UPES alumni show their prowess with avant-garde automotive designs
Two of the brightest minds from UPES School of Design are making waves in their chosen profession and using cutting-edge technology to design futuristic automobile designs
The automotive industry is going through a major transformation. The automobiles of tomorrow are going to be much smarter, complex and packed with a whole bunch of functionalities. Therefore, aspiring automotive designers should be able to transform this complexity into a user-friendly design.
Arjun Kurunji and Harshul Verma, alumni from UPES School of Design, have been creating solutions to real-world problems and integrating hi-tech systems in their designs.
Currently working at Maruti Suzuki India, Arjun Kurunji from UPES School of Design is responsible for various construction machinery designs. His recent project Koenigsegg aims at future aesthetics required for the brand to take on the fight in the electric powertrain arena. Taking inspiration from the Prototype CC, Koenigsegg Vision GT pays a tribute to its predecessor.
Christian Von Koenigsegg, founder and CEO of the Swedish high-performance automobile manufacturer Koenigsegg Automotive AB, launched his car company in 1994. Like many young men, Christian Koenigsegg wanted to create the perfect supercar. The Koenigsegg CC prototype boasted a unique carbon body with a detachable roof. Despite limited resources, the frame, suspension, brakes, wishbones uprights, and other items were custom designed by Koenigsegg and his small team. The car was unique and received a lot of appreciation. Today, 25 years after it was first built, the car still drives impeccably.
Talking about the features of the car, Arjun says, “To simulate fighter pilot-like experiences, the cockpit of my car design can be pushed to the maximum. The frontal face gives the look and feel of the Koenigsegg car. A strong horizontal facial graphic, which is taken from the Prototype CC, portrays the attitude of the vehicle. The sides are all about speed. The rear is about spoilers and diffusers, along with purposeful lamps placed at the corners to emphasize the width of the car,” he adds.
Arjun further says, “Automotive design is one of the most thriving jobs in the design industry. People aspire to become car designers from a very young age, but only a few make it, given the exclusivity of the job. An automotive designer’s role is to visualize the company’s vision into a tangible shape. They act as a bridge between customer needs and the technical ability of the company. Koenigsegg Visions GT is one such project that portrays my skillset and passion. UPES School of Design has played a major role in my journey here. The life-long learning provided by the university is helping me push boundaries and make a mark in the industry. UPES School of Design provided me with relevant industry experience, international exposure, practical training, soft skills, the right attitude, and aptitude.”
Another alumna from UPES School of Design, Harshul Verma came up with the idea for designing a trike (a three-wheeled motorcycle) because of the potential they hold in the world of motorcycles, providing a safer and more comfortable riding experience. His trike, Atheris, incorporates the potential of a three-wheeled motorcycle with safety, speed, aggression, and the dynamism of a two-wheeled motorcycle.
Says Harshul Verma, “Every design starts with an inspiration to map out the ideas and give them life. The name ‘Atheris’ stands for the scientific name of the Bush Viper (Atheris Hispida), a silent predator, which was taken as the inspiration, considering the nature of high-performance electric vehicles – silent but packed with aggressive power. The form is a combination of organic and aggressive, with long swooping lines from the front to end, giving it a very futuristic reptile-like sculpture look.”
After a lot of ideations, the form was matured into a single-seat aggressive electric trike with a unibody design, splitting towards the end into the swingarm and the tail. With the technologies such as 3D printing, a complicated and free-flowing surface was created, allowing the Atheris to be designed with curvaceous bodywork. Also, the free-flowing and converging lines, along with a dynamic stance, give Atheris an aggressive look even when it is standing still, making it a desirable three-wheeled motorcycle.
Atheris is operated by a high-performance graphene-based battery placed in the area near the tank. The graphene battery provides higher power output and capacity with quick charging capabilities. To provide the dynamism and thrill of riding a conventional motorcycle, Atheris is equipped with a leaning mechanism in the front. This provides the rider to lean without the fear of a fall or slide. The rear is equipped with an electromagnetic suspension that adjusts according to the terrain.
Speaking about his university experience in Dehradun, Harshul says, “UPES School of Design taught me much more than design. We, the design students, , drew inspiration from varied subjects, surroundings, and experiences.