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大众甲壳虫:汽车业的设计经典

更新时间:2017/11/26 13:28:41 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

What if the VW beetle had never existed?
大众甲壳虫:汽车业的设计经典

“It runs, and runs, and runs, and runs,” proclaimed a famous 1960s German advert for the Volkswagen Beetle. While the slogan was both a nod to the car’s reliability and its runaway global success, the ad-men behind it could not have guessed that some 50 years later, the scarab–shaped vehicle would still be rolling off production lines.

"它跑啊,跑啊,跑啊,跑不停,"一部德国60年代大众甲壳虫(Volkswagen Beetle)的著名广告语这样宣传道。这个口号既表明了这款汽车的结实耐用,也显示了其在全球各地的巨大成功。广告的制作人肯定想不到,50年之后,这款形似甲壳虫的汽车仍然在生产中。

Although the new Beetle has been reworked from the ground up, it still draws heavily on the design of the original, a vehicle that is now as much a cultural icon as a mode of transport.

虽然新款甲壳虫汽车已经从头到脚进行了全新设计,但它仍然很大程度上参考了最初的设计,甲壳虫汽车现在不单单是一种交通工具,也已经成为一种文化经典。

But suppose for a moment that the VW Beetle had never existed – would the world have missed this vehicle with the impish grin formed by the bonnet and bug-eyed headlights?

但是设想一下,假若大众甲壳虫从未问世——世界是否就会错失这款带着一副顽皮模样的车型?这种效果来自它独特的前盖造型和圆鼓鼓的大灯。

The scenario is not as unlikely as it might first seem. The VW Beetle could easily have never risen from the ashes of World War Two in the way it did.

这种情形并非像乍看起来那样全无可能。大众甲壳虫车可能会被埋没在二战中的灰烬当中,就如它崛起的途径一样。

The original designs for the Beetle can be traced back to the dark days of Nazi rule in Germany. In 1934, Adolf Hitler instructed the German automobile manufacturers to produce an inexpensive family car that could be afforded by ordinary working citizens. The job of designing this Volkswagen – meaning “people’s car” – was given to the racing car engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who later went on to found his own company.

甲壳虫的原始设计可以追溯到纳粹统治德国的黑暗年代。1934年,阿道夫.希特勒指示德国汽车制造商生产一种廉价的家用汽车,这种汽车可以让普通的工薪阶层也能负担。设计这种Volkswagen——意为"人民的汽车"——的重任落到赛车工程师费迪南德·保时捷(Ferdinand Porsche)肩上,他后来创立了自己的公司。

At the Berlin Motor Show in 1935, Hitler announced the completion of the initial designs for the car that he named the Kraftdurch Freude Wagen, or ‘Strength Through Joy Car’. The Nazi leader’s interest in the vehicle was such that he even contributed his own sketch of what he felt the vehicle should look like, although it only has a passing resemblance to the final designs.

在1935年的柏林车展上,希特勒宣布他命名为 Kraft durch Freude Wagen 或者"欢乐带来力量之车"(Strength Through Joy Car)的汽车完成了初始设计。希特勒对这款汽车的兴趣如此之高,以至于他还贡献了自己的草图,描绘他心目中的汽车外观,尽管这与最终设计相比仅有轻微的相似。

A factory was built in the city of Fallersleben in Lower Saxony, which would later become known as Wolfsburg, but only a handful of vehicles were finished. The outbreak of war in 1939 halted production and the factory was instead used to churn out military vehicles.

工厂建在了下萨克森(Lower Saxony)的法勒斯莱本(Fallersleben),这里后来被称为沃尔夫斯堡(Wolfsburg),但这里仅生产了少量这种汽车。1939年,战争的爆发使得生产停顿,而整个工厂则被用来大量制造军用车辆。

Allied bombing heavily damaged the factory and at the end of the war it passed into the hands of the British Occupation Forces, who sent a Yorkshire-born British Army Officer called Major Ivan Hirst to reopen it. Under his direction, production of the KdF-Wagen restarted, although it was given a new name – the Volkswagen Type 1.

