Continental shows THE PIONEER at ZOW 2018

Monday, 05. February 2018

• With THE PIONEER, the surface specialist Continental is presenting its own concept car for the first time
• Five concept cars with Rinspeed already created
• Pioneering new business concept
• Innovative materials, sophisticated design Hanover, Month Year. Text.

Hannover, 6 February 2018. Once again, from February 6 – 8, 2018, the ZOW (the show in Eastern Westphalia, the established center of the furniture industry) will provide an overview of new products, innovations, and trends of the branch. The compact, focused event offers an opportunity for intense exchanges. For the Benecke-Hornschuch Surface Group, the ZOW 2018 is the right platform at the right time. Once again, attractive surfaces using furniture films and artificial leather will be presented, but for the first time under the Continental brand. In Hall 20.1, Booth D 010, the company from Weissbach will show its broad portfolio of applications, including some new products, which will provide the branch with new inspiration. In addition, the trade visitors can experience the Concept Car THE PIONEER at the booth on the opposite D 019. It demonstrates the design competence of the surface specialist in a striking manner.

First own Concept Car
The Concept Car THE PIONEER is the first completely independent concept car of Benecke-Hornschuch Surface Group. The world's leading manufacturer and marketer of surfaces made of foils and artificial leather is represented with its materials in many production models and supplies OEMs worldwide. In the last ten years, the Design Team has designed and produced five different concept cars together with the Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht and his company Rinspeed. After the extent of the items produced continued to increase in size – for the Rinspeed Budii they comprised the entire design and material concept of the interior surfaces – the Concept Car THE PIONEER is the consistent next step. The result was the creation of a platform with which the company is able to impressively show its full range of skills in the field of interior and exterior surfaces - especially in the automotive context in this case.

Three Preliminary Design Studies on the Cactus Basis
The Concept Car THE PIONEER builds on the Citroën C4 Cactus. This vehicle was chosen because in the interior in particular it is restrained - almost spartan - and so offered the Design Team a number of opportunities. Furthermore, the Cactus has large surfaces both inside and out on which the transformation can take effect in full. The vehicle possesses the character of a crossover, i.e. it has features of an SUV, a van and a station wagon. Of the three concepts that were developed in advance, the one being implemented is the New Business concept. Derived from this was the look and feel of the vehicle, as well as the material selection.

Dynamically Mirrored Exterior
The bodywork is decorated with a mirror film which is digitally printed with a diamond structure in night gray. The special aspect of this is a double progression structure: On the one hand the color in each diamond itself shows a progression, while on the other hand the diamonds increase in size from the front to the back. The air bumpers, which are so typical of the Cactus, on the flanks as well as the front and rear are retained, but are provided with the modern design of skai Diamond in the color copper rose, a material which was developed specifically for the vehicle and which takes up and implements the diamond theme in a different way. The accent color on the outside is highly polished copper. This is used on the roof line and on the C pillars, mirrors, at the front in the area of the fog lights and as a logo on the wheel rims.

Innovative Material, Sophisticated Design in the Interior
In the interior of THE PIONEER, extensive surfaces from the entire Group are used. This begins with the instrument panel, which is covered at the top with a new TPO artificial leather material. This is adjoined by the skai Diamond with its particularly high-quality feel. In combination with the color copper rose from the air bumpers it shapes the dashboard that is also decorated with striking seams. The same materiality and coloration is used on the door panels. This color concept has the effect of a horizon in the vehicle interior. As a result, THE PIONEER appears to be larger inside than it actually is.
Beneath the instrument panel, in the central part of the tower and on the floor, an expressive gray wood decor is used. In the first two applications it is digitally printed artificial leather, while on the floor the TPO material skai Porto from the TransPOrter Collection is used. Here too, the surface stands out with its elegant, bright, high-quality natural wood look, while the material is also robust and easy to look after. In the floor area there are mats, which are also produced from TPO material, and there is also a wood decor. The noble black New Border edging strip with a copper-colored decorative seam rounds out the overall picture at the floor. Highlights in the interior are provided by the use of the color copper rose, for example for the central air outlets or the "fittings" of the loops which serve as door handles.

