Aston Martin DB12 in dark green driving on a mountain road
Aston Martin DB12.

10 Top Auto Designs of the Summer

With the thermometer rising on road trips and sustainability at the forefront, we studied the hottest wheels of the season, spanning an electric Rolls-Royce Spectre to a sporty Range Rover SV.

These Sleek Auto Designs Showcase Sustainability Strides

Behind the Design of the Maserati GranTurismo Luce

Debuting at Milan Design Week to the likes of David Beckham, the GranTurismo Luce is a one-off chromatic mirrored monolith engraved with a dynamic laser-etched pattern and painted in an almost absent color that makes the contours of the car blend into its surroundings.  

The interiors are made of ECONYL, a regenerated nylon yarn, resulting in a unique aesthetic metamorphosis: the monochromatic blue interior references the sea from whence the sustainable material came. The shapes of the seats are also underlined by the few graphics present and lasered with gradient backing, resulting in two contrasting techniques, inside and out: the mirror that almost hides the car and the laser that lends the Luce its personality.

Exterior of the Maserati GranTurismo Luce in silver
Maserati GranTurismo Luce.

Kia EV9 Says Goodbye to Leather

Kia has a long history of integrating sustainable materials into its products, starting with the use of bioplastic and sugar cane bio-fiber in the 2014 Soul EV. The South Korean manufacturing behemoth has continued this pursuit with its current range of plant-based components and use of recycled PET and discarded fishing nets in the production of its fabrics and carpets.

Kia has additionally made a firm commitment to completely phase out the use of leather in all new products and is integrating a list of 10 must-have sustainability items into all its new model lines, starting with the all-electric, three-row EV9. The all-new sustainable SUV has a range of 300 miles and can charge in 24 minutes with near-instantaneous acceleration. Finally, Kia is also continuing to invest in testing and development programs to accelerate the implementation of bio-fabrication, underscoring its dedication to advancing sustainable technologies.

Exterior of the Kia EV9 in white in a dark garage
Kia EV9.

Sustainability Meets Luxury in the Design of the Bentley Batur 

More than just a glimpse of Bentley’s future design, the Batur is a significant step towards the way future Bentleys will be made, using the planet-friendly materials and techniques needed for a more sustainable vision of luxury. Bentley’s Color, Materials and Finishes team turned to the exploration of the cosmos for their inspiration in creating these specifications, utilizing space-era materials and finishes to reflect the idea of a journey of exploration. New, natural alternatives to carbon fiber are now possible using high-performance composites made from flax, a sustainable super-fiber. Immensely strong and incredibly light, this material has proved suitable for use throughout the Batur, from the exterior body kit to the internal hard surfaces.  

Where leather is used, it’s sustainably sourced, thanks to a production process that uses less water and aldehyde than traditional tanning. There’s also the option to select traceable, low-CO₂ leather—something that is only possible today in the low volumes involved in coachbuilding. Sustainable, leather-like textiles made from by-products of the coffee roasting process can even be selected, as can carpets made from recycled yarn.

Three models of the Bentley Batur in blue, green and orange
Bentley Batur.

The Progressive Design of the Range Rover Sport SV

The new Range Rover Sport SV redefines sporting luxury, combining assertive and instinctive on-road performance with Range Rover’s progressive design. That includes uninterrupted light graphics that introduce surface LED technology to a production vehicle for the first time, providing a crisp and contemporary look at night that is vivid and consistent when viewed from any angle.

A characteristic shoulder line runs the length of the vehicle, accentuated by new lower fender details and the longest spoiler ever fitted to a Range Rover. The cockpit-like cabin sets the tone for the dynamic driving experience, providing excellent visibility while simultaneously cocooning the driver with a high, sloping center console and intuitive technologies.

Range Rover Sport SV in silver against a night sky
Range Rover Sport SV.

Haute Couture and Art Shape the Design of the Rolls-Royce Spectre

The first electric number from the ne plus ultra of British luxury brands, the Spectre features an apparitional all-aluminum frame that is infinitely scalable and modifiable. Its design draws inspiration from haute couture, modernist sculpture, nautical design, tailoring, and contemporary art. In particular, the design takes cues from the clarity and precision of line and use of reflection in modern racing yacht styling.

For the first time on a series production Rolls-Royce, doors incorporate 4,796 softly illuminated fiber-optic stars. The ethereal, celestial theme continues with Spectre’s illuminated fascia, developed over the course of two years and more than 10,000 collective hours, that incorporates the Spectre nameplate surrounded by a cluster of over 5,500 stars. Located on the passenger side of the dashboard, the illuminations are completely invisible when the auto is not in operation, allowing the Spectre to live up to its indelible name.

