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At least we know what the Apple car won’t look like

The New Yorker’s excellent, 17,000-word profile
( http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/shape-things-come )
of Apple design chief, Jonathan Ive, does not
mention the company’s supposed car project.
(Apple, reported the Wall Street Journal ( http://www.wsj.com/articles/apples-titan-car-project-to-challenge-tesla-1423868072 )
(paywall) last week, has “several hundred
employees working secretly toward creating an
Apple-branded electric vehicle” that “resembles
a minivan.”)
But the profile does talk a bit about cars—
including Ive’s particular dislike for two
utilitarian models from Toyota, the Japanese
automotive giant. You can guess where Apple
isn’t looking for inspiration.

“We were in Ive’s black Bentley,” the New
Yorker’s Ian Parker writes, and the two
were discussing fellow industrial designer Marc
Newson, whom Apple officially hired last year.

> He and Newson are car guys, and they feel
disappointed with most modern cars; each
summer, they attend the Goodwood Festival of
Speed, where vintage sports cars are exhibited
and raced in the South of England. “There are
some shocking cars on the road,” Ive said.
“One
person’s car is another person’s scenery.” To
his right was a silver sedan with a jutting lower
lip. Ive said, quietly, “For example.” As the
disgraced car fell behind, I asked Ive to critique
its design: “It is baffling, isn’t it? It’s just
nothing, isn’t it? It’s just insipid.” He declined to
name the model, muttering, “I don’t know, I
don’t want to offend.” (Toyota Echo.)

Funny. Parker continues, quoting Ive:

> “I’ve always loved the big old-school square
Bentleys,” he said. “The reasons are entirely
design-based. But because of the other connotations I resisted and
resisted, and then I thought, This is the most
bizarre vanity, because I’m concerned that
people will perceive me to be this way—I’m not.

So I’m going to—” A pause. “And so I am
uncomfortable about it.” Jeff Williams, Apple’s
senior vice-president of operations, drives an
old Toyota Camry. Ive’s verdict, according to
Williams, is “Oh, God.”

Parker makes great use of his access to Ive and
other Apple executives, focusing mostly on Ive’s
life story, his design lab and its role within
Apple’s organization, and his latest (public)
project, the Apple Watch, which will ship in April.

The article is well worth the time ( http://
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/
shape-things-come )

Read this next: 2015 is the year of the Apple
Watch ( http://qz.com/319703/2015-is-the-year-of-the-apple-watch/ )

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