Do Cars inspire modern Yacht design?
Since April 28th, seventeen Masterpieces of Ralph Lauren's legendary car collection are on display in Paris at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Bugatti 57 S(C) Atlantic 1938
"The Art of the Automobile" features select cars from the designer's car collection, among them Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari. Each one, all created between the 1930s and the 1990s, stands as a masterpiece of both technological innovation and impeccable design.
But what has all this to do with sailing boats and yachts?
I though to myself that there must be a connection between car design and yacht design. And there certainly is. We could argue that boat design has a bigger influence on car design for the simple fact that sail boats, of course, have been around a lot longer than automobiles. But yacht design as we know it is much more recent discipline than car design.
Nowadays there are quite a few yacht designers out there who began their careers with the aim of becoming a car designer. One of the most known is Chris Bangle. He is the man who has had a "lasting impact on the identity of BMW Group brands", he came up with the Z3 and Z4 roadster, he helped widen the appeal of the SUV with the X series, he oversaw the development of the new Mini and Rolls-Royce models and devised the radical GINA concept car. He resigned his post as head of design at BMW in 2009. His stated reason was that he wanted to pursue other interests outside the automotive field, yacht design beeing one of it.
Bugatti Veyron Speedboat
There are different ways how car design inspires yacht design. For example, in the beginning of May Designer Ben Walsh unveils a speedboat design inspired by the “Sang-Bleu” colored Bugatti Veyron. He follows the steps of Fearless yachts which collaborated with Austrian Porshe design studio and designed a Porshe like speed boat. Lamborghini also designed a concept that could represent the brand on high seas. After studying the styling elements of past Lamborghini models Maurro Lecchi designed the Lamborghini Yacht. We can not forget about Bavaria, a leading yacht manufacturer in Europe, which chose to use well known USA BMW Group car designers to design its 2009 boat range. The decision has been strongly repaid in 2009, gaining several yacht industry design awards.
Wally Power 118
On the other hand the WallyPower 118 had quite an impact on the auto world. It was another example of the militaristic and minimalistic trend which is now also present in the car industry. A different approach was taken by Stand Craft which designed a car to match the yacht in terms of styling. The car will be just an accessory to the yacht and was designed to highlight the exclusivity of the yacht, not to eclipse it.
Although cars and yachts are both forms of transport, a superyacht enhances the lifestyle of its owners. A car’s primary purpose is far more functional, even if some of the most costly purchases are purely emotional. Bangle thinks that the yacht industry can learn a lot about building brand image and equity through the clever use of design and an evolving design strategy. This is an effective and added value way of creating greater market differentiation and appeal through styling. Rather than viewing yacht design as somehow inferior to car design. Bangle recognises the common heritage in both, since they come from the same generic source (hull design) but believes that car design is the more holistic discipline.
What are your thoughts about the influence car design has on yacht design? And how do you like the Bugatti Veyron speed boat design? A discussion will be opened on our facebook page, comments appreciated.
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