Entries in Concept Car (6)


Friday Moment of Zen

The carrozzerie of the 60s and 70s had a certain formula for publicity photos.  Usually the car was parked in a gravel quarry or in front of a modernist building and a chick in an outlandish outfit is draped over the car. Here is an example par excellence submitted by our friend Off Camber.

The car is the 1969 Ferrari 512S Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina.


McLaren F1 Design Study by Marino Binni

Given the recent spy shots of the next generation McLaren F1 floating around the internets, there is much speculation about what the car might look like. Designer and longtime McLaren fan Marino Binni offers his own concept of what he'd like the car to look like. "I didn't want to to copy the look of the F1 but rather be inspired by the compactness and 'feel' of the original," he says. You can click the image below to enlarge it.I find the wheels particularly fascinating, and I like the clean side crease, accented by a very neat and interesting side exhaust treatment. The overall proportions are close to the original car, but the most direct reference is in the shape of the door cut lines. Otherwise the car feels very Italianate to me, and very nicely done! Bravo Marino!


Taking Estoque of things.

I'm posting this photo. Just because.


Cadillac Steals the Show at Pebble Beach Concept Corral

Pebble Beach was sensory overload for most attendees, myself included. But one standout among all the beautiful cars I saw was the simply sensational Cadillac Ciel Concept. They should have just called it the Eldorado, because this car wholly deserves the illustrious name bestowed upon it. The car has an extremely long wheelbase, allowing the surprisingly clever surface transitions plenty of time to flow gracefully from one to the next. The result is a study in elegance, fluidity and subtlety.  If the crowds of delighted onlookers were anything to go by, I wasn't the only one smitten by the big convertible land yacht. I heard statements like "Now that's a car!" and "Wow. That's really beautiful!"  This isn't at some mall parking lot, folks. These are comments being made 20 feet away from 2 Bugatti Veyrons and a putting green full of the latest exotic supercars from Europe.  It all made me want to shake Ed Welburn's hand, but I chickened out when I eventually saw him at the Concours.

The placement of the Ciel next to the BMW 328 "Hommage" (the extra M is for Mengele, I suppose? What else could have inspired such an atrocity?) only served as a snapshot of everything that is right and wrong in today's car design landscape.

The 328 "Hommage" Concept had horrific, stubby proportions, a pastiche of mismatched styling cues and textures, a mess of intersecting and folded surfaces that would give even Frank Gehry indigestion. It was ghastly, and actually made me disgusted to see the mighty BMW reduced to such a sideshow freak. Placing an original 328 next to this hideous abomination only rubbed salt in the wound. I bet all those people who hated on Chris Bangle for years wish they had him back.  His 328 MM coupe "homage" was brilliant and innovative, by the way.  My vote for most irritating design detail on the 328 Concept was the inexplicable ornamental double hood strap made of leather, which clashes horrifically with the semi-matte carbon fiber of the body. The Ciel, in contrast, was bathed in such perfect, luminous, lustrous paint that even rivalled the quality of Peter Mullin's "Best in Show" winning Voisin. Seriously.Honorable mention in the Concept Car Corral goes to the Jaguar CX-75. While many people squinted trying to see what if any E-type cues were in the car, it is clear that the designers were looking at the Jaguar XJ-13 for inspiration, with more than a passing nod to the XJ220. It's funny that Jaguar doesn't make much marketing hay around the XJ220 which is now almost 20 years old and still looks sensational (I saw one at the RM auction preview looking every bit the supercar). In particular, the rear end of the CX-75 bears close examination. It's a great interplay of flowing lines and aggressive elements working together. And it instantly says Jaguar. I would love to see this design theme translate into production Jags. Tomorrow.Last but certainly not least was Jason Castriota's "Shelby SuperCar (SSC)."  Now I've been pretty harsh on Castriota in the past, and I still think his talent to hype ratio is way off balance. However, I thought the SSC is probably his manifesto work, as it combines all his signature styling elements into one very cohesive package.  The car has a very slippery, aeronautical feeling to it that I quite liked, and I really loved some of the surfacing details along the bodyside.  The car has a lot of presence in person and I must give credit where credit is due.The Alfa TZ3 Stradale was there, and failed to impress me. The new McLaren was also a yawn. Even metallic chrome-look paint couldn't save it from looking hopelessly outdated when placed next to Castriota's car and the new Aventador. I'm sure it drives better than either of them, though...

Click HERE for the full Gallery!


Bertone's B99 GT5: Jaguar XJ12C Reborn!

I really loved the overall look and feel of Bertone's B99 Jaguar coupe concept at Geneva. I think it captured the Jaguar ethos better than the marque's current offerings.  But I must confess I loved the outlandish racing version of the car even more than the "production" version of the concept. The aggressive haunches and proportions instantly recall the Broadspeed XJ12C racing car campaigned by British Leyland in the 70s, and the wild spoilers and diffusers bring to mind some of the crazy Japanese Silhouette racers from the 80s.  Sure, it's a bit wacky, but after the trauma of the Alfa 4C, the Saab PhoeniX and the BMW Concept, it was a nice salve for my eyes. Check out these awesome renderings released by Bertone!