At Hydra, we are passionate about shaping the future through design. Boundary-pushing automotive design is the foundation of everything we do at Hydra, and our commitment to style and design informs every stage of vehicle development. The design stage is critical to the future success of a new vehicle. More than just aesthetics, design plays an important role in making an emotional connection with the vehicle. The exterior proportions, form and lines make an immediate impact to the consumer and give visual clues about the performance of the vehicle and even represent the brand. That emotional connection doesn’t end with the exterior – the vehicle’s interior is also carefully designed to appeal to the senses and inspire a specific mood. Whether it’s the overall vehicle shape or the smallest detail, every aspect of a new model is designed with precision and intentionality.

We lead each project with a strategic ‘design-first’ approach that leverages over 30 years of OEM automotive design expertise across the entire new model process. It’s a surprisingly unique concept, but Hydra is a design studio led by automotive designers who follow every step of a vehicle program to maintain the integrity and passion of our original vision. Our specialized team of design veterans leverage decades of experience designing both exteriors and interiors of production and concept vehicles for some of the world’s top automotive brands. Unlike many other design firms – Hydra’s capabilities extend far past the sketch pad or CAD modeling phase, offering our clients any services needed along the development path, including help through full production programs with Class-A surfacing, UX/UI, CMF and CFD.

Over 30 Years of OEM Design Experience

The team at Hydra understands the unique challenges of OEM design because we have decades of in-house experience designing vehicles for some of the world’s top automotive OEMs. We are uniquely qualified to handle the vehicle development needs of both established OEMs and startups because Hydra’s team has served in-house and understands what it takes to bring a design concept through the entire development process and through production.

“Form follows function, but every now and then, form will lead function down a back alley only to beat it into submission" Jon Hull, CEO of Hydra Design Labs

User-Focused Design

Groundbreaking automotive designs start with a robust strategy that guides the entire project and carefully considers how the end-user will experience the vehicle. Using Design Thinking principles, we approach each project with a strategic phase that focuses on the brand and what unique solutions their vehicles need to deliver for the end-user. This process asks critical questions that focus on what the product does for the customer – versus focusing on the product itself – and applies these findings to all aspects of the vehicle design. Addressing the “who, what, why and where” questions of a project helps refine the vehicle design, creating a better product experience for the consumer and setting the vehicle up for success in the market.

“Designing a car is more than just hiring a designer to do a sketch. Without addressing the user’s needs and identifying who your customer is and what questions you should be asking, you won’t be able to find the right solution. Design starts with strategy.” Dan Sims, Chief Creative Officer, Hydra Design Labs

Branding Strategy

Our expertise in automotive design extends far past the vehicle itself. A brand and its products are inseparable from the consumer’s perspective, so it’s critical that an emerging OEM understands the intricate nature between all visual aspects of the brand itself, and how these design cues are incorporated into the vehicles. Hydra’s team of OEM designers have extensive knowledge of the key role that branding plays in automotive design and how to establish the visual language of your brand across the product range.

Whether it’s an established automotive name that needs refinement and focus, or an OEM startup that needs to build a brand from scratch – Hydra can guide all visual aspects and explore a brand roadmap and product strategy that communicates a singular voice

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