Granstudio used its expertise in performance design to style the Lightyear One, an ultra efficient family car that recharges under the sun.


After winning the World Solar Challenge, part of the team behind Stella started to dream about world’s first street legal solar family car that comfortably fits 5 persons on their daily journeys. The key challenge hereby was to develop a family car with an energy efficiency that is unseen in this category so far, combine it with 5 square meters of solar panels on the car’s roof, make it feasible for initial low volume production, and above all, make it look attractive for a broad public. Because in the end that is the core of the challenge: how can we move more people in harmony with nature. 


The strong expertise in both developing 'white paper' projects and designing performance cars ( for example the Dallara Stradale ) was essential in reaching the final result. Not only we understood that this project could only succeed through a holistic and user driven approach that looked into user interests, packaging, styling, aerodynamics and feasibility all at once, but we also understood through our experience from day one which aspects would be essential for the success of the project, such as bringing into good relation the proportions and aerodynamic performance. 


The collaboration resulted into the final math models of the exterior and interior design, including the development of a styling model and the design assistance for the construction of the prototype. The exterior design is a hyper aerodynamic shell ( Cx value of 0.20! ) with  5m2 of solar cells, that visually transmits the harmony by which this car can move in nature.  Strong graphics assist in balancing proportions and volumes, and convey a feeling of protection to the lower area of the car in line with Lightyear's 'Go Free' brand feeling . The interior is reassuring and simple and does not impose itself, in order to further enhance that feeling of freedom.

Our View

Performance, and more precisely energy efficiency, should be at the center of any kind of vehicle that wants to improve our mobile future. At GS we're happy that with this project we can show how our expertise in designing performance cars  allowed us to design with Lightyear an energy efficient family car. How well  a vehicle performs in harmony with nature and society should become our new point of reference, rather than our current focus on a specific type of vehicle. 

Project delivered in
June 2019