Monday, October 6, 2008

TBs TechTOC 05 - Concept Car

Personally, I tend to follow some discipline and logic on the way some topics get posted here at TBs . Namely that some posts should not appear before a presentation of the topic, at an initial post with generic considerations and other things...
Or if I put in my head not to publish some kind of posts, before finishing other ones meanwhile started (yes, I haven't yet finished the 8297 Off Roader review, while all pictures and videos are done for weeks...).

Because the world moves faster than I can cope with, most of the times, these kind of principles tend also to jeopardize my goals with TBs and making news not to be posted while they still are really news...
This way, opportunities are sometimes lost and I decided change this as possible.

In resume, being methodical can turn to be a considerable disadvantage...

So despite not have written yet about TECHNIC supercars in general, some amazing creations from Crowkillers, or even not having raised a poll to know if there is still anybody not eagerly waiting for a new real supercar from LEGO, let me present here this... gorgeous?, amazing?, astonishing?, splendid?, magnificent?, awesome? (don't know which adjective would better fit in this case) work from Nathanaël Kuipers with his 'Concept Car'.

Nathanaël Kuipers (also industrialiesigner at BS), went for a design venture at TLG some years ago and after his return, decided to present us with this supercar design announced by himself at LUGNET.
According to him, the idea of a new supercar was rejected several times at TLG and in part because of that, he wanted to present one of his own creation. Easily we can understand that wouldn't be correct to make it while working for TLG.
But definitely and from the pictures we can see, it suggests that such TLG decision had nothing to do with designers running out of inspiration...
Differently from others, this model seems to include a not too exaggerated number of parts. So IMHO it should be a very viable project, from a commercial perspective.

This model benefits from a unibody structure as Nathanaël named it, on top of which several functional modules fit. Like: front suspension, rear suspension, V12 engine, standard 6 (5+1) speed gearbox, seats, etc.
Because of that, it could be 'easily' customized and it will not be a surprise if we see some new modules in the future by Nathanaël.

He applied modern techniques and parts to build a car which some may find similar or inspired on the 8448 (Super Street Sensation, Mk II) as himself referred at the LUGNET announcement.

This model modularity allows for engine placement in the car front or back, while transmission can be manually set for front or rear drive, through the driving rings that can be seen from the bottom side (click on the image below for an enlarged view).

Look at the images below and admire the body smooth lines, the perfect and creative head lights design, the detailed and modern design interiors, etc.
Loved that windshield black frame and the contrast it makes with the car body, in red.
More pictures at the Nathanaël's aka industrialdesign BS folder.

Loved, every single detail!

More about other Nathanaël's creations to come.


Cavorter said...

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who's been thinking about modular design for my projects going forward. Still, this is obviously light years ahead of what I had been coming up with.

Parax said...

I really like this model, I love the head lights, the 2/4 wheel drive mechanisms the 6 speed box, the modularity, the lines in fact lot! all it needs is a hardtop convertible.. (Nathanaels done some nice ones before!)
I wonder if Lego factory would...

Anonymous said...

Actually Nathanael's design is better than Crowkillers. CK uses way too many parts for the body, I think that hurts the spirit of Technic. Still he makes amazing models. I hope Lego releases another super car next year. We've waited too long already. Enough of yellow machines :)

Anonymous said...

This car is pretty neat and all with much respect to the designer(Way better than I could ever do) but...

The drivetrain on this chassis simply will not work in all wheel drive mode without a 3rd differential box somewhere between the front and rear axles.

It will work going perfectly straight, but when the front wheels are steered the front box will not spin at the same speed as the rear and that will lead to a lock up at some point. Even the 8466 set used a 3rd box to prevent this.

I also disagree about the crowman's models. That new cars he built are pretty sick with the body that can be removed.

I think that crow does in fact use alot of parts, but look at that Mustang he did. I highly doubt anyone could do that any better only using technic parts.

I've been following crow's stuff for years and his cars keep getting better and better. It also looks like he has a new car coming along. He has pics of a really cool new tranny at the shelf.

Anonymous said...

Nathanael Kuipers in my opinion IS in fact the best builder on this planet. Not only in technic, but all aspects of Lego. I have told him this many times.

His new car to me is VERY impressive. If it wasn't for Nathanael Kuipers models, I probably would have never started biuilding again. He has been a good friend as well as an inspiration.

I am in fact working a new chassis that features a dashboard switch that will allow either rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive to be engaged as well as front and rear suspensions that can easily be removed as well as the whole tranny and like the 8448 the engine can be placed in either the front or the back. It will also have a one piece body design that can be removed all together.

While this may sound similar to Nathanael's concept car, it is completely different.

I admit I do in fact use too many pieces for my car bodies due to the fact that most of the feedback that I used to get claimed that my cars as well as technic cars as a whole look too "Empty".

Maybe I'll try and go with a whole "Lego Company" route and build a body the way that a "True" designer would.

Or maybe not. :)


Anonymous said...

1. How do the headlights work? I can't see any battery packs anywhere

2. Crowkillers uses a lot of pieces because he puts more emphasis on teh design of his cars... TLG tends to be more conservative, and in turn, most of the time the actual design of a vehicle could be hindered.

