Tag Archives | Subtle

…The Storm watch is all black?

Storm Black Screen Watch

The Storm Black Screen Watch is about as subtle as they get. Press one of the buttons and red LEDs will light up to show you the time. Release, and they fade back to black.

[Hammacher Schlemmer – Storm Black Screen Watch]

[Via: Like Cool]

…Vespa makes the GTS 300 scooter for men?

Vespa GTS 300

Apparently Vespa has finally figured out that with a little bit of black paint, some subtle accents, and their most powerful engine to date, they can probably sell the thing to guys just as well as they can sell it to girls.

The Vespa GTS 300 Super features a 22hp, 278cc, four-stroke, single cylinder, liquid-cooled, electronic injected engine that propels the man-mobile to a top speed of around 80 mph (Though I hope to god no one tries to top speed one of these things!) while getting a rather thrifty 70 mpg.

Additional features include 12-inch alloy rims, double-disc brakes, red springs, a new grill, and plenty of cargo room to hold your man pur… man bag.

[Vespa GTS 300]

[Via: Uncrate]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: Mansory Bugatti Veyron Linea Vincero?

Bugatti Veyron Vincero

Mansory doesn’t do subtle, so you know that when they get their hands on a Bugatti Veyron, the end result is going to be something special. In this case, the end result of their “individualization project” is the Linea Vincero, a car that simply defies belief.

Bugatti Veyron Vincero Details

Starting with an aerodynamic kit that’s completely formed out of unpainted carbon fiber, LED elements serve to emphasize the new lines, and a stylized V in the grill pays homage to the name Vincero. Other changes include new, fully forged turbine wheels, a shortened ‘bonnet’, a new front splitter, new side skirts, bigger air outtakes, and a new diffuser that are all designed to help the fastest go even faster.

Plus, Mansory was not satisfied with a mere 1,000 horsepower, so they have upped it to 1109 with an optimized air intake and a modified exhaust. (Considering the amount of R&D that Bugatti put into getting 1,000 horsepower out of the quad-turbo W16, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they also used a little magic powder to get to that number as well.)

Bugatti Veyron Vincero Interior

Inside, an ambience illumination system shines from the door to cover the newly embossed leather seats, contrast colored accents on the roof, and every other luxury material you decide to slather inside of the Vincero with, since I’m imagining there is nothing too rare to find its way inside of this Veyron. Even the steering wheel gets new gear shift paddles to remind you that nothing you can touch can be found inside of a standard, commoner’s Bugatti Veyron.

[Mansory – Vincero]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer GLK?

RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer

Every year, SEMA serves as the debut for some of the most outrageous cars and stunning concepts from tuners around the world, and this year, Mercedes-Benz decided to get in on the action with the debut of their new GLK.

One of those GLKs that stormed the SEMA show is this Pikes Peak Rally Racer from RENNtech, and with its inspiration coming from the winged, unlimited-class rally cars of the famed Pikes Peak Hill Climb, it’s no surprise that the styling needed to be kicked up a few notches.

However, beneath the menacing exterior lies a powertrain that might surprise a few people: a hybrid, designed to make the GLK a formidable performer while at work and at play.

By combining an electric motor in parallel with the 3.5 liter V6 petrol engine, RENNtech has been able to capture the impressive torque that characterizes electric motor drives, adding 54 Nm to enhance the GLK’s performance off-the-line and out of corners.

In addition, internal combustion engines can start to wheeze as the ambient air thins at the higher altitudes that a hill climb takes place in, but with a hybrid drive, thrust is maintained at any altitude with help from the electric motor, allowing the GLK to remain strong during every part of the race.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine that comes stock in the GLK received a special intake manifold, cams and cylinder heads directly from MB, and then RENNtech added their own long-tube headers, composite air intake, and RENNtech ECU software to make the engine put out approximately 350 horsepower on gas power alone.

RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer Detail

To help with speed, RENNtech cut weight by removing most of the sound insulation and replacing the Mercedes-Benz seats with lightweight carbon-fiber buckets. With the addition of a full roll cage and the movement of several components towards the rear of the GLK, weight distribution almost reached the perfect 50/50, which helps handling on tight, demanding rally stages.