盟军的轰炸严重破坏了这座工厂,战争结束时,它落入英国占领军手中。英国人派来了出生在约克郡的英国陆军少校伊万·赫斯特(Major Ivan Hirst)重启工厂。在他的领导下,KdF汽车,即"欢乐带来力量之车",重新投产,虽然这时它被赋予了一个新的名字——大众1型(Volkswagen Type 1)。

“Hirst initially wanted to bring the KubelWagen, which the factory had been producing during the war, back into production,” says Richard Copping, a car historian who met Hirst shortly before he died in 2000. “The bodies for those vehicles were constructed by another company in Berlin called Ambi Budd which was in the Soviet zone [of occupied Germany]. So Hirst saw parts of these other funny-looking cars around the factory and decided to get it going producing them instead.”

"赫斯特最初想恢复生产的车型是该厂在战争期间生产过的八二型军用车——Kubelwagen,"汽车历史学家理查德·科平(Richard Copping)说,他曾在赫斯特2000年去世前夕与他访谈,"但是这种车的车体是由位于柏林的名为亚米·巴德(Ambi Budd)的另一家公司制造的,那里已是德国的苏联占领区。这时赫斯特看到这种外观滑稽的车型的零部件散落在工厂四周,于是便决定开始生产这种车。"

It was not until 1948, with the appointment of a new director, Heinz Nordhoff, that production of what was to become known as the Beetle really took off. By 1955, one million of the cars had rolled off the production line and German roads buzzed with the little VWs. Within 17 years production had soared to more than 15 million, making it the world’s best-selling car at the time. Over the decades that followed, that would climb to reach more than 21 million.

直到1948年,随着海因茨·诺德霍夫(Heinz Nordhoff)被任命为新的经理,举世闻名的甲壳虫汽车的生产才开始真正腾飞。到1955年,共有100万辆这种汽车驶下生产线,小小的甲壳虫遍布德国的大街小巷。在十七年内,总产量飙升至1500多万辆,成为当时世界上最畅销的汽车。在接下来的几十年里,这一数字将继续攀升到2,100万辆以上。

“If it hadn’t been for the British, the Beetle may never have been produced in the first place,” says Copping, who has written a number of books about the Beetle and Volkswagen. “But if it hadn’t been for Heinz Nordhoff, the Beetle wouldn’t have conquered the world.”

"如果不是英国人,甲壳虫从一开始就不可能造出来,"科平说,他写了好几部关于甲壳虫和大众汽车的著作,"但是如果不是海因茨·诺德霍夫,甲壳虫就不会征服世界。"

And if it hadn’t, there were other vehicles waiting in the wings to takes its place as a quirky, affordable family car.

假如它没能出现的话,还有其它车型正蓄势待发,准备替代这款古怪而经济实惠的家用汽车。

Before the war, the Czechoslovakian car-maker Tatra had been producing a mid-class saloon car called the Type 97 that shared many characteristics with the Beetle. Its designer Hans Ledwika is widely credited with having inspired many of the early designs produced by Porsche and in 1965 Volkswagen paid Tatra more than 1 million Deutsche Marks (about £85,000 at the time) in damages over the issue.

在战争之前,捷克斯洛伐克汽车制造商太脱拉(Tatra)已经一直在生产一款称为97型的中档轿车,这款车与甲壳虫有很多共性。其设计师汉斯·莱德维卡(Hans Ledwika)被广泛认为给保时捷早期的设计带来许多启发和灵感;而在1965年,大众汽车向太脱拉支付了100多万德国马克(在当时约合85,000英镑)作为这一问题的赔偿。

Following the war Tatra was nationalised and began producing a new rear–engined family car called the Tatra 600, which although larger than the Beetle, still shared some of its style. It would continue to be produced until 1952, but never found much of an export market.

