The „TECHART Interieur ROLF BENZ“ -
"Hygge" on the Road
The search for an individual sense of well-being isn’t only in fashion in your own home, it’s also been on the road for a long time – in the luxury car segment. The car as a representative, custom-made (dream) travel space on wheels that reflects its owner’s personality, sense of style and lifestyle, setting the stage for mobility as a sensual experience. Swabian company TECHART has embodied this spirit of the times brilliantly.
The vehicle finisher from Leonberg near Stuttgart specialises in premium customisations of Porsche models. The company provides a finely-tuned interior and exterior design service for its discriminating customers, focussing on a high-quality finish, maximum functionality and improved performance. The company’s most recent innovation: the “TECHART Interior ROLF BENZ”, developed exclusively for the Porsche Cayenne.
Interview with Bettina Hermann, who is responsible for product and design management at Rolf Benz and TECHART Managing Directors Tobias Beyer and Steven Ratz.
Mr Beyer, why did you decide to collaborate with Rolf Benz?
"The Rolf Benz name stands for excellent seating comfort. Their workmanship is of the highest quality which encompasses even the smallest detail. When we initially exchanged ideas at the furniture fair in Cologne, everyone involved was well aware how exciting things become when the world of home interiors meets automotive interiors.”
How did you at Rolf Benz approach this unusual task, Ms Hermann?
“In the preliminary stages, we attended the car showroom in Geneva to give us an idea of the current individualisation concepts offered by our competitors. Inspired by the future vision of autonomous driving, the general trend in vehicle interiors is shifting away from sporty and technical statements towards a comfortable relaxation area. The Hygge wellness trend is catching on in our cars too. Translating the unmistakeable Rolf Benz look from living rooms to vehicle interiors was an incredibly exciting assignment. It was also extremely challenging.”
What exactly were the sticking points in the project?
“Cars are subject to enormous fluctuations in climate and temperature. There’s also a great deal of light exposure. The materials that are selected have to be able to withstand these extreme conditions in the long term. Quality is essential. On top of that, vehicle interiors involve many components and details: doors, consoles, seats, steering wheel, floor mats and so on. All that has to be defined separately. Apart from the displays and a few switches, we have redesigned each individual surface of the interior. The car seats were especially challenging. We wanted to translate the rather casual style of sofa upholstery to the seats in the Cayenne. We managed to do this really well in the end, thanks to TECHART team’s excellent manual skills.”
How was it with the seats, Mr Ratz?
"One of the greatest challenges was actually working with the woollen material. It was pleasant to touch, warm, incredibly soft and completely different to leather. But with up to 870 g per running metre, it was also really temperamental, impossible to split and had a defined nap. On the one hand, we wanted the seats to be sleek and streamlined to emphasise the vehicle’s sporty components, but we also wanted to bring in an element of casual and homely well-being on the other. The fabric gathers on the side bolsters were the ideal solution for this. We tried out numerous prototype covers before finally obtaining the perfect look."
Why this material in particular, Ms Hermann?
“We were impressed by the high quality of the woollen material that we used. It’s particularly tactile and has not been widely used in vehicle interiors until now. We were really excited by the idea of translating the idea of homeliness to automotive interiors. We’ve also incorporated the woollen material in the car roof. This reduces noise in the car interior and provides great acoustics. It’s a fabric from the Rolf Benz collection which we have also used in our new products at the trade fair.”
Which other materials were used and what can you tell us about the colour scheme, Ms Hermann?
“The Rolf Benz collection is influenced by natural materials. We wanted to continue in this direction with this project too, so we decided on a combination of leather, fabric and woven floor mats. All of the materials used are extremely elegant and of the highest quality. For the colour scheme, we decided on a combination of umbra, blue and cappuccino. Powdery colours that emit warmth and a sense of elegance and safety without appearing too sweet.
Why did you choose the champagne-coloured exterior custom paint, Mr Ratz?
“On the one hand, the delicate champagne tone sets off the vehicle’s contours perfectly. On the other, it corresponds ideally with our interior colour scheme. It also covers a broad spectrum of colour values from platinum, gold and silver, giving a classic and elegant impression.”
Mr Beyer, what else makes the Rolf Benz Edition of the Porsche Cayenne so Special?
“Our Rolf Benz Edition of the Porsche Cayenne offers pleasantly unobtrusive luxury, it conveys a sense of deceleration and guarantees a pleasant ambience. By combining lots of fabric with perfectly-matched colours and materials, we have created a unique travel space. Together with the recommended special colour for the exterior of the car, we provide our customers with a well-balanced, stylish design. We have processed over 80 m2 of the finest materials – right down to the smallest detail. The leather and fabric sections were optimally arranged and produce a coherent overall image. The footwell was entirely lined in leather. What’s more, there’s an extensive exterior package that visually reduces the vehicle’s overall size. This makes it appear more dynamic and sets the external impact of our Cayenne apart from the standard model.“
In conclusion: when a premium vehicle finisher and a premium manufacturer of upholstered furniture turn their power into motion, the result is a mini masterpiece. The Rolf Benz Edition of the Porsche Cayenne will be presented to the public for the first time at the ROLF BENZ in-house fair at the end of September 2018. Wanderlust redefined.