BMW has published a report that seeks to reveal the special emotional attachments drivers have with their cars. What relationship do you have with your wheels, and is this important from a design perspective?

I have a 1971 Maserati which I love. When I drive it, I feel I know the Italian engineers who created it, I can see their smiles of pride, I can feel the engine that was developed for Le Mans, with Stirling Moss at the wheel… I am a complete basket case when it comes to my car.
Clive Grinyer, Director of design, Orange


Let’s face it, who needs more than 400bhp? Yet, on my drive to work I spot more Porsche 911s and Aston Martin V8 Vantages than almost anything else. People buy cars for what they say about themselves. Oh, and yes, I drive a car with more than 400bhp, so I’m as guilty as the rest…
Francis Jago, Managing director, Fingal


Once I would have described my emotional attachment to cars as ‘special’ – they reflected me. Now I look beyond sexiness and style. My family means I value function and design. If a car design expresses my current, practical needs, I am ready to let things be special again. So, bring on the 4×4 Aston Martin…
Lavinia Culverhouse, Managing director, Designhouse



If I had an emotional relationship with my car, I’d be divorced. I sold my last car five years ago, and others are now doing the same as more central London residents recognise there is no need to own a car. They hire one, if necessary, and use public transport or walk the rest of the time. Perhaps, for me, cities and people are a stronger emotional attachment.
Innes Ferguson, Head of design, Transport for London

The use of emotion by car companies makes me sink into skin-creeping depression. It is used so cheaply, because most car companies have nothing else to say. It is a form of seduction that is difficult to challenge. What about the emotion caused by being gassed with nauseous emissions? Or, the emotion caused by the arrogance of SUV drivers – do they think they’re immune from global issues that affect everybody? In the context of cars, emotion has nothing to do with aesthetics. Cars are made to meet the demands of the oil industry – until we break free from our dependency and pioneer new energy systems, the farce will continue.
Ross Lovegrove, Lovegrove Studios

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