The GM Bare Necessities Car concept was produced by GM's
designers at 'The Lab', a new collaborative and interactive
design research community. The Lab is a place where the
designers at GM can promote and develop their own semiofficial
concepts. Most of the projects featured at The Lab won't
advance beyond the sketching phase but they will help
assess consumer response to new ideas and potential vehicles.
The GM Bare Necessities Car was developed around the idea
of creating a extremely efficient car which could fulfill
the needs of most people without adding unnecessary and
costly options and technology.
Before starting work on the vehicle the designers had
to define and then answer two questions. Firstly, how
do you design an optimally efficient vehicle? And what
exactly does that mean. And secondly the designers had
to find out what features consumers would happily trade
off in order to improve efficiency.
The self-set brief became one to design a car which could
achieve the lowest cost per mile of any four seat car.
To attain that goal the designers decided that the best
start would be to produce a very small car with a flexible
Therese Tant, one of the vehicle's designers said of the
concept; "The question of making trade-offs is
difficult. Bare necessity in vehicle terms
has a unique meaning to different people. The idea of
offering people only what they need and nothing more became
an important focus. Ok, but it cant feel cheap or
limiting, it has to be flawlessly executed. As designers,
we had to think in terms of designing in the ability to
eliminate non-critical features, based on unique customer
This resulted in a vehicle with fewer parts and a basic
architecture which utilised renewable or recyclable materials
which were lightweight.
Similar and related vehicles:
GM Chaparral Volt
GM EcoJet (by Jay Leno)
GMC Denali XT