Byungchul Kim’s goal for his final year thesis project at Coventry University was to establish the future of customizable premium automobiles that would not only meet the requirements of increasing ecological pressure but also challenge the attitude of users who regard their cars as disposable objects.
The result is the Strato concept — not to be confused with the Lancia designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. A future vision for a grand tourer, the two-passenger car can be individually tailored to suit a user’s taste through its high level of personalization and, for the purposes of sustainability, it is made from biodegradable plant fibers. The vehicle’s body cover adopts electrochromic technology to render the glazed areas opaque for privacy. Kim says the target group for this type of vehicle is an affluent user who actively cares for the environment.
The Strato explores the emotional bond between the user and the vehicle. And in today’s disposable society, it also reinforces the notion of longevity. The vehicle changes hands from generations of users in the way a treasured heirloom is passed on. The owner is the custodian of the vehicle, not just the consumer. This imbues the vehicle with purposeful characteristics and creates a unique automotive brand identity.