Project Kahn and Kahn Design founder & CEO Afzal Kahn shares his passion for designing vehicles and enlightens us about his vision. A name synonymous to one of the world’s best car design specialist, his unique creations attracts customers from all over the world. Celebrities such as Simon Cowell, Katie Price, and Amir Kahn are just a few names from his list of clients. Kahn’s own garage boasts two personalized Bugatti Veyrons as he rolls out exclusively tailored Porsche, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Range Rover for ardent clients. He has also grabbed the attention of being possessive by turning down a £5 million ($7.6 million) offer for the F1 number plate fitted to one of his Veyrons.
Roll over to read his exclusive interview for Luxurylaunches……
What inspired you to get into vehicle designing?
I studied architecture but always had a strong passion for cars. There came the point when I decided to turn my back on the architecture course and went on to establish A. Kahn Design, which was some 20 years ago. I strongly believe everybody has a gift; like Zandra Rhodes has a gift for fashion design, I feel I have the gift for car design.
How different is Project Kahn from Kahn Design?
Kahn Design is our design department for parts and accessories while Project Kahn specializes in selling complete cars, designed by A Kahn Design in some shape or form.
What is the first thing that you tackle when you undertake a bespoke designing order?
I envisage what the final product will look like; stand away from the car, look at it from different angles and perspectives, examine the idea, evolve it over a time period, and just get on with it. I need to look at a car for a few minutes. I do the same thing when it comes to anything I design, like my range of timepieces.
Is there any car you feel doesn’t need to be disturbed from its original state?
We don’t touch the Veyrons. Well, you can’t, can you? We did, however, create a state-of-the-art wheel that was designed and engineered to withstand the speed and power of the Veyron. Other than the wheels, the car is a masterpiece of technology and design.
Which is your most favored auto-brand to work upon?
Evolving any ‘ugly duckling’ to a beautiful swan is pleasurable, so I love all the makes we touch and do work on.
Of all your creations, which one do you consider the best to date?
My designs ‘evolve’ with the program and with the car. So, for example, the RR Sports designs (3 since 2009 facelift) have grown and developed with the vehicle and, to date, are contemporary and beautiful. The new Sport will NOT date my designs for the current Sport. It will just be treated like another model.
Name a few cars that you would like to get your hands on?
I have recently got my hands on the Lamborghini Aventador. I designed the Sant’ Agata range of wheels for it and also gave it a Rosso Red color change (Lamborghini’s color), making it the only Aventador in the world in that red.
You can view the vehicle here; let us know what you think!
The McLaren MP4-12C is dying to be restyled; it needs the life breathed into it. I envisage something more like the legendary McLaren F1. We can add the emotion and appeal that the MP4-12C currently lacks when you compare it to the competition with our design.
Have you ever faced a designer’s block?
I work seven days a week. Therefore I am ‘married’ to the business. I am constantly thinking about expansion, design, and new product development, so naturally, I am always a few steps ahead. In the automotive industry, you have to innovate and challenge yourself consistently. My customers expect it!
As a designer, what are the toughest challenges faced by you?
The biggest challenge is to get manufacturer support. We have a good relationship with Land Rover and a direct supply from the factory but establishing similar relationships with other manufacturers always proves difficult.
How do you justify the cost of such exclusive makeovers?
The cost is as much or as little as the imagination!
Is there any designer/company you would wish to work or collaborate with in the future?
I am a keen collector of fine timepieces, and in 2007 I launched the lifestyle/timepieces range. I was actually offered an opportunity to collaborate with an existing timepiece manufacturer. However, designing my own collection was what I decided to do.
We have some exciting news to announce about a tie-up with an internationally acclaimed designer in terms of automotive design. When we are ready to announce it, look for it.
Lastly, a few words about your views on www.luxurylaunches.com
An excellent web site with readers around the globe. Keep up the good work….
On behalf of Luxurylaunches, I would like to thank Mo Bhana for arranging this interview. I would also like to thank Afzal Kahn for taking time off from his busy schedule to answer the questions. It was a pleasure to discuss the art of personalizing vehicles.