Behind the design: Nahum Escobedo interview
Polestar Precept is a statement, a declaration of where our brand is heading. To that end, we’ve spoken all about the innovative technology, materials, and design that make up the Precept in great detail. What we haven’t done is spoken about the inspiration behind the design. So, we sat down with Senior Exterior Designer Nahum Escobedo to do just that.
What was the primary inspiration behind the Precept’s design?I’ve always been very interested in aircraft and technology so often times my inspiration comes from there. Since I first started studying design, I’ve always gravitated towards the Scandinavian aesthetic: the simplicity, the minimalism, the functionality. And of course, when your boss has a clear and exciting vision of what that product should be, that is also very inspiring.How does the Precept represent the next evolutionary stage of Polestar’s design language?It sets a very good foundation for how future Polestar cars will look. We really wanted to emphasise our core values of pure, progressive performance, and we’ve stayed true to those values with the Precept. From the beginning, Max (Missoni, Polestar Head of Design) and Thomas (Ingenlath, Polestar CEO) were very clear about having the Precept communicate what we represent as a brand.What are the defining design details of the Precept?The aero features, along with the removal of unnecessary openings, which are so cliché in automotive design. The bottoms of the doors look like airplane wings to me and the rear lamps are very aeronautical. Visually, it’s aerodynamic, and aerodynamically it’s aerodynamic (laughs). While working on our future Polestar projects, I’ve collaborated a lot with an aerodynamics specialist, so that made it more natural to incorporate those things while working on the Precept. It’s also defined by how much the technology of the car, like the SmartZone, is emphasised. Oftentimes, you visually gravitate to the grille. In the past, it was like “let’s see who can make the biggest grille” (laughs). So, we thought about how we could really make a difference and make something that looks cool. I mean, we went from breathing to seeing, with the technology there that scans the car’s surroundings. And of course, there are the recycled and sustainable materials showcased throughout the Precept.
Why the choice to make the Precept a vehicle that’s a lot closer to reality than most concept cars?
In the past, we had to do concept cars because it was a way to challenge the boundaries of design and technology. Now, technology is moving quite fast, which allows us to be much more creative when it comes to showcasing visions and ideas that are both conceptual and a lot closer to reality. People are excited by concept cars, but they know they’re never going to see anything like them on the roads. Instead, they see what those brands actually bring to market, and it’s a huge let-down. We didn’t want to make that kind of misleading promise, so we focused on designing something that is both futuristic looking and a beautiful car that you can own in the near future. Sustainability is also a big part: not trying to waste materials or resources. We want to make exciting beautiful cars, but we have to be mindful of the fact that a change needs to be made in the automotive industry when it comes to using recyclable materials as well as challenging the design.
What’s your favourite design element of the Precept and why?
That’s a tough one! I really like the rear. It has this very techy aerodynamic look to it, it’s minimalistic, it’s futuristic, and everything that’s there has a function.
Is it accurate to call the Precept a concept car? Would “commitment car” be more fitting?
This is a very interesting question, because the word “commitment” can scare people (laughs). I think of it more as a “near future vision car”. This is our vision, and it showcases our core values, and it’s not so far from reality. We never wanted to call it a concept car. When I break down the word and think “concept”, it reminds me of a con artist, you know? A concept car is something that might never come. It’s an illusion. The Precept, on the other hand, is something that sets the standard. It’s the beginning of something new.