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Vehicle design – mobility of the future

The vehicle category on Red Dot 21 shows the most beautiful cars, motorbikes, aircrafts, watercrafts and commercial vehicles currently available on the market. Amongst the jurors of the Red Dot Award: Product Design, this category is more popular than any other. Every year in February, the design experts await the arrival of the latest car models, busses, small and large commercial vehicles with bated breath. They are closely scrutinised, test driven, inspected down to the smallest detail and the design solutions are discussed in great depth. The fascination with the discipline of vehicle design is due to the fact that there is barely any other product that is more complex from a technical or aesthetic point of view; and there is hardly another object that is more present in the public perception and that gives rise to more emotions – from proud ownership to admiration, envy and hate. That is no accident: automotive manufacturers and designers use shapes, colours and materials in a very calculated way in order to appeal to the emotions of their target audiences. After all, in the case of many people, only their home attracts more investment than their car. Car buyers understandably want to have the feeling that they have chosen just the right model. Brand image therefore continues to play a large role, but design is even more important as it can convey, at first glance, features such as comfort and safety, but also sportiness, dynamism, driving pleasure, dominance, family friendliness or reliability – each weighted differently according to the target group. Regardless of whether a buyer is looking for an SUV, a sports car, a city run-around, an a station wagon or a family van – in each category, different models compete for the attention of the consumer. The design of a car exerts a tremendous influence on how we perceive a vehicle, both consciously and sub-consciously. And design has another function: in an era when new propulsion technologies and the topic of “autonomous driving” present the motor industry in general and the automotive sector in particular with great challenges, manufacturers have to do everything they can to make these innovations understandable and accepted. Design can make a decisive difference in reducing the complexity for the user down to a minimum, but can nonetheless express the underlying advanced technology in a confident way. Successful examples of how designers have managed to give a groundbreaking form to new propulsion methods include the Tesla models or the BMW i3. These cars represent the premium mobility that gives electric cars a new image.

Outstanding vehicle accessories

In this section of Red Dot 21, you will find many more examples of good vehicle design – from cars to commercial vehicles, motorbikes to boats. All vehicle categories feature models with exceptional design by manufacturers such as Mercedes, Audi, Ferrari, BMW, Peugeot, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Yamaha etc. In addition, we present well-designed and functionally carefully thought-out vehicle supplies such as tyres, headlights, rescue equipment, black boxes or bike racks. Some of the products shown have already won over our expert jury. These vehicles and products are identifiable by a Red Dot. And now we hope you’ll enjoy taking a look through one of the supreme disciplines of industrial design.