Say hello to the Lamborghini Sián, the Italian company’s first ever hybrid sportscar

Unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Lamborghini Siánn explores a whole slew of fresh possibilities for the company. After the conceptual Terzo Millennio, the Sián is the first car from the Italian automotive company to venture into a hybrid drive, relying on a V12 engine as well as a unique 48 volt e-motor, delivering 34 hp to provide immediate response and an uplifted performance. The e-motor also helps the car perform low-speed maneuvers such as reversing and parking the car. The new, ground-breaking hybrid system, which incorporates the low-voltage e-motor into the gearbox, also delivers acceleration in low gears, making the Sián the fastest-accelerating Lamborghini ever made, achieving 0-100 km/h in less than 2.8 seconds.

“The Lamborghini Sián represents the first step in Lamborghini’s route to electrification, and expedites our next-generation V12 engine. Its Sián moniker, meaning ‘flash or lightning’ in Bolognese dialect, denotes the first electrification of a Lamborghini production car and confirms our strong connection to the territory in which we operate. With the Sián, Automobili Lamborghini demonstrates its dynastic strength as a legendary super sports car brand for the future”, says Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Automobili Lamborghini.

Its remarkable engineering aside, the Sián presents a more concrete new direction for Lamborghini, which wants to adopt the electrification of its line of super-automobiles. Its incredibly edgy, aggressive design is highly indicative of its name, which translates to ‘flash of lightning’, while a few rather noticeable changes to the car’s design help set it apart from the rest of Lamborghini’s speed-demons. Unlike Lamborghinis of the past, the Sián doesn’t have the massive hexagonal air-vents under its headlights. Sián’s design switches things up, blending headlight and air-inlet in a design that truly captivates. Lamborghini’s iconic sideways ‘Y’ taillights are replaced with a series of three illuminating hexagons on the back, while the sideways ‘Y’ make their debut on the front of the Sián, as a pair of headlights. It’s a remarkable switch of design details, that in a lot of ways shows how the company is ‘switching things up’ with its cars too. Lastly, Sián’s paint-job is a stark deviation from Lamborghini’s signature warm hues like their yellow and orange shades. The satinesque olive green truly sets the Sián apart, and is probably the company’s way of differentiating between their incredibly powerful fuel-driven sportscars, and the Sián, which marks a beginning for the Italian company’s exciting journey into electric drives! The Lamborghini Sián is expected to launch in 2020.

Designer: Lamborghini

Toyota’s EV will transport people around venues during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Rather directly named the APM (short for Accessible People Mover), Toyota’s specially designed vehicle aims at enhancing the experience for visitors who will flock down to Tokyo next year for the 2020 Olympics. Created to help the organizers ensure that the entire 2020 leg of the Olympics and Paralympics go as smoothly as possible, Toyota’s APMs will help visitors cover last-mile distances between events and venues, and specially designed variants will even serve as ambulances in emergency scenarios.

Designed specifically for the 2020 Olympics, the EVs take on a more utilitarian aesthetic driven purely by function. Shaped much like a mini-van, the APM will be commanded by a driver that sits in the front-center, with two rows at the back for passengers, or a single row and an on-board ramp with space for passengers in wheelchairs or with accessibility issues. The driver gets an unobstructed view, thanks to a panoramic windscreen, while passengers also get a seat with a view as the APM’s design is completely open on both sides, much like a golf-cart. The APM facilitates zero-emission transportation at a relatively low speed of 19km/h, and a closer look even shows the presence of air-less tires, much like the ones unveiled by Michelin. Toyota plans on deploying 200 APMs during Olympic season, specifically to help people shuttle between locations, although there isn’t any word on what the company plans on doing after the event is over… but if Tokyo’s strong recycling efforts with the Olympic torch and medals are any indication, these vehicles most certainly won’t make their way to a scrapyard for sure!