Rolls-Royce Spectre in a rose shade near landscaped trees
Rolls-Royce Spectre.

Sensory Design Details Make the Lincoln Nautilus Standout

The Nautilus offers an entirely new multisensory experience that allows passengers to relax and recharge through lighting, sound, and scent. The reimagined cabin incorporates new ambient illumination along with crystal-inspired details throughout the vehicle that capture the essence of seeing sun reflected on water: the piano key shifter, instrument panel toggles, and audio knob all shimmer. Simultaneously, a symphonic orchestration with crisp, high-resolution animations on the displays creates an immersive digital sanctuary based on different moods.

Furthermore, three scent cartridges are housed in the center armrest—Mystic Forest, an earthy blend with woody, rich notes of patchouli; Ozonic Azure, a crisp mix of aromatic patchouli and traces of bright violet; and Violet Cashmere’s exotic white florals combined with more refined violet for a note of fresh linen. Drivers can then choose from three levels of scent, depending on mood, through haptic options in the center screen.

Lincoln Nautilus in an outdoor driveway
Lincoln Nautilus.

The Aston Martin DB12 Features a Clean, Contemporary Design

The latest addition to Aston Martin’s most illustrious bloodline, DB12’s interior has been completely redesigned, with clean horizontal lines emphasizing the sense of space and providing the perfect contemporary backdrop for a new state-of-the-art infotainment system with a surround sound system by Bugatti’s new British audio partner, Bowers & Wilkins.

Combining clean, contemporary design with classic craftsmanship and the finest materials, the DB12’s interior design character focuses on a driver centric cockpit. Occupants sit below the shoulder line with a high center console, allowing complete engagement with a combination of contemporary display screens and interactive analogue switches. Driver-centric controls are ergonomically placed along the cabin centerline, ensuring maximum driver connection and the bold, horizontal lines are softened with elegant cabin jewelry and distinctive trim details.

Aston Martin DB12 in bright green on a mountain road
Aston Martin DB12.

An Auto Design at One With Nature: Lexus GX

Since the first-generation GX entered the North American market in 2002, Lexus enthusiasts have praised its legendary off-road capability and its ability to tackle rough terrains. Now, the completely redesigned GX incorporates thoughtful touches at every turn.

The earth-toned interior color design is intended to complement the natural landscape just outside the vehicle’s doors. Lower, horizontal instrument panel design carries into the dash for a simplified front and passenger seat experience, providing excellent front and side visibility. Meanwhile, ergonomic measures have been implemented to help decrease load and work to aid driving posture through seat cushion, seatback bolster, and headrest improvements.

Lexus GX in a tan hue on a grassy off-road
Lexus GX.

The Bugatti Mistral Auto Design Nods to Ettore Bugatti

The W16 Mistral debuts in colors inspired by the Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid on display at the Louwman Museum in the Hague, Netherlands: a warm black with hints of truffle brown and subtle yellow accents throughout. Not only is it an homage to the iconic coachbuilt body, but also to Ettore Bugatti, who chose the black and yellow combination for many of his personal cars.

Bugatti’s advanced composite materials were paired with cutting-edge titanium and aluminum 3D-printing. Vertically stacked headlights are completely bespoke, and the famous horseshoe grille is reimagined to be both deeper and wider. Finally, the gear shifter, machined from a solid block of aluminum, features a touch of wood and an amber insert replete with Rembrandt Bugatti’s famous dancing elephant sculpture.

Bugatti Mistral in black on a road near the sea
Bugatti Mistral.

An Aerodynamic Design Improves Roominess in the Lamborghini Revuelto

The Revuelto is the production Lamborghini model that offers the most potential for personalization—in fact, 400 body colors are available—and all the paints used are water- rather than solvent-based. To start, the plug-in hybrid’s standard design is inspired by aerospace elements and characterized by sculpted surfaces encompassing two lines that start from the front and embrace the cabin and engine, tapering down to Lamborghini’s trademark hexagonal-shaped exhausts. The aerospace elements blend harmoniously with an animalistic muscularity starting at the front: the shark-nose section modeling of the broad monolithic carbon-fiber hood conveys a sense of power and speed.

A carbon fiber roof also plays an important aerodynamic role with a structural function that improves interior roominess. The wing profile design with a hollowed-out central part directs air to the rear air intakes, and consequently to the inverter and electric motor located on the gearbox, while the roof’s side volumes provide more headroom for both driver and passenger.

Lamborghini Revuelto in deep orange in an artful garage
Lamborghini Revuelto.

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