A fitting celebration of high level automotive design marked twenty years of Autostyle + Design 2023 XX Edition at Villa Schiarino Lena in Porto Mantovano (Mantua) over two days from 11-12 October.

Organised and hosted by Berman S.p.A., with founder Prof. Roberto Artioli, at the helm, all of the main elements of Autostyle programme returned. As usual there were presentations from chief designers from top automotive brands, an exhibition of interesting models in the manicured lawns in front of the Villa; and much to the pleasure of the promoters and audience, the restoration of the Autostyle Car Design Competition, dedicated to young students of international schools, which been postponed during the Covid years.

“This event is very important for the students, as the presentations by professionals in the automotive sector, is not only a high-level study seminar, but also a way to increase their passion for design and an opportunity to network with car designers,” explained Mr. Artioli.

For the competition, more than 50 portfolios were received from eight European Design Institutes, and from these 11 finalists were selected, and were all awarded with a diploma. Three main prizes were awarded for the projects adjudicated on by two select adjudication panels. The prize awarded by the Design Directors at the leading automotive Style Centres went to Matteo Lo Bracco, from the ISSAM (Modena); and from the same school, the winner of the Automotive Press prize was Eros Tartaglia, while Anne Libois (ISD Rubika), from France, secured most votes in the election undertaken by the event attendees.
A special prize from AutoTecnica magazine was awarded to Argentinian Dulce Galeote, also a student at ISSAM, for her skills in quickly creating automotive sketches, during a clinic held during the event.

The special Autostyle XX trophy awarded to the winners was designed once again by Eric Dubois, one of the founder members. The VP at French transmission systems company Safran said that this year’s trophy brings together a number of themes: “The twenty years of the event, recalling the shapes and colours of previous trophies and also an optimistic message for the future of these young people who are so well motivated and prepared. Over the past two decades, the Autostyle Design Competition has brought good fortune and opportunity to many winners or finalists of the contest, many of whom today work in the Style Centres of a number main international car manufacturers: the same progression is likely for this year’s young participants.”

One of the significant aspects each year of Autostyle is the presentation of the most recent activities by the creative and design leaders at Style Centres, including technical supporters of the event: Wacom, represented by Leonardo Mendolicchio, which is celebrating 40 years of activity and has been participating in Autostyle for 10 years, who previewed one of the Japanese company’s latest generation graphic tablets, ready for launch and Gravity Sketch, a platform for the creation of 3D projects in virtual reality.
Alessio Tommasetti, also from Wacom, was back on stage as Master of Ceremonies, introducing the various speakers and after welcoming the guests, judging panel, students and media partners (including Fleet Car), he opened proceedings with a video greeting from regular participant Lance Scott of Toyota ED2, wishing the event success.
Then the presentations begin with Andrea Militello from the Ferrari design team, flanked by Jason Furtado and Giuseppe Bagnardi, illustrated the new Purosangue, Ferrari’s first entry in the world of ‘tall’ four-seater cars, but in keeping with the traditions of the brand; they also spoke about the SF90XX Stradale, which has specific design elements that covers the role of both a track car and also for road use; then there was details of the original KC23, a one-off project created on the 488 GT3 base, therefore a track car, created together with the eager customer to obtain two characteristics, racing and road.

Pablo German D’Agostino represented Maserati, telling the story of the development of the new GranTurismo range, 75 years after the company’s first GT. The principles that make the design of the car unique and exclusive were highlighted, from the proportions to the shapes and even the details, also showing the specific characteristics for the Folgore electric version, a totally new direction in the history of the luxury car brand.

