“Is creativity all about aesthetics and shapes these days? What happened to creative problem solving and the idea of making our lives better? What about design as a guide when exploring future possibilities? Great styling won’t help.” – Semcon Design
Following Opel’s unoriginal design philosophy “sculptural artistry meets German precision” (in the wake of Mercedes-Benz’s “design is art” philosophy), with its boomerang design cues, Opel’s RAD electric bicycle was designed to be merchandized alongside the Ampera and the RAK e experimental electric vehicle.
Some really nice development sketches, with the typically excellent explorations of form expected by Kiska Design.
But in its final execution the RAD looks a bit cluttered and plastic like a toy.
Although the design appears strongly inspired by Down Hill, Hydroformed frame high performance mountain bikes like the GT Fury, I think it’s design should have better reflected a non athletic urban environment and Opel consumer (who probably isn’t into down hill mountain biking). I also think the form language could have been cleaner considering both it’s automotive design roots and it’s hollow-pressed steel frame (designed around automotive manufacturing mass production methods).
Maybe the steel frame could look metallic, or more automotive both in form and surface finish, like a freshly beaten car panel? Or even Opel’s 1928 Silver Motoclub 500 motorbike, which also had pressed-steel frame elements.
Because motorbikes have visual design cues different from bicycles, can an e-Bike also be designed to have its own distinct design language? This aspect was for me another missed design opportunity on the RAD project.
What an evolved e-Bike design and aesthetic will be like, remains an exciting prospect.
The integrated headlight is a good car cue.
That the RAD can be charged while being transported in the car is a neat idea, but the promises of state-of-the art technology and a range of 60-145 km seems a bit vague and university project like.
If only the technology were as bold as the styling, if only she was as foxy as her looks suggested. I guess all remains to be seen, the jury on the Opel RAD is still out.
In the meantime enjoy the design details while sipping your morning coffee.