designer Giovanny Arroba, the creative mind behind the recently unveiled Ariya Concept car," said Albaisa. "Gio was asked for advice on becoming a car designer. He said, simply and beautifully, 'Draw like crazy. Draw, draw, draw."

Nissan is now offering 23 downloadable coloring pages featuring the company's classic cars, current models, futuristic concepts. The company's designers from around the world created the pages over the last few weeks. Other automakers including Land Rover, Audi, and Ford have also made free coloring pages available.

Nissan is asking individuals to tag their drawings, from sidewalk art to napkin sketches to the downloaded coloring book pictures, with #drawdrawdraw.

"We're looking forward to celebrating passion and creativity," said Albaisa. "Don't be surprised if you see a Nissan designer comment on your drawings and artwork."

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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The Ferrari Omologata is a one-off V12 superstar.

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

The Ferrari Omologata comes from a strong family tree filled with performance and Italian beauty. It's a one-off model that takes its DNA from seven decades of Ferrari GT tradition. The model has been crafted by a European client.

It's taken two years to complete the model since the presentation of the initial sketches. It's a model that took its inspiration from a variety of sources: racing heritage, sci-fi, and modern architecture.

A Ferrari 812 Superfast is the underlying package of the car, but the designers kept just the windscreen and headlights from the body. They set forth to create a model with smooth volume and undulating reflections. The car's front end is tapered and faced by a flattened oval grille. At the back, the car takes a more muscular stance, has deeply set taillights, and is finished off with a prominent spoiler.

Ferrari Omologata

Photo courtesy of Ferrari

Dressed in a triple layer of Ferrari's Rosso Magma paint and a racing livery the car combines track day prowess with daily drivability.

Inside, the car sports electric blue seats finished in a combination of leather and Jeans Aunde fabric with four-point racing harnesses. The rest of the interior is finished in black.

Unlike modern vehicles, the Omologata does not have a screen in the center of the vehicle, giving the model. a historic tinge. Metal parts on the dashboard and steering wheel are finished with the crackled paint effect associated with the great GT racers of the 1950s and 1960s as well as with Ferrari's engine cam covers. A hammered paint effect so often used in cars such as the 250 LM and 250 GTO finds its way on details such as the inner door handles and on the Ferrari F1 bridge.

The mid-engine car has a 6.5-liter V12 engine, harvested from the 812 Superfast. In that car is generates 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Ferrari isn't divulging the price of the Omologata.

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