But the event was not all about cars: Bart van Lotringen, head of design at DAF Trucks, outlined the objectives in creating a whole new generation of premium heavy duty trucks for the Dutch manufacturer, showing similarities and differences with passenger cars, in terms of the technical characteristics, and how the end users vary, depending on the application and catering for the needs for drivers and operators.
Another iconic Italian marque Lamborghini, had a greeting and a technical explanation from the head of design Mitja Borkert, following by a report from the lecture from Manuel Amprimo on the latest innovations from the company; the new Revuelto, which follows the guidelines of all the sports cars from the brand, starting from the famous arched profiles, and on to the trademark hexagonal lines. He also included the new electric Lanzador, which continues these stylistic features on a higher crossover body, but maintaining sophisticated sporting traits such as active aerodynamics, and coming with a unique interior, from the raised central tunnel, to the exclusive and ecological materials used.
From cars to motorbikes, and with Andrea Ferraresi of Ducati, Director of the style centre, who chronicled the history of the design of Multistrada through all four generations, displayed outside from the 1000 S from 2003 to the current Multistrada V4 MY 2021, dedicated to off-road, but maintaining the typical elements of the style language and philosophy of the VW Group owned company.
Another surprise for the gathering, was the presence of the Chinese manufacturer BYD, as it has not yet been formally launched in Italy. BYD, the acronym for Build Your Dreams, whose style manager is Wolfgang Egger, is who once held a similar role with Alfa Romeo. It was Francesco Cremonesi’s job to illustrate the  activity of this company, active around the world in many hi-tech industrial, engineering and automotive sectors is now defined as the world’s largest producer of electric cars. The car, analysed was the BYD Seal, a new aerodynamic four-door saloon, with its overall design and details inspired by the Ocean.

The latest entry into a world of non-automotive design was the address of Giulia Agnoletto and Luigi Arboit, creative designers for various projects at EssilorLuxottica, a company that produces eyewear for well-known brands such as Ray Ban or Persol. The design of glasses has many similarities with those of cars, but on larger numbers – 50,000 new models a year, all with intricate detail. The analysis of the models created for Ferrari Style range indicated the link to the world of fashion,  the complexity of the design of an essentially simple shape and widespread usage of a pair of glasses.

Last but not least by any means, the return of Lancia, is broadly welcomed by one and all, which had Gianni Colonello explain the main features of the Pu+Ra HPE concept, an electric 4-seater coupé with a low roof and living room type interior inspired by Italian architecture – the works of Carlo Scarpa in particular.
An up and running version of the Lancia Pu+Ra Concept, was among the impressive display of vehicles parked in front of the villa: such as the Maserati GranTurismo 75th anniversary, the Ferrari Purosangue and SF90XX Spider, the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato, Revuelto and Urus, the four generations of Ducati Multistrada, the BYD Seal, the DAF XG+ plus one of the first cars in Lamborghini’s 60 year history.
Plans are already underway to mark the 21st anniversary of Autostyle, the 2024 XXI edition, which will once again be full of promise, progress and presentations.

Evaluation Committee representing Automotive Brand Designers
Giuria dei Centri Stile Automobilsitici
Mitja Borkert, Automobili Lamborghini
Klaus Busse, Pablo German D’Agostino, Maserati
Gianni Colonello, Lancia
Wolfgang Egger, BYD
Andrea Ferraresi, Ducati
Bart van Lotringen, DAF
Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari
Adam MacKerron, Aston Martin
Robin Page, Bentley

Jury members representing the Press:
Silvia Baruffaldi, Auto & Design
Franco Daudo, Francesco Forleo, Auto Tecnica
Michael Kockritz, Ramp
Jarlath Sweeney, Fleet Car
Sergio Chierici, Virtual Car

Autostyle Car Design Competition Finalists:
Jobin Sunil, IAAD Torino
Giorgia Mantellina, IAAD Torino
Eros Tartaglia, ISSAM Modena
Matteo Lo Bracco, ISSAM Modena
Dulce Galeote, ISSAM Modena
Federico Clemente, IAAD Torino
Francesco Sardella, IAAD Torino
Emanuele Caprera, IAAD Torino
Riccardo Gallo, Università degli Studi di Bologna
Sanjeev Sharma, IAAD Torino
Anne Libois, ISD Rubika (F)

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