New Business Look & Feel
The business character of THE PIONEER is most clearly expressed on the seats. These are practically "dressed", meaning that they appear in the modern business style, wearing a "suit", "shirt" and "tie". The most striking feature is the tie. This runs over the headrest and the entire backrest of the front seats, but also decorates the two seats in the back. The tie consists of the specially developed material skai Tex-Tie, which is enhanced by a fine textile texture. The color combination here is also copper rose. The "shirt", i.e. the white part of the head rest and back, is made of super-soft, vegan PU material with a delicate leather grain, with the color here being snow-white. The middle of the rear seat is also decorated by an oversized tie made of skai Check-Brush, with a fine square cut in the color anthracite, which seems to “fall from the sky”. On the back seat, the snow-white runs into the gray shade of the seat surface. The "suit", which stretches over the backs of the front and rear seats, as well as the sides of the seat surface, consists of the same PU material with a fine textile pattern, but in the color night black.

Comfortable Seats with laif VyP
Last but not least: The seat surfaces and lower side sections of the backs consist of the new breathable material laif VyP, an innovative hybrid material made of vinyl and polyurethane, that is permeable to air and water vapor and makes sitting more comfortable than ever before. The material in elegant gray stands out with its elegant, value-adding diamond stitching. This is based on raised embossing, which perfectly mimics the stitching. The laif VyP tie material was also used for the arm rests.

Breathtaking Roof Liner
It is worth looking up in THE PIONEER. Because the elaborately crafted roof liner is a sight for sore eyes. The oversized tie, which reaches optically as far as the back seat, is placed centrally. As on the back seat, the material skai Check-Brush is used here, with a fine square cut in the color anthracite. The tie is flanked by laser-cut PU material, with the lasered-out cuts being small, fine diamonds. Behind the PU material, the high-gloss, self-adhesive d-c-fix film in rosé gold has been placed, which shines through the small diamond cutouts. The effect is a veritable starry sky.

Perfect for the Business Trip
In the trunk of the Concept Car there are two travel bags containing high-quality workmanship, which further strengthen the NEW BUSINESS concept. The material and color combination of the fashion accessories was created by analogy with the interior design concept. For example, some of the materials that had already been used in the interior, were also used for the bags. The artificial leather skai Diamond in the color copper rose has been processed in combination with the digitally printed material skai Porto with a wood effect, for example, and in combination with the geometric logo in black and white. The material skai Putura Nappa in the color shade of snow white was used for the handles and belts.



With THE PIONEER, the global automotive supplier impressively demonstrates its skills in the field of surfaces. Photo: Continental


The interior reflects the diversity of the materials which the surface specialist has in its portfolio. Most of these were specifically designed for THE PIONEER. According to the credo: The perfect surface for every application. – Photo: Continental


The design of the front and rear seats follows the modern business style. Including ties. Photo: Continental


The New Business Dress Code applies in particular to the interior. The seats wear a suit, shirt and tie, while noble wood decors enhance the interior. Photo: Continental


The interior is enhanced by the combination of high-quality surfaces. Wood optics, diamond stitching and high-gloss applications transform it into a business lounge. - Photo: Continental


Three Members of THE PIONEER design team at work. From the left: Mergim Shala, Carlos Teixeira, Ralf Imbery. Photo: Continental


Nothing works without scribbles. Countless designs are created and discarded again, until the interior takes shape. Photo: Continental


The explosive drawing shows which parts of the body have been changed by the design team. - Photo: Continental


The side view shows the size pattern of the mirrored diamond film from the front to the rear – the course of the rhombuses on the side air bumpers is exactly the opposite direction. - Photo: Continental


THE PIONEER in its element: As a shining focal point in the urban space, it reflects the New Business World both inside and out. Photo: Continental


In the trunk of the Concept Car there are two travel bags containing high-quality workmanship, which further strengthen the NEW BUSINESS concept. – Photo: Continental



Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transport. In 2017, Continental generated preliminary sales of around €44 billion and currently employs more than 233,000 people in 56 countries.

As a division in the Continental Corporation, ContiTech is one of the world's leading industrial specialists. Its customers can be found in key industries such as machine and plant engineering, mining, the agricultural industry, and the automotive industry. With around 46,000 employees in 44 countries, the company uses its development and material expertise for products and systems made of rubber, polyamide, metal, textile, and electronic components to combine these with individual services. ContiTech also offers functional and design-oriented living solutions and is always searching for customer-friendly and environmentally-friendly answers – going well and truly beyond its roots as a producer of rubber products. With sales of approximately €5.5 billion (2016), this international technology partner is active with core branches in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Press contact
Axel Schmidt
Head of Communications

Benecke-Hornschuch Surface Group
Telefon: +49 7947 81-522

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