Car companies succeed, more or less, at one thing: creating automobiles. But that doesn’t stop them from chasing brand extension. Whether flexing design muscle or chasing another way to cash in, automakers release products that no one really asks for: redesigned bikes, furniture, iPhone cases, and even boats.
Audi R18 Ultra Chair
The Audi R18 Ultra Chair was inspired by Audi’s successful Le Mans prototype of the same name. While it lacks wheels and thus has a top speed of 0, this is an admittedly impressive piece of lightweight auto engineering. Design duo Clemens Weisshar and Reed Kram fashioned the chair from the same carbon fiber composites and sheet aluminum found on the R18 ultra racer. The pair then collected load data from more than 1500 "testers" at the Milan Furniture Fair in April (yes, furniture builders collect "load data"). Using that massive amount of information about sitting down, the designers teamed up with Audi’s Lightweight Construction Center and altered the chair’s geometry and carbon fiber weave bias to shave off another two pounds of weight. The final version of the chair, now on display at Design Miami/, weighs in at just under 5 pounds. (For reference, Ikea’s minimalist steel-and-plastic Jeff folding chair tips the scales at 6 pounds.)
Ferrari Golf Collection Driver
Released in August, this driver slathered in prancing ponies and Ferrari rosso was a collaboration between the Italian automaker and Cobra Golf. The club is based on Cobra’s top-of-the-line ZL Encore; while Ferrari engineers reportedly tinerked with the aerodynamics. It’s endorsed by Ian Poulter. If you’re looking to boost the horsepower of your golf game even more, Ferrari offers branded shirts, shoes, gloves, and golf bags—but sadly, no golf cart version of the 458 Italia.
Audi Doggie Golf Shirt
Perhaps your pup is no good with a putter. That doesn’t mean he can’t look the part. Audi’s line of pet products includes this golf shirt for dogs featuring the four rings, allowing you to use your canine as a further piece of testimony to your Audi fandom. We’re a little dubious of the dressing-up-dogs trend, but we certainly wouldn’t say no to the Audi R8 USB drive.
As preposterous as it sounds, Jaguar’s Concept Speedboat looks stunning. Jag unvieled it at the end of October to get consumers thinking about the various applications of Jaguar’s XF Sportbrake wagon (like towing your speedboat to the local boat launch). No word on whether you can buy a Jag-branded trailer hitch.