How do you design a car for a new company that is claiming its share of the European market? Zeekr X's designer has the answer.
Although the Zeekr is a very new company, however it has already started to make its mark in the automotive world. However, a very basic question arises: How do you design a car for a start-up company that is vying for its share of the European market?; The answer is given by its design manager Zeekr X.
In the past months we had the opportunity to drive two representatives of the start-up Chinese company, the Zeekr which manufactures electric cars. THE Zeekr was created in 2021 by Geely Holding, which in its portfolio includes Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lotus, Lynk & Co, Geely Auto and London Electric Vehicle Company.
Regarding the design philosophy of these two models, beyond the inventive approach to the configuration of their lighting bodies, otherwise the Zeekr X is strongly differentiated from its bigger brother in the configuration of its surfaces, where sharp edges dominate, while its full-of-curves flagship Zeekr refers to Panamera! Overall its design Zeekr X it exudes freshness wherever you look at it.
See also: We drive the Chinese electric Zeekr X
Equally interesting is the interior, where the minimalist style launched by Teslawhile open tones are welcome in the sustainable ones animal–free upholstery of the seats, doors and part of the dashboard.
During the press presentation we were given the opportunity to speak with its designer Zeekr X, Tony Baho:
How does a new company like the Zeekr, among the many Chinese automakers coming to Western markets, can it leverage design to secure its own recognizable identity? > First of all, I would like to point out that the Zeekr belongs to a large group with its own history. Beyond that, when we start designing a new model, we study what the trends are in the Chinese market, where everything happens very quickly, as technology and connectivity play a dominant role.
Also, Chinese buyers are very bold in their choices. Based on the data we receive from our analyses, we proceed with the design of our cars. Beyond that, as you rightly point out, there is a lot of 'noise' out there – lots of new models. It's something we're concerned about, and of course with each of our new models it will become more and more clear what our own identity will be, but I can't reveal to you right now the path we'll take.
I understand that you are forced to follow the trends, however a car does not have a life cycle of one year, like for example a mobile phone, so its design should last longer. > A car designer takes influences from fashion, architecture, everyday objects, etc.
From there, when you design a car, in the course of this process you make a series of choices, largely trusting your instincts but also the experts within the company, such as Stefan Sielafwho heads our design studio, who has thirty years of experience working in premium brands, such as Bentley and the Audi.
READ OUR IMPRESSIONS FROM DRIVING THE ZEEKR 001 HERE
Aside from the light fixtures, there aren't many affinities between your two models, with the '001' dominated by curves, while the 'X' features a lot of edges. > These differences largely arise from the different dimensions of these two models. It is not easy to design a compact car with very sharp curves.
“001” was originally presented as a prototype of her Lynk & Co, adopting the lighting bodies of its cars. How will you differentiate yourself in the future? Will you take a different path? > The short answer is yes. Beyond that, it is to be expected to some extent that we share some things with her Lynk & Cobelonging to the same group – is something we do not hide.
How do you design a car so that the public perceives that it is electric? > One of the things we do at Zeekr is to make the feeling inside the car lighter. Usually in thermals, for various reasons, everything is black.
We try to make the car more welcoming, so that it matches its driving character. Also, the colors we adopt in the bodywork we aim to be new and more advanced. In some of them we use as inspiration gamingwhich look more digital.