Nine on the fast track

“Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays” focuses on nine cars, all designed by Mays and his teams.

Audi Avus Quattro concept vehicle, 1991. Named for the 1930s Avus racetrack in Berlin, it was never intended for production, but its form led to the development of Audi’s TT (1995), designed by Mays’ colleague Freeman Thomas.

Volkswagen Concept One, 1994. Using the geometry of three truncated, intersecting circles, the Concept One was developed to revive Volkswagen’s most successful car, the Beetle.

Ford Mondeo ST 220 production vehicle, 2002. Produced only for the European market, the Mondeo links the elite cars Mays designed for Audi with his more populist-oriented work.


Ford O21C concept vehicle, 1999. Named for a Pantone color sample, the car is a collaboration between Mays and product designer Marc Newson, and incorporates a variety of Newsonian touches, including a steering wheel that echoes his design for a coat hook.

Ford Thunderbird concept vehicle, 1999. Introduced 45 years after the debut of the original, the new T-Bird has smoother, simpler curved details.

Ford 24.7 concept vehicle, 2000. In an attempt to transfer today’s communication technology into an automobile, the 24.7 replaces analog instruments with a high-resolution digital-screen dashboard.

Ford Forty-Nine concept vehicle, 2001. Part of the Living Legends series Mays developed at Ford, it plays off the 1949 Ford in its slab sides and clean shape, updated with an all-glass roof structure.

Ford GT40 concept vehicle, 2001. Henry Ford II’s original mid-1960s GT40 was created to beat the Ferrari and win the Le Mans race circuit. The new version is reinterpreted throughout.

Ma concept vehicle, 2002. Conceived as a kit to be assembled by the customer, the Ma is a “high-end hot rod,” Mays says. Made with 96% recyclable parts, its futuristic forms are also environmentally sensitive.