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Designing cars is a completely different process than it used to be. Of course, it is, technology is moving forward in leaps and employing the latest tech is what can push you in the lead in such a competitive market. SEAT now revealed that creating a car involves traditional methods, such as paper and clay, but also requires virtual reality technology.

As itís been for probably more than a hundred years, paper is still the beginning of every car. At first designers draw 2000 sketches to develop ideas and concepts of what the new car should look like. Then the team has to decide which of the sketches looks the best and fits the role of the car. Designers can draw inspiration from other machines, art pieces and everything they like, but the car must fit the character of the brand. Then the best sketch is transformed into a 3D blueprint in a computer.

This is where it gets very much not traditional. SEAT then uses virtual reality glasses so that engineers could experience the car theyíre creating for the first time. In this video game-like setting they can even sit behind the wheel for the first time and get a closer look of how proportions and different details work out with one another. However, despite VR being a useful tool, a full-scale clay model needs to be made as well. It requires sculptors as well as a CNC machine, but the end result is worth all the effort. Clay model allows finalizing the design and actually making it look real with some coatings and wraps. Heavy clay model eventually looks like a real car.

Then another team performs series of experiments to test various colours and how they would work with the new model. The most important is the presentation colour. It defines the paint scheme that is used in carís debut and is associated with the model for longest. Usually the colour is chosen as a symbol of something. For example, SEAT wanted Ateca SUV to be orange because that is how sunset looks like in the area the car is created. Then automaker continues to focus on textures of the car both inside and outside and leatherwork.

Making a car is really difficult nowadays. The process is long and difficult, because of the sheer number of variables that engineers and designers have to think about. Interestingly, SEAT says that VR technology is a big part of the process now, speeding it up significantly.