WHEN MERCEDES-BENZ SHARED A TURKISH DESIGNER'S PHOTOGRAPH FOR THE FIRST TIME ON ITS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT, WE TRACKED DOWN THAT DESIGNER AND HEARD HIS STORY STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH.
Cars are a necessity for some, a matter of taste for others. What both have in common is that they spend a significant amount of time in their vehicles. Erbakan Malkoç is a boss today in the profession he chose when he came to Istanbul as an auto mechanic’s apprentice at the age of 16. He teaches in universities and has a reputation as a successful designer who has devoted himself to automobiles through his partnerships with international firms. Ajda Pekkan, Mazhar Alanson and the princes of Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain are just a few of his clients.
Being connected to the world while traveling and making his travel time productive are important to Malkoç, who has this to say on the subject: “The people who choose our cars find standard vehicles inadequate.” He adds, “We know that the time they spend on the road is valuable to our clients, so we are minimizing the time loss. The car you drive is like a hotel room where you can rest as well as fulfilling your needs.”
LUXURIOUS BUT FUNCTIONAL
The cars Malkoç produces tweak the dreams of different people in different geographies. We believe that tastes differ, and we want to hear what people’s perception of luxury in design is. “Luxury is a variable concept. But there is also a culture that goes beyond luxury,” says Malkoç, adding, “Arabs, for example, like the classic materials and gold leaf. There is a connection between people and their taste. The demands of a European customer are different from those of a Middle Eastern customer, for whom the automobile designed is special to him.”
We learn that functionality underlies luxury. Appearance may change, but design is always based on maximum functionality. We can activate 196 different points in-car with a mobile phone and boost their functions.
Erbakan Malkoç provides service for a wide range of vehicles: Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, McLaren, Pagani Zonda, Mercedes vans, BMW, Volkswagen, GMC… All can be transformed into completely different vehicles in Malkoç’s hands. Every car designed by his team is capable of passing all the standard automobile quality tests in the world, because his 70-member expert team includes professional and R&D engineers as well as designers and modelists.
Malkoç has partnerships with Hamann Motorsport and Mansory, the world’s leading car modification firms, and a major collaboration is in the offing. These two most reputable firms in the customizing and personalizing of cars, especially supercars, are being reborn in Turkey through Malkoç designs.
We take another admiring look at the automobiles being designed and depart convinced. In appearance and functionality, these cars are sure to spice up people’s lives for a long time to come.
A PLETHORA OF PRIZES
Last November Erbakan Malkoç received the prize for Best Car Design in Europe at the International Brand Leaders Summit, which brings together the world’s leading businessmen.