Up-and-coming design students are a fascinating group to watch. Their ideas can go from senior thesis to luxury or exotic brands in less than five years time, and onto nearly all mainstream cars a few years after that. There are a few really exceptional breeding grounds for this ultra-elite school of designers. The Royal College of Art in England, IED Torino in Italy, or the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena, California all are top-of-mind.
Ondrej Jirec attends the California entry in our shortlist -- and is very busy indeed these days. His 2013 internship was with General Motors, for example, who should be keen to snap him up as a graduate.
About this time last year, Mr. Jirec finalized a striking vision of a future Cadillac. This might look like a racecar to present-day eyes, but might simply represent a luxury exotic in 2025 or beyond.
We love its careful and artful use of the brand's iconic LED twin pillars in all corners of the vehicle, and how the floating fenders are just as sharp and spindly as the lighting features between the nose and tail. The cabin space is defined separately from these outer wheel-well blocks, with pronounced lowness in the proportions and a near-complete glass canopy.
Overall, these elements of sharp but wide surfaces are contrasted with inner detailing that is all about technical innovation. One look below the rear stop lamp blade and you know that this is a high-tech luxury car of the future. One you would want to own and drive.
We're excited to see Ondrej's next designs hit the road soon -- as the future of brands we know and love today.
Cadillac ESTILL by Ondrej Jirec