Designer: Toyota

One designer went and redesigned the cheese-grater Mac Pro

You’ve got to admit, whether you like or dislike the Mac Pro 2019, there’s no ignoring it. Especially if you’re from the design community. As a designer (turned writer) myself, here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt the hard way. There’s a general air of designers “knowing what they’re doing”. I’m just as complicit, when I defend my design to a client, or to a marketing team. Sometimes criticism, even if its constructive, can often deliver a slight blow to our ego, which comes from the philosophy that designers make the world a better place. Another very strong behavior that I’ve tried hard to unlearn is the fact that designers tend to look at everything through the lens of a designer… which means everything is a potential redesign project. With my negative feedback of the Mac Pro’s “disgusting” grille, I, for a second, became that person. I still think that Jony could do better (or different), but hey, he operates in a world of unlimited potential, zero constraints, and zero answerability (a part of me is jealous too, yes). My appreciation (or the lack of appreciation) has zero bearing on Ive’s strangely secretive design process. That being said, feedback for the Mac Pro has been extremely divisive, and Hasan Kaymak’s put together a design that he believes captures everything good about the Mac Pro’s 2006 and 2013 editions.

Hasan’s Mac Pro 2020 doesn’t deviate from the silhouette of the 2019 Mac Pro. In fact it embraces it, and comes in the 2013 Mac Pro’s black color, giving us the best of both worlds. The most noticeable change is the absence of the dual-side CNC machined grille detail, which Hasan replaced with a much more traditional slot and mesh. While the revised design detail isn’t particularly eye-catching, it plays it safe… and considering the grille never really faces the user, a relatively normal design detail seems like a fairly logical way to go. Besides, playing it safe would also bring down the relative cost of the Mac Pro by a couple of hundred bucks (given that you don’t have to have a complex CNC machining task), making it slightly less of a pocket pincher. On the opposite side of the grille, Hasan’s added 8 USB-C ports, for connecting all sorts of devices, from hubs, to the iPad Pro, to any other compatible devices you may have. Two audio jacks also sit right above the ports for good measure.

Another design detail change is the vault-lock mechanism on the top of the Mac Pro, which seems absent in Hasan’s concept. Rather than corrupting a clean surface with a fairly large clamp and handle, Hasan goes for something much more discreet, allowing you to simply remove the upper body by pressing down on the stainless steel rods on the top.

The redesign touches upon a common public sentiment, that the Mac Pro doesn’t need to be outright revolutionary. Unlike the iMac or any of the laptops, Mac Pros usually either sit behind monitors, or under tables, or even in render farms. As a device, the Mac Pro has always aimed to look beautiful, but its intent has always been to be functional first… especially given that people are shelling out large sums of money not for looks, but for raw computing power. It doesn’t need to be made using a complex, thick, two-way machined aluminum grille. But hey, who am I to express distaste? I’m just a guy who uses WordPress on a Windows laptop.

Designer: Hasan Kaymak

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch takes inspiration from Japanese cherry blossoms

The Sakura, or the Cherry Blossom holds an iconic role in Japanese culture, finding its firmly rooted place in Japanese tradition, art, outdoor spaces, music, manga, anime, and film. It now finds itself as the inspiration source for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch.

The torch, designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, pays tribute to the flower that literally covers the country in a pool of pink every spring. Made from extruded aluminum, the torch comes with a pipe-shaped design that branches out into five outward truncated sections to form the motif of the Sakura cherry blossom – the traditional flower of Japan – when viewed from above. The torch comes with a rose-gold tint too, to complete its appearance, giving the torch a pink hue, just like the blush-colored flower.

The torch comes made from recycled metal used in the temporary housing units that were created post the aftermath of the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Olympic medals are also being made recycled metal too, obtained from electronic waste across the country.

Yoshioka claims that the recycled nature of the torch was a way of “transforming materials that witnessed the rebuilding of shattered lives into a symbol of peace,” according to the creator, “to convey to the world the extent to which the affected areas are recovering, one step at a time.”

The release of the torch design is also coincidentally timed perfectly with the beginning of spring, and the blooming of the cherry blossoms all across the country.

Designer: Tokujin Yoshioka

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