二战结束后,太脱拉被收归国有,并开始生产称为太脱拉600的新型发动机后置型家庭轿车,这款汽车虽然比甲壳虫更大,但依然具备某些同样的风格。这款汽车一直生产到1952年,但从没能大规模打入国外市场。

French car manufacturer Citroen was also working on its own austere, snail–shaped family car in the aftermath of World War Two – the Deux Chevaux, or 2CV. It was a car so stripped back initially, that early models came with only one headline and tail light, yet the 2CV cost only two-thirds the price of the VW Beetle. Cash-strapped Citroen was never able to put enough investment behind the vehicle and only 3.8 million were produced during its 40 years of manufacture.

法国汽车制造商雪铁龙(Citroen)也在二站之后致力于开发外观简朴、状似蜗牛的双马(Deux Chevaux,或者2CV)家用汽车。这款车型在最初如此简单,以至于其早期型号只有一个顶棚和尾灯,然而双马牌汽车的价格仅有大众甲壳虫的三分之二。资金短缺使得雪铁龙从来没能为这款汽车投入足够资源,在其40年的历史中只生产了380万辆。

The British also had their own Beetle competitors – the Morris Minor, which debuted in 1948. Although dismissed by the company’s owner as resembling a “poached egg”, it became the first British car to sell more than a million units in 1959. The Minor’s designer Alec Issignois had originally wanted to put the engine in the rear, like the Beetle, but the company accountants objected.

英国人也有自己的甲壳虫汽车的竞争对手——莫里斯迷你轿车(Morris Minor),该车于1948年问世。虽然被公司老板贬斥为像一个"水煮蛋",但它还是在1959年成为第一辆销售过百万辆的英国汽车。莫里斯轿车的设计师亚历克·伊斯哥尼斯(Alec Issigonis)原本想把发动机像甲壳虫一样放在后面,但遭到公司的会计师反对。

“The VW Beetle took a considerable chunk of the market away from others who may still be around today,” says Copping.

"大众甲壳虫从其它对手那里抢下一大块市场,"科平说。

Yet, while each of these vehicles could have filled some of the gap left by the Beetle if it had not been produced, they lacked an important quality – the Beetle’s build quality itself.

然而,虽然每一辆车都能弥补假如甲壳虫没能问世所留下的空白,但它们都缺乏一个重要的特质,即甲壳虫汽车本身的品质。

The VW Beetle’s reputation for reliability, sturdiness and workmanship were instrumental in turning it into a run-away success. Porsche’s design meant the car could be easily serviced but also did not need a garage to keep it in. The rear-mounted engine was cooled by air rather than water, meaning it did not freeze in cold weather and so could be kept outside.

大众甲壳虫在可靠性、坚固耐用和工艺方面的声誉是它取得巨大成功的关键。保时捷的设计意味着这辆车维修简便,也不需要车库。后置发动机使用空气冷却而非水冷,意味着它在寒冷的天气里发动机不会冻结,因此可以停放在室外。

“Requiring little maintenance and few repairs, the Volkswagen was deemed ‘the best car on the market’ because it proved cheap to operate in the long term,” says Bernhard Reiger, a professor of European industrial history at University College London.

"只需要很少的维护和修理,大众被认为是市场上最好的汽车,因为它被证明能够长时间成本低廉地运行,"伦敦大学学院欧洲工业史教授伯恩哈德·莱厄(Bernhard Reiger)说。

In his book The People’s Car, Reiger describes how these qualities came to symbolise the wider German “economic miracle” that saw the country transform from a ruined state into a prosperous society in just 20 years.

在他的著作《人民之车》(The People's Car)中,莱厄介绍了这些特质如何成为范围更加宽广的德国"经济奇迹"的象征,这一奇迹见证了这个国家如何在短短20年中,从一片废墟变成一个繁荣的社会。

Thanks to the Beetle, VW went from employing a workforce of 8,719 in 1948 to more than 78,000 by 1962. It also helped to restore confidence in the Made in Germany label, something that still carries the hallmarks of quality and reliability to this day.

