Materials at the Heart of the Paris Motor Show

Anthony Salvi on October 18 2016 | Stories, Research, Events, Design

At this year’s Paris Motor Show, we noticed the rise of the importance of the Color and Trim Designer, sometimes also known as the Color, Material and Finish (CMF) Designer. Here at Allegorithmic we share this passion for materials, so here is an ode to the materials at the 2016 Paris Motor Show

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Renault Trezor

This is probably the most exciting show car for this edition of the Paris Motor Show. Awesome sketches, dramatic proportions and a dream team of designers: Mathilde Bancon and Fanny Serouart, Color and Trim Design; Yann Jarsalle, Exterior Design; Laurent Negroni, Interior Design; Stephane Janin; Director of Concept Cars and Laurens van den Acker; Senior VP of Renault Group’s corporate design.

Two things caught our attention: First, the treatment of the exterior with the alveolar pattern flowing on the body of the car. Very difficult to achieve, this flowing pattern is really part of the signature of the car. Even more exciting are the alveolar moving parts on the car’s hood. Second, the red interior’s mixing of leather, wood and metal. As part of the "Love" branch of Renault Showcar, red is key in the color and trim of the Trezor, as it was previously on the Dezir, the previous “Love” showcar.

Mercedes EQ

This year, Mercedes wants to make the electric car synonymous with electric blue for Color and Trim Designers. The connection with the world of electronic devices is also pretty obvious: Glossy black plastic, LCD screen, and backlighted plastics.

You will find in every part of the car glowing blue parts backlighted in the exterior, or screens displaying blue user interfaces. In the Mercedes EQ, you will notice the work that went into integrating these screens with the interior design.


Another EV concept car at Volkswagen, the motto here is consistency from exterior to interior. You will find matching and repeating motifs, materials and colors from seats to dashboard. It is pretty rare to see such consistency inside a showcar. Transparency and translucency are used with great alchemy from rooftop to the VW logo itself. This is maybe not the most exuberant – but for sure a very well-done – exercise delivered by the VW design team.


More than the exterior, we were charmed by the Citroen CXPERIENCE CONCEPT interior. The unusual citrus color for the fabrics combined with the very detailed laser-cut pattern on the wood demonstrated Citroen’s willingness to distinguish itself from its peers through use of materials. Here we are closer to a furniture design company than a automotive one.

Peugeot Fractal

While the Peugeot Fractal isn’t brand-new (it was released last year at the Frankfurt Autoshow), it is still a very powerful manifestation of the Peugeot brand and shape language. This is one of the most exciting uses of graphics based on matte and glossy. Roughness is key when we talk about material behavior, and the Fractal demonstrates it like no other!

DS5 Custom

Like any other luxury brand, DS Automobiles presents its new customization services with the DS 5 Commande Speciale. From the exterior, we loved this deep purple car paint with an amazing flake density. We also noticed the attention to the detail present in the interior design: the metal pattern stamped on the gearshift echoes the leather motif of the seats, while the leather stitching of the dashboard is as finely detailed as that of French luxury handbags. Du grand art, as we say.

Our final words

And here they are: Our favorite selections from the many outstanding exhibits at the Paris Motor Show. We are looking forward to upcoming events in every industry where material is at the heart of creation.

Get the latest news about where we’ll be and more of our insights on the world of materials (and possibly some extra shots from the Paris Motor Show) by joining our Facebook page: Substance in Architecture & Design.

You can download all pictures of this blogpost in HD and wallpaper format right here!

Camera Gear: Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens + Canon 5DS R + A good eye! ;)

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