How Nature Inspired the Design of the McLaren P1 and Mini Cooper


  • Nature and scientific ideas impressed the McLaren P1 and 2001 Mini Cooper.
  • The concept of evolution is used to innovate whereas sustaining a “household look” inside a automobile model.
  • Natural proportions, distinctive character, and prompt attraction are parts of profitable automobile design.

The following is a transcript.

Narrator: Car designers draw inspiration from the locations you’d least anticipate, utilizing nature and scientific ideas when developing their designs. But if there are design parts that assure success, why have iconic designs like the Mustang been capable of adapt with the instances, whereas others like Pontiac’s GTO have fully fallen off the map?

Frank: Where do they succeed and the place do they fail? I want I knew the reply to that one, as a result of I’d be wealthy.

Narrator: That’s Frank Stephenson, designer of the Ferrari F4 30, McLaren P1, BMW X5, and the 2001 Mini Cooper.

Frank: Rather a lot of individuals do suppose that you just simply decide up a pen or a pencil or no matter you are utilizing and simply begin, however that is form of like beginning a race with out understanding, how far are you going to run? I a lot desire doing slightly bit of what we name due diligence, or analysis, earlier than I begin a design venture. But you are being requested to design one thing that initially most likely began in the advertising and marketing division as the response to offering your suggestion for a sure section.

Narrator: But whereas automobile designs typically are the response to an recognized section or a focused market, that does not imply automakers need them to remain the identical.

Frank: They pay us to innovate, to not replicate. Most designers, once they draw, like I stated, are most likely drawing automobiles which might be going to be popping out in 5 years, not subsequent yr, as a result of it takes about that lengthy to develop a automobile.

Narrator: One of the methods automobile designers preserve their designs trying contemporary is through the use of nature as inspiration.

Frank: What that mainly reveals, what I name biomimicry. Basically take what nature provides you, and you kind of take the finest of what it has and interpret it right into a design. So I did that with the P1, the place it is extra influenced by pace. The cheetah is a strikingly environment friendly animal when it is at full pace. So attempting to seize that dynamic proportion of it in sure parts. It’s the stance that makes it appear like it is pulling at the leash, even when it is standing nonetheless. Rather a lot of the stuff that I take advantage of is named the golden ratio. Just to realize the proper proportions of the automobile, so it appears proper. That ratio, by the means, is 1.618. You discover it in all places in nature.