We are a boutique manufacturer within the automotive industry and we craft ultra-limited edition electric vehicles. Our mission is to create driving and ownership experiences, unlike anything that is currently out there. And while most manufacturers tend to overlook the digital experience we have really put the emphasis on making it one of the centrepieces of our automobile.
From the very beginning, having a unique user interface was a must for us. Thus we designed our own infotainment system and proprietary software to control all vehicle function as well as many in-house developed electronics. This gave us great flexibility and the capability to tailor the UX to suit each owner.
The latest rapid prototyping technologies helped untie the hands of our small, but highly driven team of designers and engineers. Working in such a high tech environment gave us the creative freedom to take on daring projects that would have otherwise been completely out of our reach.
Thanks to the extensive use of virtual and augmented realities we have drastically shortened the time required for a single iteration, thus significantly speeding up the process of research and development.
Тhis made it possible to attain results much more quickly, as was the case with the evolution of our 07 Platform. In essence, it took us less than 3 months to build a rolling chassis and little over a year for a fully working prototype.
We strive to create designs that would withstand the test of time and look just as relevant in twenty or fifty years’ time as they do today. We believe that form should always come after function and that all lines should have a purpose. That being said, we also offer customers the chance to work together with our team of designers and create a truly unique looking vehicle, only constrained by their imagination and the parameters of the platform. Such units will also come with a certificate guaranteeing that they will not be duplicated and will remain truly one of a kind.
We are in many ways different from the rest of the automotive industry, but the one thing that most people can immediately think of is the fact that we use 3D printing extensively. But before we can manufacture any of the components, they need to go through a few key stages. First and foremost, we create an accurate parametric model before test fitting it into the overall vehicle model. Then we run a number of simulations that help us assess how the part is going to affect factors such as the vehicle’s aerodynamics, top speed, acceleration, cooling, structural rigidity and many others. Only after we have achieved satisfactory results are we going to. That being said, we have made the conscious decision to use a small number of off-the-shelf elements because of their well-established efficiency and reliability. To introduce them into the virtual models use the latest 3D scanning techniques that ensure an accurate and detailed representation.
If you've had any previous experience in designing products, you would know that the faster you iterate, the faster you are going to learn from your mistakes and make meaningful progress. The virtual and augmented realities allow us to go through this process a few times each day! As you could probably imagine, this significantly shortens the development time for every new product. As a further matter, evaluating parts that have not yet been produced, being able to see what they look like as well as how well they fit into the rest of a project helps us plan well in advance and make better use of our resources. In fact, moving away from using clay and adopting these methods was a huge leap forward in our development. Moreover, it was amongst the main factors that enabled us to complete the Model 07 platform so quickly.
We are amongst the pioneers of large scale 3D printing within the automotive industry. Currently, we own more than 10 different devices ranging from the 1 cubic meter FDM by BigRep to the smaller and extremely precise SLA printers. In terms of materials, we are using mostly ABS, PLA, PVA and PETG depending on the task at hand. That being said, we are also looking into including carbon-rich and recycled filaments to our work process. In addition to the 3D printers, we have a variety of CNC machines that further increase our capabilities. The main reason why we have adopted such an innovative approach is that it best suits our goal of making boutique electric vehicles. To do that we need to produce a limited number of unique parts and there really is no better way to go about it. These methods ensure low time for manufacturing as well as extremely high reproduction accuracy, both qualities that are vital to our brand.
Designing and building our own electronics gives us yet another opportunity to make our products stand out from the crowd. When talking about custom electronics, two examples immediately come to mind. The first is the steering wheel on the Model 07. Besides the fact that it has been designed and 3D printed inhouse, it also offers quick access to the turn signals, hazard lights, low and high beams, horn and the engine start button. The wheel’s party piece, however, is the fact that it retains a wireless communication with the car, even when it is removed for ease of access. Once put back in, it will automatically charge its batteries. Another great feature are the front and rear lights which are made out of individual pixels, which allows us to produce visually stunning animations.
Once we took the decision to develop a platform that allows for indefinite customization, we had to start thinking about the vehicle's computer brain. In order to have full control over the car and the ability to tailor it according to each client's individual needs, we had to develop our own software. It was a huge undertaking, however, we are more than happy that we took this road. Having written every single line of code, we are in a position to tweak all of the car’s functions and processes. From the way the front and rear lights turn on and off to the powertrain’s behaviour. This way we can ensure a truly unique experience for each individual client.
In our search for the perfect driving experience, we envisioned a contextual interface that would only provide the information that the driver needs when he needs it. This called for a simple and clean design, a combination of digital and analogue readouts and clever use of colours. The end result is an extremely intuitive system that features three modes - Road, Race and Eco, which have been tailored to display the data most relevant to each of the scenarios. It allows the driver to focus on the road ahead, lay faster and more consistent lap times and ultimately better enjoy the pleasure of driving.
We have worked hard to make it possible for all mechanical processes to be actuated by the computer-based on data collected from a number of sensors as well as by the driver himself. For example, the height and the pitch of the rear spoiler on the Model 07 platform are automatically changed according to the speed and acceleration of the vehicle. Moreover, the spoiler and the hood, can be controlled from the dash, as well by using a remote control or a smartphone. In addition, the seat, steering column and pedal box can all move independently to ensure the perfect driving position.
Once the parts are taken out of the 3D printers or off the CNC machines, they are post-processed to ensure both great rigidity and a perfect finish. On top of the usual sanding, media blasting, painting and polishing that everyone’s accustomed to, we are one one of the few companies that also make use of fibreglass and carbon fibre skinning. These techniques have the ability to make parts much stiffer and harder to break as well as a lot more resilient to extreme weather conditions. And the best part is that they gain all these benefits while keeping the weight down.
Since we started Kinetik we have heard the word impossible way too often as a description of our projects. But while everyone was too busy telling us how our undertaking was ambitious, we were busy proving them wrong, just like Porsche did by perfecting the rear engine formula and making the 911s so dominant on the track.
We are strong believers in the power of surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are not afraid of challenges and are strongly driven to succeed. And this is exactly what we see in the face of Porsche.
A valuable partner who has time and again redefined what’s possible both on the race tracks and the auto salons. We believe that with their support we can continue to develop at an even quicker pace, while still remaining true to ourselves and our core values.
This, however, would not be the first time that our team would have worked alongside Porsche. Back in early 2018, we took part in the Next OI Competition and became one of the finalists.
This opened the door for us to partner up with Porsche Digital and work on the hardware and software for their interactive Flying Chassis project. These experiences have really reinforced our belief that we can find a valuable partner in the face of Porsche and create yet another productive collaboration.
Moreover, we already have an exciting project in the pipeline that is related to one of the brand’s most iconic vehicles, so getting Porsche themselves onboard would really mean a lot to us.