Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wouldn't You Really Rather Have a Buick?

Buick Verano GS coupe—Ever since the compact Buick Verano was introduced, as only a 4 door sedan, I've wondered what a two-door, or three-door bodystyle would look like. Illustrated above is my interpretation of a three-door hatchback Verano GS, the hottest variety of the newest small Buick. The chrome "eyebrows" over the taillights have been the subject of criticism, but rather than delete them, or make them smaller in some way, I've enlarged them and made them reach all the way across the rear quarter panels to the door handles. I think it's time that chrome side moldings, in a tasteful manner, make their way back onto American cars. In this application, they help emphasize the rear "hips" and lead the eye up and over the rear fenders, wrapping all the way around to the Buick logo on the rear hatch lid.

The original photo I began with, the Verano 4-door sedan. Thank you, Photoshop®!

Shades of the Pacer and Citation?

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Z11 3-door pillarless hatchback—Um, that would be the AMC Pacer and the Chevy Citation, not the Edsel Pacer and Citation! Not readily apparent in this view is the fact that the passenger door on my 3-door Cruze would be 4-inches wider than the driver's door, just like the AMC Pacer. This would be a marketing decision to help counteract Hyundai's new Veloster, which has two doors on the passenger side and only one on the driver's side. The Chevy Citation reference is in the name, Z11 for the sports model illustrated. Chevy's first foray into front-wheel drive, the 1980 X-body Citation came in an X11 sport configuration, but since Chevy now has the Corvette ZR1 and the soon-to-be-released Camaro ZL1, I thought the "Z" precursor was more relevant to Chevy's 21st century than "X." Also note Chevy's now-traditional twin grille has been eliminated for a smoother appearance, slightly lowering the hood in the process. Original photo was the concept car of the upcoming Cruze 5-door hatchback.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Six Doors You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Audi A8 luxury coupe—This pillarless coupe would have standard Quattro drivetrains consisting of hybrid and turbo V8s and the mighty W12. Audi could really use a competitor for the Mercedes Benz CL series and this large pillarless coupe fits the bill to a "T." Click on images to enlarge.

Saab 9-5 Hybrid Coupe—The new 9-5 is available only as a sedan and recently-introduced Combi-wagon so I've created this low-roof Hybrid coupe. I added the aluminum/black rocker panel trim to complement the front air intakes. There would be a similar treatment on the rear bumper housing quad exhausts. I lightened the grille slats slightly for a little more visual interest. I really think this bodystyle would give Saab a great halo car.

VW's Jetta hasn't been produced in a two-door body since the 1980s when it was merely a trunk-backed Rabbit/Golf. I've used the new "American" Jetta sedan as a starting point. I've shortened the rear overhang and made the roofline more of a fastback—it would now be a hatchback. I lowered the roof slightly and gave it artandcolour modified wheels from VW's original CC concept car.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Barber of Seville Shaves Off Two Doors

1983 Seville Elegante Coupe—The "bustleback" Seville was available only as a 4-door sedan, but I've always wondered what it would look like as a pillarless coupe. I moved the front wheels forward several inches to give it the appearance of a longer hood, also tucking in the front bumper a little. I made the distinctive sloped rear deck slightly more horizontal to go with the "faster" roofline I gave this coupe. Other changes include a slight reshuffling of trim pieces and the fitting of much larger wheels—covered with 20 inch wire wheelcovers, lol. I think this car would have been a natural for Cadillac! 

The Return of the Toyota Supra-car!

This is my interpretation of a new Toyota Supra, a mainstream supercar missing from Toyota's lineup for a decade. I based mine on the ├╝ber GT, the Lexus LFA. I changed the lower body, tucking it under instead of the Lexus's almost flat sides. The front clip is totally different as well, reflecting Toyota's lower price, lower top speed and more plebian role in life, with larger headlights evocative of the last Supra, and fog lights for more of a production look. I added "normal" door handles, larger taillights, turn indicators in the mirrors, new wheels, and a few other "Supra" details. I like the way this car turned out. I doubt any new Toyota would be as cleanly styled as this, they really have a very bulbous aesthetic these days, but we can always hope! 

Two Doors, Four Seats, Ten Cylinders

Chrysler 300 Nassau Coupe—The "new" Chrysler Corporation really needs a top-shelf luxury coupe. "Halo" cars, those special limited-edition cars that help bring customers into the showroom, are a time proven sales device. Mine would use the ex-Dodge Viper V10 engine and powertrain for a totally unique driving experience. Pillarless construction adds a high-end look, and the lengthened front clip, enlarged fender flares and rocker panel vents all contribute to its rightful place on the top-shelf of Chrysler stores. This platform could also be rebodied for sister-division Lancia as a revived Gamma coupe.

Another Hit for Kia's Schreyer

My Kia Rio 3-door, created from the just-released images of Kia's new 5-door in Autoblog.com. The photos were released by Kia ahead of the new car's debut at the Geneva show. It looks to be another hit for Kia's designer, Peter Schreyer. His designs have continuity and freshness, a balancing act he accomplishes with ease and elan. My version is a fairly basic 3-door, keeping all of the rear seat room of the 5-door. I changed the side windows and taillights a little, and added wheels from the Sportage. Perhaps Schreyer has a sportier coupe in mind, and if he does, I'll predict it's going to be hot.