Phoenix by David Goncalves and Niels Iversen, United Kingdom

2009: Brave + Bold. America’s Next Iconic Vehicle.

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Niels Grubak Iversen is a Designer from Denmark. He has a background in Industrial Design, but has always been very passionate about car design.

In September 2008, he completed a Masters from Coventry University, School of Art and Design, in the UK. Here he specialized in transport design and was awarded with a Master of Science in Design and Transport with Distinction, and is now pursuing a career as a car designer.

Previous to his Masters, he studied at Designskolen Kolding in Denmark from 2004 till 2007 and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Industrial Design. For his final project from Designskolen Kolding he collaborated with a fellow student on designing an innovative electric city car for the 21st century. They entered the 2008 Michelin Challenge Design with this project and were chosen as a finalist, selected to have their design exhibited at the 2008 North American International Auto Show as part of the Michelin stand. He has followed that success with another design that was chosen for the 2009 Michelin Challenge Design.

David Gonçalves is a Portuguese Product Designer with an engineering “flavor”. After quitting from a mechanical engineering degree, he graduated in 2004 from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon with a BA in Product design. While engaged in his course, he worked for an Architecture Studio from Lisbon City Hall and collaborated in a series of projects with DASEIN, a design consultancy also in Lisbon. Later in 2006, he developed a collection of lighting fixtures for a recently created brand (LumLighting) as an in house designer for Lustrarte, a factory in the middle of Portugal, He also participated in several competitions, the Michelin Design Challenge being the latest one, following prizes in Taipei and Milan. In September 2008, he was awarded a Master of Science in Design and Transport with Distinction, from Coventry University in the UK.


The PHOENIX is a modern interpretation of the American way of life where freedom, strength, environmental awareness and flexibility are blended in a unique symbiosis between man and machine.

Inspired by both the American Muscle cars and the Americans favorite vehicle; The Pick-up Truck, the PHOENIX is a 2-seater car, that is both agile and tough. A mid-ship engine placed right behind the cabin and four-wheel-drive provides balance, grip and a low center of gravity.

Powered by a Flexi-Fuel V8 Engine, the PHOENIX is environmentally friendly, without compromising performance. Furthermore, the body panels are made from bio-composite materials that can be easily recycled and the substructure is made from recycled aluminium. To enhance the safety of the occupants, the passenger compartment is enclosed by a safety cell made from reinforced bio-polymers. Additional protection is given by the roll-bars/arches behind each seat.

Last but not least, the PHOENIX features an Orbital Omni-directional four-wheel-drive system which allows for several types of motion. For example; rotation around its own axis and it can move sideways.

The name PHOENIX is inspired by the American Bald Eagle, but also from the place where the two designers met, as the PHOENIX is the insignia of the city and of Coventry University.