Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thoughts on 2016 Mazda MX-5

Personal File: I waited patiently for the Mazda MX-5 reveal for many weeks. The car had been teased under a blue car cover and everyone wondered how it would look ... evolutionary, revolutionary, a more aggressive flavor of KODO styling or something even more radical? What was up Mazda's sleeve? When the covers finally came off last week we were presented with very taunt and simplified KODO language that I found quite pleasing to the eye.

As with other sports cars of the day there are hints of other vehicle design themes, such as a Honda s2000 type hood, Jaguar XK rear light treatment and even BMW Z-cars flame surfacing on the front and rear fenders. Having said that I still think it is instantly recognizable as a Mazda. That is actually what prompted this latest quick chop.

As much as I like the car, there is just something visually off-putting about the front. The headlights seem excessively low to the ground and are at odds with the belt-line. The rear lights kick up higher and are larger than the head lights, which, imho, creates wedge-type look that is not terribly well proportioned. The LED headlights look like they were made to be as miniscule to the design of the front of the vehicle as possible, which I suppose works, but it does take away some of the soul of the vehicle.

I know it has been awhile since I last posted, but even being as rusty as I am, I wanted to take a quick chip at the sheet metal and see if I could adjust the headlights. This is the result - a simple and I think far more effective presentation.

Headlight Comparison

before
after

The profile seems to line up better and the car seems to me a little more balanced, with a stronger stance than with the tiny LED based lights. What do you think? Did I make it better or worse ;)

All source photos copyright original owners


Friday, November 29, 2013

Rendering Comparisions: 2014 BMW i8

Rendering Comparisons: This was a fun one so I wanted to show a little bit more of how I come up with my ideas. You'll notice 3 before and afters below. This is something I may do from now on in these comparison posts, but it takes a lot longer to set up! So let's see how this one goes ... :)

With the seductive BMW i8 finally getting down to business with details and pricing, BMW looks to have a bona fide hit on their hands.


Comparison of M6 Donor with my M6/EfficientDynamics Concept chop

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after

Comparison of EfficientDynamics Concept Donor with my M6/EfficientDynamics Concept chop

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after

Comparison of Production i8 with my M6/EfficientDynamics Concept chop

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after

I really liked the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept but was doubtful if it would ever be produced. I figured this vehicle was a test bed for new tech, with the design ideas presented to "trickle down" into the product stable in future vehicles. I wondered then if we'd see some of the design cues on the next 6 Series Coupe - which would be the nearest size car in size and function.

Much to my surprise the revised, renamed and gorgeous Z4 ended up with a lot of the design cues, especially with the trademark "twin gills". This wasn't enough for me though as I still wanted to see how the design would look "wrapped over" the bones of the 6 Series coupe. So, taking matters into my own hands, this was the result.

Now that I've been ogling over the new i8 for a few weeks now I went back to my rendering, done over 4 years ago, and was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of my thoughts and ideas translated pretty well to the production i8 look and feel. Good stuff :)

All source photos copyright original owners


Monday, April 1, 2013

Rendering Comparison: 2014 Volkswagen GTI MCE

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after

Rendering Comparison: So I'm watching last week all of the wonderful images bubbling out of the New York Autoshow and I see that VW is giving the Golf and GTI a nice makeover. I'm impressed it is getting a fresh so quickly.

I was never thrilled with the 2010 GTI refresh as I didn't think the completely blacked out lower grille insert was a great look. I posted that while I loved the car, it would have looked less "heavy" with a color matched lower grille insert.

Now looking at this new GTI refresh in more detail, it slaps me in the face - the color-matched lower grille. Maybe they read my mind - j/k :) It was a quick little chop, but one I was pleasantly surprised to see was actually spot on! :)

2014 VW GTI

Confirmed Edits:

ChopDescription
Grille Change Re-colored the grille insert to match body color
All source photos copyright original owners


Friday, March 29, 2013

Rendering Comparison: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse MCE

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after

Rendering Comparison: Welcome to my new segment on AR where I'll be comparing my renderings against the new production vehicles. This will mostly apply to MCEs that I speculate on from time to time.

So let's get down to business with the original vehicle and my rendering. Then we'll see how close I got to the real deal.

I did the MCE (show above in blue) early after the release of the original Traverse (shown above in silver). I found the rear end lacking details so I redesigned it to align more visually with the Equinox.

When I saw Chevrolet actual MCE for 2013 (see below) I was blown away buy how close many of the alterations I did were actually made!

2013 Chevrolet Traverse

Confirmed Edits:

ChopDescription
Tailgate Moved tailgate handle to bottom and grafted the license place area from that of the Equinox
Tail Lights Added clear lens to outer light housing.
Rear Bumper After moving license plate up into tail gate I smoothed over the bumper cover for a unified look

What do you think - pretty close huh? :)

All source photos copyright original owners


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rumored: 2014 Malibu MCE

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after

Personal File: There has been a lot of talk about the sudden about-face - literally - on Chevrolet brand vehicles. With the new Impala and updated Traverse, Chevrolet has set about to remake their now established split face grille.

Not surprisingly, the 2013 Malibu was unveiled and later released without the new corporate face established with the vehicles above. Development had long since been done. Rumors flew and were confirmed by January of this year that an unplanned 18-month MCE would be done to "adjust" the look as well as address rear seating concerns and other issues.

Wondering how the new "beak" would look I decided to try a rendering similar to the Cruze I did last year. I've seen online where many artists have simply copied the entire Impala over the front of the car but I doubt it will be a literal Xerox copy. My theory is GM will spend as little money as possible on hard points and focus instead on the hood, front fascia, grilles, and lighting assemblies.

Using my newly integrated Before-and-After plugin, here is my take on what the MCE might look like. What do you think? Click around the image or move the slider to view different areas of the chop. Or click the before and the after buttons below the rendering. Comments on the rendering or the new plugin are appreciated!

I just read on Jalopnik the new face might be making a special appearance at New York NAIAS - that would be a great way to end a great showing for Chevrolet! It has been a great show for GM.

All source photos copyright original owners