由于甲壳虫汽车,大众从一家在1948年只有8,719名员工的公司发展到1962年时员工人数超78,000人的公司。这也有助于恢复对"德国制造"的信心,这一标签至今仍然是品质与可靠的象征。

“After 1945, the Beetle more than any other automobile pushed ahead mass motorisation in the Federal Republic (of Germany), turning the dream of individual car ownership into a reality for millions during the 1950s and 1960s,” says Reiger. “With more than 21 million sales worldwide, VW's export success helped restore West Germany on the global economic stage.”

"1945年以后,相比其它任何汽车,甲壳虫更加有力地推动了联邦德国汽车的大规模普及,在50年代和60年代,它让数百万渴望拥有自己私人汽车的人美梦成真,"莱厄说,"以其全球2,100万辆以上的销量,大众汽车的出口成功帮助西德恢复了其在全球经济舞台上的地位。"

Certainly, it is not hard to imagine that without the Beetle, Germany could have become a very different place to the one it is today. But the “Love Bug’s” reach extends far further than its home country.

当然,不难想象如果没有甲壳虫汽车,德国可能会变成一个与今日完全不同的地方。但是甲壳虫的影响力远远超出其母国的范围。

“If there had been no Beetle, there would have been no Volkswagen,” says Copping. “While the company might have a tarnished reputation at the moment as a result of the diesel scandal, since the 1960s it has been a key world player.”

"如果没有甲壳虫汽车,就没有大众,"科平说,"虽然,柴油发动机排放门丑闻使得目前该公司的名誉受损,但是自20世纪60年代以来,它一直是世界主要的汽车制造商。"

The Beetle was instrumental to bringing VW to the world stage. By 1952 it was being sold in 46 countries and over the years it has been produced on assembly lines in 14 countries outside Germany. Today Volkswagen is the biggest car manufacturer in the world, producing 10.3 million cars last year.

甲壳虫汽车对于将大众带入世界舞台至关重要。到1952年,甲壳虫在46个国家销售,并且多年来一直在德国以外的14个国家进行生产。今天,大众是世界上最大的汽车制造商,去年共生产了1,030万辆汽车。

Much of its success can be attributed to a clever advertising campaign by the New York agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, which coined the slogan “Think Small”, helped to sell the car in the United States and turn it into the biggest selling foreign–made car in America in the 1960s. The effect was seismic on the US car industry, which until then had been dominated by big, flashy, gas-guzzlers being churned out by the big Detroit–based automobile manufacturers like Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. These cars sported lashings of chrome and tailfins of ridiculous proportions.

甲壳虫的成功很大程度上可以归因于纽约广告公司多伊尔·戴恩·伯恩巴克(Doyle Dane Bernbach)巧妙的广告宣传,这家广告商创造了"想想还是小的好"(Think Small)这一口号,使得这款汽车成为60年代美国销量最大的进口汽车。这对美国汽车业产生了极大震动,此前美国汽车业的主流一直是福特、通用和克莱斯勒等以底特律为总部的大型汽车制造商生产的体型庞大、外观浮华而高油耗车型。这些车浮夸似地在表面大片镀着亮闪闪的铬,还安装着比例荒唐的尾翼。

“Then along comes this little car that starts eating into their market, so the big US car producers began producing their own small cars,” says Copping. This was to change the course of the American car market, leading to a new generation of compact cars and remains one of the most competitive areas of the modern global automobile.

"这时来了辆小车,开始蚕食他们的市场,于是美国的大型汽车制造商也开始生产自己的小型车,"科平说。这改变了美国汽车市场的发展进程,导致新一代紧凑型汽车的诞生,这种车型目前仍然是现代全球汽车最具竞争力的领域之一。

But the Beetle also had a wider impact on America. Due to its eccentric looks but simple design, it became a favourite among those in the US counterculture. It was affordable but also unconventional.

