The 43rd Most Influential Briton in the Car Industry 2004 was Steve Mattin.
Formerly the senior design manager at Mercedes Benz until 2004, he moved to Volvo when it was under Ford’s management. I happen not to care a great deal for the Mercedes cars designed while Mattin was in Sindelfingen. And it surprises me very little that while at Volvo Mattin oversaw the creation of the Volvo S60, V60, and XC60 concept cars.
And I don’t like those either. Mattin ended his relationship with Volvo in 2009 and did some teaching at Umea in Sweden and also carried out consultancy work.
His latest design is the one that caught my attention, the 2012 Lada X-Ray. It is vastly more professional and believable than the rest of Lada’s range which includes vehicles such as the Kalina which dates from 2004. However, the X-Ray also has the look of a
design produced in an environment where the peer review process has exerted much less pressure than it might at GM, Ford, Renault or any other corporation anchored in western design norms. I don’t offer this as a criticism. It’s actually very revealing of the extent to which designers are a product of their environment and the culture of their
workplace. It is very likely that at Lada there is not the ingrained self-criticism (which might also be stultifying) that one might find inside BMW or VW or Jaguar. This peer-pressure is the kind that might deter a designer from a wilder flight of fancy or also make a gross mistake of taste.
The X-Ray is a design which has the air of a vehicle created in the absence of such restraint, making it both a more personal design and also possibly awkwardly idiosyncratic, as if the design team were missing some bearings. The bodyside sculpting and the odd shape of the door shutline are the features that both attract one’s attention but also make one doubt the judgement of the author.
On the plus side, the interior looks very believable but when rendered in Standard Customer Grey might lose the appeal of the striking colourway selected for the presentation photography.
Lada Kalina 1118 saloon specifications
|Lada Kalina 1118 TechnicalSpecifications :||Engine 1,6 l 8V||Engine 1,6 l 16V|
|Track front / rear wheels mm||1430/1410||1430/1410|
|Ground clearance mm||160||160|
|Mass in running condition kg||1080||1080|
|The luggage compartment, m 3||0,42||0,42|
|The payload, (including mass loaded with luggage on the roof), kg||425+50||425+50|
|Tank fuel litres.||50||50|
|Base engine 11183||Distributed fuel injection
|Distributed fuel injection
|Nr. kW / M.||58/5600||66|
|Displacement engine cm||1596||1596|
|Torque, Nm / M.||133/2800|
|Max speed km / h||170|
|Time to disperse track / h, s||13|
|Fuel consumption, litres/100 km|
|at 90 km / h||5,8|
|at 120 km / h||7,6|
|The tires||175/70SR13 175/65HR14 185/60HR14|
|The standards for toxicity||EURO2, EURO3|