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Interview with Mikael Lindberg: Koenigsegg designer and artist

Mikael Lindberg: Swedish, Artist and Automotive designer, IF DesignAward winner in 2012 and Red Dot Award in 2013: Among his many customers we can count Volvo, McLaren and Hypercar brand Koenigsegg. During the Concours d’Elegance in Schwetzingen we had the opportunity to interview the talented designer:

Hi Mikael, it’s nice to have you as our first guest ever in this new column. First of all i want to ask you what came first for you, was it design or car?

Booth, the fascination for cars and design started at the same time. I started sketching cars when I could hold a pencil. Im literally doing the same thing since I was 3 years old,  the only difference is Im getting paid for it compared as a kid, a dream job!

Byton M-Byte designed by Mikael Lindberg

If you had to choose between 3 car models, what do you consider the most beautiful cars ever made?

That is probably the most difficult question to give a car designer/ car enthusiast! There are so many, but will try. Mercedes Benz 500K Autobahn Kurir (pref. in black), Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta by PininFarina (pref. in silver) & Aston Martin DB5 by Touring Superleggera (pref. in silver)

You’ve worked for different brands in the automotive industry. Which of your creations you are most proud of?

Another difficult question, its like asking a father to choose his favorite child. Because the car design process is such long tough emotional process.  You compete against other great design talents, to make your design in favour for the management by sketches/ renderings, clay models, digital models. But the first project is always special, which I was working on during my summer semester from university between 2 and 3 year,  for Koenigsegg Automotive AB, just a 4 months long period. It was the first produciton car, Koenigsegg CCv8s.  We did such important improvemets to get it certified, many practical and easthetical detalis that we solved there, in a very short period.  Im very thankful to Christian von Koenigsegg for had given me that opportunity.  I learned how a sports car is assembled, how the whole process work that I was able to be part of it, practically.  Im very fortunate about having that knowledge, in an early age. Not many car designers does ever possess that experience! Making tool moulds,  laying carbon fibre on a tool before its put in the autoclave oven, and be part of the rest of the manufacturing process.  I met the Master set up driver, Loris Bichocchi, with all his knowledge, was an eye opener as well. He just had a field note book, to write things down in,  no tech equipment, just pure feeling and experince. I think, meeting and working with him and Christian might be the lime light moment in my carrer.

The Koenigsegg CCv8s

What motivates you? 

Music is the greatest motivation, great coffe, Syd Mead artwork, watching Zlatan playing football.

And what are your Inspiration sources?

Running in the forest, being close to nature, old cars, study animals, architecture.

A free sketch by Mikael Lindberg: The Lamborghini Cabrera

What do you feel is the most important skill an automobile designer should possess?

To be able to sketch freely what you think with a ballpoint pen, for communicating and express your ideas to others on a paper!

What was your greatest accomplishment as an automobile designer?

Design prices are always lovely to possess, but working in a team with other professionals and share a vision and a dream, then accomplish that, is the greatest in my mind. Car design is a team work! When we designed the mighty Koenigsegg Jesko, I think that was achieved. Sadly we lost the engine genius Dag Böhlenius earlier this year, a truly master mind behind the succes of the brand!

Koenigsegg Jesko

We are in a transition phase. The automotive world is changing. How is your relation with EV? Do you think that simpler and less bulky mechanics give you more freedom of design?

Im not a fan of EV’s, even though I have worked for pure EV companies such Byton and Hongqui. There are other solutions, better for the environment for the moment in my opinion, that haven’t been given a fair chance as the EV startups I think. There are always two sides of the coin. It is a political question, and I think we need to grab the whole line of solutions, than just pick one for finding THE solution. We need several solutions, fitting different needs and abilities. Concerning the design freedom in EVs, not needed with front grille, will change the face of a car. The petrol engines front grill was pure functional but also used as the most important part on the car to express the car brands expression

What design projects are you currently working on?

Im working on something very interesting and revolutionary, but I can talk much about it for the moment! More to come.

We are looking forward to know more about your new project, what do you foresee in the automobile industry?

More assimilations between companies for lowering production costs, but I hope we have more small brave hearts in smaller companies that could change it! I hope that the autonomous driving will be less and focus the investments for improving cars for the future.

…and also from an aesthetic point of view! Last question Mikael: What is next for you?

