For the first time in forty years, Luigi Colani’s exceptional and unique concept car “Colani Miura” will be visible to the public. Designed following biodesign criteria – according to which straight lines do not exist in nature –, the Colani Miura will be on display until May in the new section “The provocations of design”.
“Today we are more and more accustomed to seeing the state of work of art recognized in certain cars. In the early 1970s, this consideration was still a long way off and there were very few established artists who tried their hand at cars.
In 1970, Colani took the iconic sports car of the moment, the Lamborghini Miura, and transformed it into a biodynamic car. The Miura is considered since its first appearance in 1966 one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. For the “Lamborghini Miura Le Mans Concept” – so called because it was formally intended to run the legendary French endurance race – Colani cut a Miura transversely keeping the powertrain and the rear axle and coated it with a fiberglass tapered body work which ends with blunt tail. The air intakes for the engine are incorporated into the design of the wheel arches. Hinged over the back, the front part (also in fiberglass) is inspired by the shape of a glider’s cockpit, in this case enlarged in order to cover the width of the engine and to fit two passengers sitting one next to the other. The cockpit – reachable through an extendable plexiglass dome – can host two passengers almost laying down, like on a current Formula 1 car. The control of the car is entrusted to a joystick positioned in the center. The two front wheels are hidden under the lateral ends of the passenger compartment, controlled by the joystick through a series of mechanical transmissions. The front part and the rear move independently (like the tractor of a truck and its trailer), with a rather limited turning radius. Presented in several expositions during the ‘70s, the artwork designed by Colani was then sold in the United States, where it remained hidden for over thirty years. It then returned to Germany and was restored before an American collector purchased it. Colani’s Miura is finally visible to the public for the first time after about forty years, before its return in the USA”.
Massimo Delbò, Classic Car Writer
Luigi Colani cannot be compared to other designers, especially in the automotive field.
Born in Berlin in 1928, he studied painting and sculpture at the Berlin Fine Arts and then moved to France, where he cultivated his taste for provocation and contradiction. In the early 1950s he returned to Germany and launched into the production of the “Colani GT Spider”, anticipating an entire series of prototypes built on different mechanics. The 70s were the witnesses of a change of course: Colani gave way to nature and laid the groundwork of biodesign. He insisted in saying that he didn’t invent anything, but just exhumed a register of forms already offered by nature. In his opinion, rounded shapes are ergonomically better and have to be applied to every object from planes to motorcycles, from trains to pens. Already in 1967 he filed the patent for the “C-Form”, an inverted airplane wing, which anticipated “wing-cars”. In the 1980s Colani moved to Japan, where he evangelized audiences of designers urging them not to copy Europeans anymore but to rediscover the essence of South Asian art. By the end of the decade he proposed his own interpretation of the Porsche 959. In the 90s, Colani expanded his field of activity designing household appliances, objects of common use and musical instruments. In 1991 he designed the Ferrari Testa d’Oro, built in a single model, which set the world speed record of 351 km/h. Even the first years of the new century saw Colani, old but still very active, dealing with the design of different objects: from microscopes to showers, from airplanes to trucks. He died in Germany in September 2019.