Designer of high “horsepower”
Sotiris Kovos is a famous Greek automobile designer. In fact, he has designed more than ten models that are already on the market (the name of the cars can only be revealed after ten years from the circulation of the car). His most famous model is the “Toyota Yaris” (1999) which won the prize “Car of The Year” for the year 2000. Since then, he has undertaken the design for many other models, such as the Lexus SC430 coupe cabrio and a series of other projects. In 2006, he started collaborating with Nipponia, for the desing of a new scooter.
The Greek designer comes from the city of Livadeia, but was born in Athens, in the city of Ilion. His childhood dream was to become a mariner, but he eventually studied Sociology in the Panteion University of Athens, in 1981. His love for cars though was always uncontested. In the morning, he would go to the lectures of the univerisity, and during the night, he would ceaselessly make designs for cars.
His first sketch was in 1981, on the return of his watching the Acropolis Rally. After graduating from the department of Sociology, he decided to go to Coventry (the “capital” of car industry in the UK) to acquire more knowledge on the car industry and design, and so he graduated from the famous London Royal College of Art, on a scholarship by Mazda. His goal was to start working for the designing department of the company, in Frankfurt, but he ended up in Peugeot for his on-the-job training. He was finally hired by Toyota in Brussels, where he worked for seven years.
What is fascinating about Kovos, is that he has uses his knowledge in Sociology in order to design models. “The image of a car should satisfy the byuer’s eye, in a way that he falls in love with it at first sight. Cars were always a thing to fall in love with, a symbol of beauty, power and strength -especially for men. In order to fall in love with a car, you don’t have to be an expert in cars. Most women buy cars by falling in love with it. A beautiful car remains a beautiful car, that never changes”, says Kovos in a interview for ethnos.gr.
But what inspires Kovos in his designs? “Personnally, I try to find out the reason that a car could be attractive. What is the one thing that we like? For instance, we know that elegance is a characteristic that is very attractive, whereas a very aggressive look in not. Giving the car a “friendly”, “approachable” look, is something that people really appreciate. In a way, that’s how I designed “Yaris”. It was different, but approachable and likeable. Its basic motif is the one of a sprinter, who is bent down on the starting point of the race, ready to run as fast as he can, full of energy and fitness, with a great muscular body. That’s what I wanted “Yaris” to look like”.