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Arcadipane sets Denza record straight

This is it: Renowned Australian designer Peter Arcadipane heavily reworked the production version of the Denza EV unveiled in Beijing recently.

Aussie designer had major hand in final Denza EV and worked on next-gen concept

Denza logo6 May 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

AUSTRALIAN designer Peter Arcadipane has moved to set the record straight on his involvement in Daimler-BYD’s all-new Denza EV presented at the recent Beijing motor show, highlighting that much of his work concentrated on this production version rather than the original 2012 concept car.

Mr Arcadipane told GoAuto last week that when he came to BYD Daimler New Technology Co (BDNT) in early 2011, “the basic car was already established by the team of my friend Olivier Boulay”.

“I helped design the corporate logo (and) the actual production car – I am on both patent applications,” he said.

“With Olivier, we designed the show stand at Shanghai and I was heavily involved with the Denza dealerships exterior and interior designs, right down to graphics and furniture.

“I reworked the actual production car by about 80 per cent from its early development. The productionisation of the original Benz-based theme, and feasibility issues, were my responsibility.

“In the process I tried to improve the conservative, but serious design, wherever I could. The basic architecture was a little too conservative for me, but that was the project.”

Mr Arcadipane said that when he left BDNT last year to become director of design for BAIC, “the basic car was virtually done”.

“When Olivier and I saw the final series car at the Beijing show, we were pretty happy. It had turned out okay!” he said.

“All my hard work to improve design and body-in-white quality, inside and out, had paid off. The interior, whilst conservative, looked professionally designed and handled.

“Sure, if I had been in the project from the beginning, I would have fought for a more exciting proportion and design direction, but that is the car business.

“Before I left BDNT I did start development on the next-generation Denza. It was a concept where the car was a much lower, semi-three-box design with more dramatic proportions.”

He added that he felt it was important to set the record straight: I was not ‘the father’ of the original design. Anyone that knows me professionally knows my design tastes always have been a little more ‘advanced’.”

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