3. The reason why TLG's stuff is "sparse" and "open" is because of months and months and months of building and rebuilding and optimizing and reoptimizing to get the part number down to a manageable point for marketing and distribution.

4. I don't agree with TLG's philosophy in this respect.
I'd rather buy a more expensive, expertly designed super car that has a lot of pieces than one that is feature limited, and design limited to TLG's own set restrictions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for posting a blog entry on these great builds so we can talk about them.

I'm greatly indebt to both Nathanial and Crowkiller for some guidance and insperation to go way beyond the TLG budgeted builds.

Studless tranny is just one example of something they give me needed guidance for, still could never replicate either's masterpieces.

Regarding another supercar still unlikely from TLG, does that get back to the Ferrari sets discussion and that being the reason for no supercar? Even if true it'd probably never be publicly admitted by TLG.

Anyway I've been stoked ever since Nathanial was allowed to share with us his builds again, and thanks crowkiller for constantly building more new mocs and giving us detailed pics.

TechnicBRICKs said...

my understanding is that headlights don't really work on the standard car, as we don't see and can't be there, any battery box, wires or lights.
The photo must have been arranged just for demonstration as how headlights would look like if lit. The headlights design is very impressive and nice looking.

I'm very happy to see you here Paul, for the first time (at least posting a comment).

Regarding part count, I also think your models are something apart, bud there is nothing wrong with it in my opinion.
While they are essentially TECHNIC models, also can't be seen as MODEL TEAM like. I would say they set a standard apart by themselves and in some sense are comparable with nicjasno cars.
NK car is much more aligned with TLG design rules for TECHNIC models, which is something natural to expect from his experience.

While many of us would like to see and buy a model like yours, being released by TLG, it is perfectly understandable why they don't do it.
I believe only TECHNIC hardcore fans would buy something like this and doubt there is profitable business case for TLG, behind this possibility.
Nevertheless they could aways think to release something more limited and AFOL oriented, in the scope of the Factory sets, as we have seen in the last few years with other examples.
They might think to invite you, and a few others to build a super-supercar with your vast experience, avoiding this way the heavy design costs and making the project more affordable for TLG.

TLG TECHNIC studless models, tend to look like empty, because they really need to manage for a relative low part count due to viability reasons.
Nevertheless here we have seen also improvement. While there are also some other good examples, it is enough to realize at all the big 2008 models (8294, 8295, 8297). They don't look so empty anymore. :)

Unfortunately it may the case that TLG don't want to release a new real supercar, while they maintain the license with Ferrari and continue to release big cars like Enzo ou Fiorano.
Probably the license costs turn them more expensive, and again it turns not affordable to increase the part count, in order to include sophisticated mechanisms in the models, like: front/rear suspensions, gearbox, working direction, etc.
Despite the last Fiorano is quite bellow the 150€ price tag of a true flagship, I'm no sure if the difference can cope with all the required extra and more specialized parts and at same time keep it viable from the TLG profitability point of view.
Being Ferrari models, already a reasonable number of parts were added in cars like these for aesthetically reasons.


So you all proficient supercar builders (crowkillers, NK, nicjasno) keep the good work and continue to give us great models for our delight.

Plan also to show here at TBs the crowkillers work at a convenient time, followed with some sort of poll about supercars.

Anonymous said...

Yea conchas touched upon a good point, crowkillers stuff is more like a model team technic build than purely a technic piece.

And those examples of "less open" sets (8297, 8285 etc) can't really be applied to super cars, its tough to capture those compound curves and lines with lego, and in my opinion, super cars will always feel more open and airy than say the Mobile Crane.

Anonymous said...

I gotta give crowkillers his props. This guys builds those cars in that detail using only studless parts.

This is a pretty cool studless transformer from Crow that I just found today.

I would have never guess it waqs a transformer. I thought it was a new car, well I guess it is anyways. :)

I also agree that while Kuiper's new car is really really awesome, that concept will not work with the front and rear wheel drive. I tested it today and it binds up. But still cool.

Anonymous said...

Nicjasno stuff is alright, but they "Frankenstein" models together. Alot of glue and chopping parts. Plus the wheels are off of an RC car. That's not true Lego building.

This new concept car is off the hook though. Need instructions!!!

Anonymous said...

My reaction is a little late, but I still like to thank you for the nice words in your article regarding the conceptcar. I really appreciate it that you considered it worthy to be on your site, because there are so many other amazing designs here.
I totally agree what people say about the all wheel drive and that it doesn't work. However if they would read the article carefully, this option is never mentioned.
The driving rings are mainly there to choose between front wheel or rear wheel drive, but NOT AWD. I'm very well aware that this configuration doesn't work properly without a center diff.
I can't promise anything yet, but making instructions is considered now...

TechnicBRICKs said...

Your modesty! ;)
Proud is mine, to have found you today here at TBs and specially feeding your comments.
Even more proud because you were a TLG designer and are recognized by many as a top and proficient builder.

Keep visiting us!

Now can't wait for the instructions. ;D

Joshua Delahunty said...

I believe we are close enough for me to say... BI for the CC should be coming in the next week or so.


-- joshua

TechnicBRICKs said...

@Joshua Delahunty,

Yes, Nathanäel told me! :D
I've been witing for these, for long. ;)

It looks you have been doing a great work.

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