Highlighting the career of PSA Citroën award-winning automobile designer, Philippe Emami.
Philippe Emami is an innovator, inventor and international patent holder leading a new generation of automotive designers. He is renowned throughout Europe for creating some of the most advanced features incorporated on new cars over the past decade.
Automotive designers will tell you that in addition to being functional, cars are also considered to be works of art. The Automotive design field requires a marriage between structure, engineering, vision and technology.
Philippe Emami stands apart from others that we have seen in the automotive field due to his mastery of these skills -as well as his incorporation of science fiction into his designs. A childhood obsession with science fiction inspired Philippe to re-imagine cars as they are today, inspired by space-age films such as Space 1999’ and ‘Star Trek’.
The defining highlight of Philippe’s career is his experience with PSA Peugeot Citroën DS Design Studio as the lead designer of the new Peugeot 508. Groupe PSA is the second largest car manufacturer in Europe with a presence in 160 countries, 16 production sites and 10,000 points of sale around the world. PSA has been striving to improve vehicle standards for nine years, allowing Philippe to remain at the forefront of disruptive technology in the industry.
Philippe led the design of the Peugeot 508’s facelift in 2018. The goal of this design, from the designers to the engineers, was to create something totally different within the market, yet still retain the high quality associated with the PSA brand. Peugeot calls this new design a five-door fastback: all four side windows are frameless, like an elegant sports car’s.
“The idea was to create an exciting looking car with a strong personality,” Philippe says. “When you look at the car from 100 meters, the shape is obvious and simple. At 10 meters, you see fine details and appreciate the high-tech details in the lights.”
The 508 boldly rewrote the rules of D-segment saloon shapes. The vehicle features a larger bonnet, frameless-door technology, reduced height, advanced aerodynamics (narrower at the rear than at the front), rear wings on a scale rarely reached before, and a robust exterior and stunning interior.
Philippe created a more dynamic appearance, introducing some of the most impressive new features available on the market. For example, the new 508 is 51mm lower than the old model, so Philippe designed high performance, smaller air vents that maximized visibility while still maintaining functionality. One other notable feature is that the piano key controls are easier for women with long nails to navigate than tactile sensor controls. It is these tiny, but cutting edge, details that make Philippe’s designs so unique.
In short, the 2018 design of the 508 creates a strong impression right from the start. It was a brand new implementation of D-segment saloon shapes, allowing the car height to be 6 cm lower than the previous model. This gives the vehicle the appearance of being wide even though it is average width, also making it incredibly aerodynamic. It is a stunning automobile and has received critical acclaim since its original release, awarded The Auto Zeitung Trophy in Germany for “Best Imported Family Car”, The Next Green Car trophy in the UK for “Best Large Family Car” and the Car Of The Year, in Spain.
Philippe’s approach is one of timeless design and a trailblazing attitude: something that can be seen in the Peugeot 508 and his other more notable designs, including the Toyota Aygo and various FIAT models. More than anything, Philippe’s designs represent the future of the automobile industry. Luckily, unlike other highly technological fields, we get to see his innovation every day on the roads across Europe, and as we expect soon, internationally.