In my project, the financials are important issues for the moment. When you plant a new seed as a project, investments at the right moment are a key to success, no matter how brilliant the idea is. Concerning my art, i’m blessed to work with a great collector of my art and Im about starting up creating a great collection of new paintings for him.

Andreas Scheidl from Carrozzieri-Italiani.com with Mikael Lindberg @ 17. Classic-Gala Schwetzingen Internat. Concours d‘Elegance

You can find Mikael Lindberg here:

Instagram: @swedemikael

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2 years ago

Interessante nuovo format! please more Andreas!

The automotive world witnesses a groundbreaking moment as the AGTZ Twin Tail Chassis #00 makes its global static debut at FuoriConcorso. This remarkable collaboration between La Squadra and Zagato showcases the evolution of a modern automotive icon, transformed into a stunning sculpture by merging art and engineering seamlessly.

Unveiled initially as a scale model at Zagato’s historic Milan Atelier in February, the AGTZ Twin Tail has now transitioned into a full-fledged show car. This prototype chassis #00 offers a glimpse into a limited run of 19 bespoke creations, blending aesthetics with high performance.

“Our project is dedicated to people looking for something extraordinary in automotive design,” said Jakub Pietrzak, Founder of La Squadra. “We aim to cater to those who view cars through an artistic lens, beyond the ordinary.”

The AGTZ Twin Tail draws inspiration from the A220 racecar, which underwent a dramatic transformation from a longtail to a shorttail configuration. This dual personality is a key feature of the AGTZ Twin Tail, allowing owners to switch between the elegant longtail and the muscular shorttail with a removable rear deck, turning it into a unique piece of automotive art when not in use.

Making its static debut at FuoriConcorso on May 25-26, 2024, the AGTZ Twin Tail will have its dynamic debut in July at a major automotive event, with customer deliveries starting in October 2024.

Innovation in Design

The AGTZ Twin Tail features cutting-edge carbon fibre bodywork with a removable tail section designed for ease of transformation. This innovation ensures that the car’s weight remains comparable to its base model, allowing for a swift change between the two configurations. The car’s dimensions shift from 4305mm in shorttail form to 4799mm in longtail form, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and high-speed stability.

With a top speed exceeding 250km/h and a 0-100km/h acceleration in under five seconds, the AGTZ Twin Tail combines speed with versatility. A custom-made trolley aids in the physical transformation, showcasing the car’s rear deck as a standalone piece of art.

A Tribute to Automotive Heritage

The AGTZ Twin Tail pays homage to the iconic A220 racecar, celebrating both its longtail and shorttail configurations. This tribute will be highlighted at FuoriConcorso, where both A220 chassis will be displayed, enriching the static debut with a historical perspective.

“Running this kind of project is akin to reading a captivating book, filled with plot twists and emotional highs,” said Pietrzak. “Our journey from design sketches to a functional prototype in just 12 months has been exhilarating, and we are honoured to see our prototype blessed by its original inspiration.”

A New Era for Coachbuilding

This collaboration marks a bold step in modern coachbuilding, with only 19 AGTZ Twin Tails to be meticulously crafted over a 1000-hour build process at Zagato’s headquarters. Prices start at €650,000, with a plethora of customization options available to ensure each car is a unique masterpiece.

Customers can choose from 19 colours and nine liveries, with the option for bespoke paint-to-sample finishes. Performance upgrades include carbon wheels, panels, and an enhanced 252hp 1.8-litre turbo engine, along with improved suspension and braking systems.

“The automotive industry is evolving rapidly,” Pietrzak noted. “Design will play a crucial role in differentiating brands. AGTZ Twin Tail exemplifies this new direction, where artisan coachbuilders can create distinct, standout projects.”

Andrea Michele Zagato, President of Zagato, added, “This project embodies enjoyment and innovation. The AGTZ Twin Tail is a testament to our heritage and our ability to push the boundaries of automotive design. We are excited to meet our clients and deliver a car that harmonizes with our legacy.”

The AGTZ Twin Tail stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the enduring allure of automotive art. Its dual configurations, innovative design, and homage to racing heritage make it a unique addition to the world of high-end automobiles. As it prepares for its dynamic debut and subsequent deliveries, the AGTZ Twin Tail promises to leave an indelible mark on the history of automotive design. AGTZ Twin Tail. One car. Two souls.