但甲壳虫汽车对美国有着比这更广泛的影响。由于其古怪而简单的设计,它成为美国反主流文化人群的宠儿。因为它不仅便宜,还不落传统的俗套。

“It was a car that appeared to be authentic because it wasn’t trying,” says Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum in London. “It was the absolute opposite of the high–rise tail fins coming out of Detroit. Instead, the Beetle was a bit like wearing a beret – you could show you were a serious kind of person by not being seduced by the mainstream.”

"这是一辆不做作而显得真实的汽车,"伦敦设计博物馆(Design Museum in London)馆长德杨.苏季奇(Deyan Sudjic)说,"这和底特律造出来的那些有着高高尾鳍的汽车完全背道而驰。甲壳虫有点像戴着一顶贝雷帽——让人觉得你是个严肃的人,不会被主流所诱惑。"

What would California’s hippies have used to express their individualism without the Beetle and its cousin the VW Microbus? And what car would Walt Disney have chosen to anthropomorphise in the star role of Herbie in its 1968 hit film The Love Bug – and the five sequels – if it hadn’t had the choice of the Beetle’s bug eyes and goofy grin?

如果没有甲壳虫和它的同门兄弟大众面包车(Microbus)的话,那些美国加州的嬉皮士该用什么来表达自己的个人主义呢?如果不是甲壳虫汽车特有的圆鼓鼓的大灯和咧嘴傻笑的造型效果,沃尔特·迪士尼(Walt Disney)又会在他们1968年制作的那部热门电影"爱虫"(The Love Bug )和它的五部续集中,选择什么车来拟人化表现赫比(Herbie)这个主角呢?

But it is possible the Beetle’s influence on our modern lives may be deeper than we think.

但甲壳虫对我们现代生活的影响可能远比我们想象得更深远。

“There is a continuity that runs through German design that can be seen in the Beetle,” says Sudjic. “It is one of simple lines and with decoration stripped away. Dieter Rams, the influential product designer for Braun, was one of those who strongly believed in this.”

"甲壳虫体现出贯穿于德国设计的一种连续性,"苏季奇说道,"这种设计以简单的线条和去除装饰为特色。卓有影响力的博朗(Braun)产品设计师迪特·拉姆斯(Dieter Rams)就是坚信这一点的一员。"

While there is little to suggest Rams was influenced directly by the design of the Beetle, he appeared to have shared the idea of form following function typified in VW’s Beetle. Sudjic points to another leading designer who has employed a similar approach to the products he works on – Apple’s chief design office Sir Jonathan Ive, the man responsible for the iPod and iPhone.

虽然很少证据表明拉姆斯受到甲壳虫设计的直接影响,但是他似乎遵循着甲壳虫所代表的同样的设计思想,即形式服从功能。苏季奇指出了另一位采用类似方法设计产品的顶级设计师——苹果公司首席设计师乔纳森·艾维爵士(Sir Jonathan Ive),他负责设计iPod和iPhone。

It is probably too much of a leap to suggest that without the Beetle the world may also have missed out on Apple’s must-have products. But Sudjic thinks something more fundamental would have been missing from our world if the Love Bug – so named for its ability to bring couple’s together – had not existed.

那些认为假如没有甲壳虫,这个世界也许还会错过苹果这样的必备品这样的结论也许有些夸张。但是苏季奇觉得如果甲壳虫不存在,我们的世界也许会失去一些更为重要的东西,之所以把甲壳虫叫做"爱虫",是因为它具有把男女凑成一对的能力。

“There probably would be far fewer babies conceived in the back seat of one," he chuckles.

"如果没有甲壳虫,那么在车后排座上车震受孕而生的小孩就会少很多了,"他笑着说。

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