It also meant the unveiling in Beijing of the luxurious and futuristic Gran Turismo Opus 1 BeyonCa’s debut in societythe new car brand of Chinese origin that aspires to make a strong presence in the premium segment and compete side by side with market heavyweights such as Audi, BMW or Mercedes Benz. And to do this he recruited a dream team, a sector Dream Team that has the distinction of having an Argentine among its leaders: Juan Manuel Diazwho is responsible for the global exterior design for the brand.
Now he occupies the 48-year-old Rosario with a past in Pininfarina, Alfa Romeo, Seat and Audi a seat in front of the BeyonCa Design Center in Munichone of the company’s five offices in the world: it also has three offices in China and another in Singapore, where its research and development center operates.
Thus, Díaz answers no more and no less than the Belgian Dirk van Braeckel, who arrived at BeyonCa to fill the role of Head of Design after 40 years at the Volkswagen Group, where he moved to Audi (where he had already worked with Díaz), Bentley and Skoda. Both names show which profile the new company is looking for for its immediate future.
In April, Díaz announced his departure from Audi after eight years of working for the brand with the four rings. The last project signed by Rosario was the Audi RS Q e-tron E2a hybrid that was presented in September as the evolution of the RS Q E-Tron prototype, also of his paternity and specially designed for the Dakar 2022.
However, it’s not his only Stuttgart legacy: Díaz was also behind the design of the Audi R8 Spyder – yes, the one that drove Iron Man in the Marvel Multiverse films – and a racing beast like the R8 LMS GT2, For instance. At the time of Alfa Romeo, The Argentine designer performed with a project that in 2009 ended up being awarded as the Car of the Year and which is still seen on the streets: the MiTo. And he also worked on a unique sports car, the Diva, which has an incredible history of being banned and built in secret.
This new stage at the helm of the Chinese brand is a great challenge for the Argentine, but he will not face it alone: in the design team he has other compatriots with extensive experience in the sector in Europe and Asia, such as Lucas Colombo Carbone – with a passed in Mercedes-Benz–, Gino Olcese –Seat–, Hernán Charalambopoulos –Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi– Nicolás Gaudioso and Nicolás Araya.
How is BeyonCa Gran Turismo Opus 1
Beyon Ca is the union of three words that summarize the concept of the new brand. It means Beyond the caror Beyond the car, a way to raise the category of models, according to their creators; that is to say, that their vehicles will be an experience.
The first development of the Chinese brand could be seen this week in concept car format, but they ensure that the model that goes into production will have many similarities. The launch of this key vehicle for BeyonCa is expected in 2024.
With products like the Porsche Taycan in its sights, the Opus 1 is a vehicle with muscular lines conceived as 100% electric, which also accuses 5.2 meters in length and a remarkable step of 3 meters. Details of range and powertrains are yet to be known, but it was known to have a 130 kWh battery, according to the company’s CEO, Su Weiming.
Beyond what it equips under the hood, the Opus 1 will seek to offer a driving experience at the level of an exclusive brand, with a high technological differential aimed at the comfort and well-being of passengers.
By way of example, BeyonCa promises cars with the support of artificial intelligence even inside the passenger compartment, for example to monitor the health of passengers in real time: this would be a cloud-based medical service. In addition to the functions for controlling the driver’s blood pressure, the system will warn of a medical emergency and will also intervene while driving to reduce speed or even stop on the shoulder if necessary.
If they materialize, they could be the pioneers in this kind of service and achieve it added a Health division to the team particularly dedicated to development in this sector, with doctors and technology experts ready to revolutionize the sector.
“In our mission to build super premium intelligent electric vehicles, we are convinced that the union and fusion of different cultures, orientations and experiences is the key to our success,” said Christian Klingler, co-founder of BeyonCa and former member of the Board of Directors of Directors and Head of Sales and VW Marketing.
“With a team of professionals who have hundreds of years of combined experience in the premium automotive industry, we are uniquely positioned to be the only brand that can define the segment,” he said.