After a number of spectacular design concepts that have won awards and comparisons with Chris Bangle and Henrik Fisker, Eduard Gray has launched a new series of electric-propulsion designs under the brand Zeus Twelve, and is focused on getting from concept to manufacturing.
“We’re really now working on getting into production so that we can build credibility as designers,” Gray says of the studio he’s launched alongside his existing studio Eduard Gray Designs.
The new series, The Gold and White Collection, is a trio of motorcycle, car and tender that are marketed as, “environmentally conscious and exclusive, with only 12 of each model made.” The styling for each is typically Gray: Striking forms that possess a blend of ostentatious verve and visual balance.
Zeus Twelve's Avalonne 12.5m tender concept, priced at 789,000 euros.
The tender concept, called Avalonne, is a sleek 12.5m composite planing hull with room for eight guests on deck and sleeping quarters for four below. Engines are specified as diesels, though Gray says they’re working hard on a hybrid or full electric option as well. With its low profile and seating arrangement, the Avalonne certainly looks like a stowable superyacht tender. Indeed, superyachts are something Gray remains highly focused on as a category of design.
“We’ve done a lot of conceptual designs, but it’s hard to sell products when you’ve never had a design built that you can show as an example of how your ideas look and work,” Gray says. “We’re looking for that edge. What we’re doing now is really focusing on getting into manufacturing, starting with the motorcycle.”
The Swedish custom motorcycle guru Carlos Stenson who is currently putting together his entry for the AMD World Championship of custom bike building has joined the team and will build the motorcycle, called Thorium, in-house. German super-car specialist Mansory has been tapped to build the car, based on a Lotus Elise chassis. And as with all of his previous yacht design projects, the build partner for the Avalonne tender is Nedship Group, in Antalya, Turkey.
“We’ve had a great partnership with Nedship over the years,” Gray says. “We have a client that’s looking at a modified version of our Xhibitionist concept for an event yacht that would really be out of the ordinary. If the funding comes through, that will go ahead with Nedship.”
Zeus Twelve will remain focused on the electric and hybrid market, so all three of the designs could be powered by electric or hybrid propulsion systems. “On the boat we’re pretty sure we could set up an electric system and for the car, we’ve got some leads on that as well,” Gray says. “The most concrete developments are with the motorbike. We’re going to be using the Z-Force powertrain developed by the California company, Zero Motorcycles.”
To further encourage buyers to approach with serious enquiries, Gray has published prices for each of the vehicles and is offering a package deal for all three. The list price for the Avalonne tender is 789,000 euros, which is based on a full pricing assessment made for a previous client. “We worked out the cost of labour and materials with Nedship,” Gray says. “All the manufacturing steps have been planned and prepared based on a hull shape we know well, so the price is one we’re confident we can publish and deliver on. Also, I just feel that giving our customers a price up front is a much safer proposition for them. I think it makes the decision to buy an easier one.”
Three other Eduard Gray Design projects: (top) Xhibitionist superyacht; (middle) SC166 superyacht; (bottom) Encizor supercar
Gray says that over the years his designs have generated a lot of interest, but that too much of it has been what he calls ‘sweat equity.’ “We’ll work on a design for someone else’s business plan and not see any return,” Gray says. “We need that to end and to build credibility as designers of vehicles that get delivered.”
“I enjoy doing superyacht design, but I’ve not been established long enough for people to come to me to design their yacht,” he says. “That’s why we want to establish our manufacturing. The first question people ask is, ‘Have you built anything?’ It doesn’t work to say, ‘here’s a pretty picture, we’ll build it for you.’ I wouldn’t buy that way, so I wouldn’t expect anyone else to buy that way.”
Gray’s local and regional industrial and product design clients in Sweden keep him busy and he admits that the striking superyacht concepts he’s developed so far has been more of a creative hobby than an actual business. But with Zeus Twelve, Gray is determined to get his designs off the drawing board and going into build.
“We’re have to start small: That’s why this rollout of the three vehicles makes sense to us,” Gray says. “We’re building a business and we think this is the way to get things done.”