Following on from the 1999 Seoul Motor Show star, the Daewoo Mirae, the new Musiro is a further evolution of the "designed around you" Versatile Sports Car (VSC) concept from the dedicated team at the UK based Daewoo Worthing Technical Center. Unlike Mirae (Korean for "future"), intended for 2010, Musiro (Korean for "anytime") is a car for the here and now. Engineered around a production platform the Musiro is could be production ready in 18 months. Although the future of the company may be uncertain, the Musiro reflects the confidence and talent of the staff at Worthing.
Designed under Chris Milburn - Design Manager, and built in the UK, it offers the practicality of an MPV within a beautiful sports coupe profile. Including a fully automated retractable folding roof, it is both closed coupe and open 4 seat sports - the best of both worlds. With a long folding load floor, folding and sliding seats, innovative specification, and inclusion of ingenious storage volumes, it can be a car for virtually all occasions.
Exterior work was started and a series of proposals created digitally via ALIAS, a process that allowed the digital proposals to be milled as scale models. After a period of manual evolution of the clay models, one proposal by Spanish designer Juan Jose Delhom was chosen for full-size development.
The scanned model was developed digitally with more detailed engineering data, then milled using WTC’s own highly versatile TARUS mobile mill - the only one of it’s type outside America. More surface full size refinement in clay occurred and the exterior was signed off. Around this time a program was initiated to develop an interior proposal. A concept based on the Daewoo Mirae interior by the same designer, Paul Wraith, was chosen. Leading an experienced team the work begun in earnest. The interior followed a more digitally advanced development process. Due to a very short development window WTC staff decided to design and engineer the whole interior on computer and use this data to mill the moulds from which prototype components could be taken. A high risk strategy, but one with the digital process experience WTC has, that could be taken with confidence. Alterations would be difficult to make, confidence was needed in all components before data was released. This same engineering and evaluation data was to be used finally to constructed by Digital Designer Alex Daniel in to a short animation to support the car at the Birmingham Motor show, showing some of the details and versatility not easy to display on the final show vehicle.
Initial proposals by Juan were refined both digitally and manually. Musiro would act as an image leading product and would employ the "T" shaped front and rear graphic developed at the Daewoo Worthing Technical Center, and first shown on the 1999 Mirae show car and subsequently employed on other Daewoo concepts. The design indicates confidence and quality. Proportionally "cab-forward" the transverse Straight-6 Front Wheel Drive powerplant installation is apparent in the exterior. Much time was spent perfecting the front and rear lamp detailing, and incorporating the technical requirements of the original opening roof. The attention to detail exudes a quality feel, the proportions drama.
Colour and Trim
Dominique Raye and Louise Woodward approached Musiro in an original and fashion led way. Their proposal employs natural leather from Andrew Muirhead for a warm, human feeling, contrasting well with the hard silver longitudinal elements intersecting the interior. A new woven fabric was developed with Collins and Aikmann providing a conceptual link with Mirae, for seats, dash, and door trims. This fabric innovatively "gives" slightly offering comfort, capture, and support used in it’s various locations. Contrasting with it’s texture, an anodised gold finish was applied to certain elements; it’s highly polished look contrasting again with the technical-look industrial rubber flooring used in preference to carpet. The whole interior design and colour proposal was intended to challenge, elements visually empowered against contrast textures and tones throughout. The striking use of yellow exterior glass against the mature sophistication of the olive body colour represented a link to highly fashionable coloured sunglasses lenses. We are used to seeing this in fashion photography, not in an automobile. The exterior colours are found on the interior - this car was designed throughout by an integrated team, the colour use helps this "inside/outside" feel.
Taking the wildly futuristic Mirae interior as a starting point, Wraith accepted the requirements of a common platform and carried over "invisible" components sourced from other Daewoo products. As a result, package room for airbags, heater ventilation units, seat runners and other parts was included from the earliest stages. The team, having worked on a wide range of future Daewoo products, were very familiar with these items and so work could commence quickly.
Flexibility and innovative use of space in a relatively small interior was paramount. The rear bulkhead can be folded flat in to the interior being supported on the sills and centre tunnel features. This element can be further extended forwards if the front passenger seat is moved and tilted forwards against the dash, providing a particularly large loading space for this class of car. The rear passenger seats can slide on conventional runners forward to the door opening to aid access and ease the securing of children to child seats when fitted.
Employing a semi-automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, the centre tunnel becomes a "swiss army knife", incorporating various storage spaces, a bottle cooler, a printer/fax to support the E-mail and Sat Nav systems, cup holders, arm rests, electronics/memory, and controls. The park brake is foot operated. The sill mouldings have duel function with supplementary stores for papers, money, and vehicle documentation. The door openers are also the door pulls, and hide other functions; if turned through 90 degrees inward these become, on the passenger side, a map reading lamp, a cup holder, as well as window switches. On the drivers side as well as window switches there are the mirror controls, roof controls, and other vehicle controls.
In concept, in exterior and interior, and even in the details Musiro is duel-function. An inner opening panel on the doors contains space for a folded suit, or laptop with charging point, a space not obvious from outside of the vehicle. Aesthetically the interior direction owes much to Mirae, and from 1950’s racing cars. The "human space" of the Musiro interior is, like the cockpits of ’50’s racers, pierced by strong mechanical elements. In racing cars these would have been drive shafts and exhausts, here this is symbolised by the silver sills and central "tube". Whist there are technical areas, those area of the interior that the occupant is in contact with are warm and human to touch.