SOFT Private Vehicle by Raquel Aparicio Lopez, Spain

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

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


From a product design background, Raquel Aparicio became interested in Car Design in 2002.

Her first approach to automotive design was in Barcelona in 2002 when she began her study in Vehicle Design at Elisava. Aparacio earned her MA in 2004, which brought her the possibility to have a one-year internship at Seat.

After her year at Seat, she began working at Fuore Design under the direction of Erwin Leo Himmel. In 2006, she moved to London to study at the Vehicle Design Royal College of Art MA. During this period she was an intern at GM and Volvo which gave her a more realistic vision of the automotive world. Aparacio recently graduated from the Royal College of Art and is working as an exterior car designer at KIA Motors Company based in Frankfurt.


In a future where a GPS Satellite System will control and drive all kinds of transports, (public and private) accidents will be avoided. Aparacio proposes a SOFT vehicle since there is no need to protect passengers from collisions.

The material chosen for the exterior of this Soft Vehicle is the EVA foam, a recyclable material. Its appearance is similar to the neoprene or rubber, exists in lots of densities and can be colorized. Because of its properties, it is able to be Vacuum Formed even permitting negative surfaces. This material gives us the possibility to have a shape that maintains the position itself without any external structure, being soft. If you deform it after pressing it, it goes back to the original shape.

With a simple cut on the surface we will obtain the door to enter into the vehicle. Just opening the cut we will obtain the space to go in, and when we leave, the surface will go back to its place, due to the material properties it will keep the shape.

In terms of the interior, it follows a passenger’s body when they sit. It is full of a kind of jelly that permits maximum comfort.

A private vehicle proposed for those who appreciate individuality and privacy. A vehicle where interior and exterior will be understood in a different way, where the relation between them will change from what we have nowadays. The interior becomes the most important part containing the wheels that contain the engine and the passengers, and supporting the soft exterior. The exterior will contain the control panels to communicate with the system.

The SOFT private vehicle is one that will use an ecological method to produce the power to move. Because it moves inside a System, even able to interfere in it and its movement, the most honest way for this vehicle to get the power is through the System. Because of this, the road, as part of the System, will contain the energy that the wheels will get by electromagnetic induction. It is also a way to get more security because with this contact the system will get the information by two different ways; through signal waves/frequency as well as physically reducing the possibilities of error. The energy for propulsion is taken from the front wheels, and fibers will conduct it into power for the interior, and it will go back to the system by the rear wheels. Tires are covered by the exterior soft surface to emphasize their own importance. The exterior is soft therefore it will deform allowing the wheels steer. The System has no end as GPS has no limit, so you will be able to move to wherever the road leads.