The project was developed during the RCA Master’s Course in collaboration with the Audi Design Team, which asked students to create a “natural Audi” for the future.
Marcus’ design was inspired by the human body and the stance of an Olympic sprinter in the starting blocks.
“The interior space takes inspiration from muscle – polymer opals (flexible material which changes shape and color when stretched) are able to stretch and tense around the driver and passengers, giving them a unique driving sensation.”
The interior is supported by a rigid frame structure made from CFRP, which protects the vehicle’s internal components, just like a bone structure would do in the human body.
The wheels of the vehicle and its suspension are connected to the seats, which are ‘hanging’ from the roof, offering the passengers an unfiltered driving experience if wanted.
A skin – the semi-transparent body shell, covers the interior and the frame construction.
As the polymer opals are changing their appearance depending on which mode they are in, the changes on the inside are also seen on the outside of the vehicle due to the semi transparency of the body work.
The concept shape was developed in 1:4 scale with automotive clay.
The final model was then cast in fiberglass, while many details like the grille and rims were 3D printed and then later sanded by hand.
This scale model was exhibited at Audi West London’s quattro rooms in the Summer of this year.
“The Urban Escape quattro suggests a new type of sports car, made for non-urban use – in the suburbs and the country. However, the vehicle works perfectly in an urban environment due to its unique interior, which is able to adapt to the user’s needs and interacts with the user in a new way, sensing what the driver wants from the vehicle.”
“The vehicle is able to do so through the technology, which is incorporated into the interior space. Sensors within the ‘muscle structure’, which surround the driver and passengers, monitor the engagement with the vehicle.”
“When the driver wants to drive sporty, the vehicle puts itself into ‘urban escape mode’, where the interior muscle structure tenses around the driver and passengers to provide them with a unique driving experience, similar to a roller coaster ride. When the interior switches back to urban mode, the interior ‘relaxes’ again around the occupants, creating a roomy interior which works perfectly in an urban environment.”
About the Designer
Marcus Classen graduated from Northumbria University in 2010 and is currently attending the Master’s course in Vehicle Design at the the Royal College of Art in London.
He is currently looking for collaborative partners and external advisors for his Master thesis at the RCA which will start in January 2013.
Among his past project is the Porsche Sebring Spyder Concept (2010).
(Image Courtesy: Marcus Classen for Car Body Design)