The futuristic Enigma car project is intended to represent the height of automotive exclusivity. You could argue that the only thing that separates one Veyron or Phantom from the other is the color and trim that the first owner specifies from new, whereas with Enigma, the patination of the bronze on the roof of the car would develop with the owner over time. When the car is sold to its next owner, it would be taken back to the factory, the body panels removed and would be retained as a piece of automotive sculpture for their beautiful landscaped gardens. The next owner would get a new piece of bronze to start their own story. Paul Howse, the designer, really wanted it to be like a sculpture on wheels, a work of art.
Paul Howse words :
Luxury doesn’t have to mean expense or extravagance. Moreover, in the fragility of 21st century consumerism, exclusivity could go much further, where its perceptual value increases over time and through an experience of the product. Just as classic watches and historic cars develop a story and history over time, the owner of a vehicle should feel this experience. A patination of material such as bronze, that is hand-crafted or develops over time and is unique to each ownership situation would bring a valid ‘local quality’ that could be argued as being lost in today’s globalized world.
Technology was also an important part of the project, in that being at the forefront of technology would allow an entirely new, exclusive proportion of vehicle. By using bio-electric hybrid technology in situated low down in the chassis, I was able to celebrate the lack of an internal combustion engine and create an entirely new proportion of vehicle. The use of cameras and projections on the interior allows for the deletion of the traditional windscreen and allows the long, low, sculptural bonnet to run up over into the roof, uninterrupted. Again, something only exclusively possible with this car. I also wanted to emphasize the interior element, to show that it is cradled in the structure, a precious entity much like a Faberge egg. By suspending the interior in magnetic levitation it further separates it from the technical elements of the car whilst providing a truly serene ride quality.
As it is intended to be used only on special occasions and cosseted, it will be kept in a specifically designed building from which you can control the atmosphere the car is kept in and thus control the patination, much like a cigar humidor. The building will be covered in photo-voltaic solar panels and will be able to store up solar energy to be used to power the car. If energy levels drop, then it will run off the national grid, but otherwise it will be solely self-sufficient.
All of these factors should add up to truly unique, exclusive ownership experience, while a creating a mystique about the car, the like of which may not have been seen since the art deco period.
Designer : Paul Howse