Automotive design refers to the process used to define the physical appearance of motor vehicles such as cars, trucks and even motorcycles. However, it’s not just the exterior that is considered – interior design is also important.

With the design world constantly fluctuating and trends changing, car designers need to tap into different sources for inspiration, but where do these sources come from exactly? From fashion to art, we’re taking a look at some of the key sources.


Animals are a great source of inspiration for automotive designers as they give vehicles flair and personality. For example, the Ford Mustang, originally built in 1964, was inspired by the wild horses in the West of the USA. These horses are known for their strength and are a great symbol of westernised culture, thus transferring this meaning to the Mustang itself.

The Volkswagen Beetle was also inspired by an animal, a beetle to be precise! The Beetle was the first car built by Volkswagen and was given its affectionate nickname due to its round shape, similar to that of a beetle.


When the automotive and fashion worlds collide, there are no limits to what can be created. Take Maserati’s Ghibli Hybrid for example. In 2021, the luxury sedan received an upgrade in collaboration with Chinese streetwear fashion brand, CANOTWAIT_, which was founded by actor and singer William Chan.

The collaboration saw the iconic Maserati being taken to new heights with the Ghibli Hybrid edition being developed exclusively for the Chinese market. Chan’s favourite colour inspired the  iridescent purple exterior, and the bright colourway is said to attract attention amongst the younger generation and has a longstanding association with luxury and exclusivity.


By now, we know that car designers draw inspiration from the places we would least expect, but did you also know that inspiration can be drawn from nature too, also known as biomimicry?

Debuting in 1961, Ferrari’s 156 F1 car drew inspiration from a shark with its two angled air intakes on the nose which gave the appearance of a pointed nose. The car even saw its driver, Phil Hill, propel his way to the world championships that season with its unique design.

The Williams FW26 was also inspired by nature with a stubby nose attached to the front wing and two tusk-like spars, mirroring the appearance of a walrus.


A popular model in the automotive world, Land Rover’s iconic Defender, featured panels of 27 differing colours, paying homage to the iconic Paul Smith. The car’s interior was also inspired by the artist with a mix of leather and striped fabric and a Paul Smith-branded clock on the vehicle’s dashboard.

Aston Martin’s iconic collaboration with German sculptor, Tobias Rehberger, also made way for a colourful addition to the manufacturer’s collection with the Vantage GTE Le Mans racer. Donning a colourful paint scheme, the car competed in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans race and was designed to evoke a sense of speed.


From flipper-like turbines to colourful art palettes, the automotive industry has been inundated with design inspiration from all around the world. The automotive world also inspires other industries, from fashion, films and media to video games and casino games such as the Mad Car slot game available at Platin Casino Online. These multiple sources of inspiration mean that there is a vehicle on the market for every driver, whatever their taste!

Keyword: Where do Car Designers Get Inspiration From?


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