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Jony Ive laments 'shocking' state of modern car design

Jony Ive laments 'shocking' state of modern car design


But he still loves his Bentley Mulsanne

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The Bentley Mulsanne, a car Jony Ive actually likes (and owns).
The Bentley Mulsanne, a car Jony Ive actually likes (and owns).

With rumors of an Apple car still swirling, it's interesting to consider what the company's top designer thinks of the current auto industry. Not a lot, is the short answer, with a recent New Yorker profile of Jony Ive revealing that the British designer thinks at least some of the designs out there are "insipid."

"One person's car is another person's scenery."

"There are some shocking cars on the road," Ive tells journalist Ian Parker while out for a drive in his Bentley Mulsanne (above). He adds: "One person's car is another person's scenery," before singling out a nearby Toyota Echo (named by journalist Ian Parker — not by Ive himself) as an example of particularly "baffling" design.

The profile offers a few more interesting tidbits about the British designer's love of cars, noting that Ive also owns an Aston Martin DB4, that he regularly attends the English vintage car show Goodwood Festival of Speed with fellow Apple employee Marc Newson, and that he feels a guilty about the opulence of his favorite vehicles. Ive says that although he bought his first Bentley for "entirely design-based reasons," he's still "uncomfortable" about it.

An Aston Martin DB4. (Aston Martin)

"This is the most bizarre vanity."

"Because of the other connotations I resisted and resisted," says Ive, "and then I thought, 'This is the most bizarre vanity, because I’m concerned that people will perceive me to be this way — I’m not.'"

Looking at what he likes and dislikes, it's interesting to speculate what type of a car Ive might design himself. Would he go for the hulking, smooth thuggishness of the Mulsanne, or lean towards the delicate lines of the DB4 with its spindly hubs? It's impossible to say of course, but it's comforting to know given the designer's passion for vehicles, if Apple does ever produce something with four wheels that goes vroom, Ive himself will probably have steered the design.