Interview: 8 Questions With McLaren X-1 Supercar Designer Hong Yeo

 

What were some of examples of things he suggested?

He had the Facel Vega, the 500K, the Talbot-Lagos, and even the Citroen SM. So, from that, we established a theme, and there was a global competition between 5 different design studios from all over the world competed for it, and fortunately for us, the internal studio won the competition. The biggest challenge that we had with this project was that the cars he like were all with classical elements and timeless values. They all had front-engine, rear-wheel drive proportions. So, when we imagined these cars, you have in your head this distincitive proportion. But, it's never been done in a mid-engined supercar form.

So, trying to find that balance was a challenge and took days and days of refining the proportions to make it look right. If you raise the rear chrome bit even by five mill, it looks really rear heavy. If you raise the front five mill, it looks really front heavy, so finding that right balance. Because, it's almost the exact oppostive of a classical car. Classic cars are meant to look heavy and they are, but extracting that and using it into supercar form was difficult. Once we established that, the next challenge was to put it into a package, and as you see, the 12C is already packed at the absolute limit. Trying to change that was hard. However, the rolling chassis gave us the flexibility to design the body around it. If you look at the old days, coachbuilders just used to have a rolling chassis, and the artisans crafted the sheet metal above it. It's in that sense that you could create a whole different car based on that chassis.

Tags: mclaren-x-1
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