Custom coil-over suspension was created by KW for RENNtech, allowing for adjustments in height, rake, damping rate, camber and toe-in, and 412mm, 2-piece rotors with 8-piston callipers from RENNtech handle stopping power in the front, while 4-pot callipers grab 356mm discs in the rear.

Not so subtle exterior modifications include a front splitter, rear diffuser, and lower side skirts all designed to help direct airflow underneath the GLK to reduce drag and produce added downforce, while improving high speed stability at the rear. The rear wing elements also serve an important aerodynamic purpose, and flared wheel arches and other bodyshell modifications “create a powerful side line that highlights the dynamic thrust of the Rally Racer”.

It’s definitely not the subtlest Mercedes-Benz on the road, but if you want cutting edge, rally ready technology that’s designed to get you where you want to go at a very high rate of speed, then look no further than the RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer.

[RENNtech]

[Via: Serious Wheels]

…Apple’s MacBook laptops are a perfect design study?

MacBook Pro

It’s no secret that Apple has mastered the art of design, and with every iteration of their product line, they continue to wow with small and often subtle changes that contribute to an overall feeling of amazement when interacting with their computers. Each and every piece and part has its own place in the end result, and everything feels like it should be there, rather than needed to be there.

Unibody

With the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro, Apple “Redesigned. Reengineered. Re-everythinged.” their way into one of the most stunning laptops ever built thanks to a new unibody construction that begins life as a single piece of aluminum, and ends as a computer that has been machined down to the micron, thus reducing size, weight, complexity, and opportunity for failure.

MacBook Pro Screen

Even things like the thickness of the display don’t escape the watchful eye of Apple’s designers, as they opted to use LED backlight technology across their entire notebook line, rather than the CCFLs that are standard for the industry. In addition to the fact that they take less space to create the same amount of light, LEDs reach maximum brightness instantly, unlike CCFLs, which take time to warm up.

MacBook Pro Trackpad

It’s also no secret that Steve Jobs has a thing for buttons, and specifically the removal of as many buttons as possible, so for the latest version of Apple’s trackpad, they’ve removed the buttons entirely and replaced them with a trackpad that is itself the button. Users can click anywhere on the trackpad and it will register as a click, allowing for new ways of interacting with the computer through Multi-Touch gestures that had never before been possible.

MacBook Pro Thumbscoop

Think no part is too small to escape revision? According to Apple, designers worked on hundreds of versions of the thumbscoop (the indentation that allows you to open the display) before they got it right.

If the scoop is too deep, you put too much pressure on the display to open it. If it’s too shallow, you struggle to open the display. It may seem incidental, but if the thumbscoop is well designed, it makes the difference between a bad experience and a good one.

How important was it for Apple to get the thumbscoop right? They examined their options under an electron microscope until they were happy that they had gotten it just right.

MacBook Pro Sleep Indicator Light

The sleep indicator light?

During the CNC process, a machine first thins out the aluminum. Then a laser drill creates small perforations for the LED light to shine through. These holes are so tiny that the aluminum appears seamless when the light is off.

A light when you need it and nothing when you don’t?

That’s what I call attention to detail.

And don’t think that just because Apple is obsessed with perfection that they’re willing to let the environment take a hit as a result of their designs.

Green Apple

In addition to being brighter and thinner, LED backlighting is also mercury and arsenic free, and uses 30 percent less power than a CCFL display. The circuit board? Now polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardant (BFRs), bromine and chlorine free.

Even the packaging has been optimized, with a reduction of 37 percent when compared to previous generations. Fewer trees used for boxes and less fuel used for transportation means a healthier environment, and when all is said and done and it’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest, almost every part of the new MacBook line can be recycled.

Is it perfection?

Probably not, since I’m sure they’ll find ways to improve their products and their processes in the future, but until then, Apple’s laptop line is a design force to be reckoned with.

[Apple – MacBook Pro Design]

[For Designer Daily – Design You Love: A Group Writing Project]