Traditionally, Ferrari has farmed out its designs to one of the many styling houses that litter the industrialised plains of northern Italy. Bertone, Scaglietti, and Pininfarina in particular all established and defined key elements of the company's style, with the collaboration with Pininfarina continuing successfully into the modern era. The 458 Italia especially demonstrates that neither company has lost its touch when it comes to creating technically brilliant and visually beautiful machines. Now, however, Ferrari is turning its attention to a new generation of designers.
The brand invited future speculation about supercar design from fifty design schools with its World Design Contest. After an intense process of elimination, eight chosen schools went on to work on a series of detail design models, both in physical form and in 3D, using Alias software from competition partner Autodesk. The final seven were Turin's IED and IAAD, London's RCA, the European Design Institute Barcelona, Hongik University in Seoul, ISD France, Detroit's College For Creative Studies and China's Jiangnan University School of Design.
The brief was explicit: create the Ferrari of the future, 'a pure hypercar that uses the technologies and materials of the latest generation.' Unsurprisingly, the designs that resulted drew heavily on weight-saving materials, sci-fi forms and hugely powerful but still hypothetical powertrains, including hybrid systems and turbines.
The winning team hailed from Hongkik. Kim Cheong Ju, Ahn Dre and Lee Sahngseok's 'Eternità' concept (pictured above) speculated on a mix of electric mobility, flywheel energy storage and a hydrogen-powered generator, wrapped up in a Barchetta-styled two-seater bodywork. Second prize went to Samir Sadikhov's 'Xezri' concept. Sadikhov, an Azerbaijani studying at IED Turin, a car designed to cut through the wind while also using inbuilt wind turbines to power onboard systems. The third jury prize was given to the RCA-designed 'Cavallo Bianco', created by Henry Cloke and Qi Haitao. Described as a 'winter hypercar for a frozen riviera; designed for racing over an ice lake and arriving in a luxury ski resort,' it was a design for a very different world, albeit one where the allure and appeal of the prancing horse still reigned supreme.