I Designed A New DeLorean That’s Better Than The New DeLorean Designed By DeLorean

Dmc Top

It seems like there are vaporware high-end EVs being released with eye-rolling regularity at the moment, and a few weeks ago after some flashing of thigh on social media, the DeLorean Motor Company whipped the virtual covers from it’s Alpha 5, high-coin, five-meter long behemoth that, gull wing doors aside, bears no resemblance to the original DMC-12 whatsoever. A commenter suggested that I have a go at redesigning the DeLorean, and seeing as we’re customer service third around here I’ve had a go. Good job I just got my flame suit back from the dry cleaners.

So we’re all on the same page, here’s what the original, 1981 DeLorean looked like:

Dmc 12

For reference before we get into the re-design, right above there is what the new, re-born DeLorean company’s electric Alpha 5 looks like:

Dmc 2views

And below, my re-imagined DeLorean:

Deloreansideautopian
What do car designers like? Black clothing and fancy watches obviously, along with die cast models, expensive sneakers, and door stop coffee table books about design. But what car designers really love is the chance to re-do a classic car.

One of my favorite projects when I was a student at the Royal College of Art was one where we had to do just that, and then got the opportunity to show our work and be judged at the prestigious Salon Prive show at Belnheim Palace (where sir Winston Churchill was born). I ate a lot of free lobster on the finely manicured lawns that afternoon.

Fun fact, the DMC-12 was actually the development name for the DeLorean; the name was based on its projected on sale price of $12,000, a target that it spectacularly missed. In fact, it ended up costing nearly $26,000. It was never officially called DMC-12 in marketing materials or anywhere else.

The car had an extremely problematic and convoluted development that at various points saw it utilizing a wankel rotary, the 2-liter straight four from a Citroen CX, and the Ford 2.8 Cologne V6. In the end it wheezed out of the showrooms with a different 2.8, the PRV (Peugeot Renault Volvo) unit. With a Renault gearbox, steel backbone chassis and a plastic body covered in stainless steel panels, it was essentially a reskinned Lotus Esprit – John Z had handed production development to Colin Chapman of Lotus.

Deloreanr3qautopian
When looking for someone to pen the exterior of his dream car, Delorean went to the Turin Motor Show in 1974. Looking past the traditional Italian carrozzeria, he was impressed by the modern crisp wedges of one up and coming young marker wielder, Giogetto Guigaro, who coincidentally also designed the original Lotus Esprit. After barely two years on sale and with about 9,000 cars sold, the whole adventure collapsed into bankruptcy, amid accusations of missing British taxpayers cash. The British government had been one of the main backers of the project, including building the factory in Northern Ireland in an attempt to bring jobs and peace to the troubled province.

Today the Delorean an icon because of it’s starring role in the Back to the Future trilogy. John Delorean himself wrote to the producers to thank them for immortalizing his car – but it nearly didn’t appear at all. Ford was willing to back up a large money-truck if the producers changed the car, prompting producer Bob Gale to retort “Doc Brown doesn’t drive a fucking Mustang.” The Delorean’s stainless steel body (because according to Guigaro, Delorean didn’t want to pay to install painting booths in the factory) and science-fiction looks suited time travel perfectly.

So I had to be careful. For time reasons I didn’t do a ton of sketch exploration for this. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do and jumped straight into Photoshop. I’ve given it a more modern glazing treatment, and updated the front and rear lighting graphics for a trendy pixelated pattern. Finally, I smoothed off the body and integrated the bumpers into the bodywork like a modern car.

Deloreanf3qautopian
Normally in the studio when updating an existing car you would do a few proposals, ranging from evolution to revolution; something quite safe and expected, something radical and something in between. This definitely falls near the evolution end of the spectrum but I feel it captures the spirit of the original while sympathetically updating it.

So as usual it’s over to you for your critiques, comments and general mischief making. Does this look like something you want to bolt a flux capacitor into, add a Mr Fusion and hit 88mph? Or would you rather stall it across a railroad crossing to be smashed into pieces by a strange train that appears out of nowhere?

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72 Responses

  1. Getting a strong Isuzu Impulse vibe from this, particularly from the front 3/4 view. Of course, that was also a Giugiaro design, so not a big surprise, and definitely not a bad thing.

    But I have to agree with others that it is a bit too evolutionary. Maybe shoot for a true wedge design with a straight line from the top of the windshield to the front of the hood/frunk-lid.

    1. First yeah crap redesign it’s nothing new and looks a dog ate it’s own turds and puked them back up.
      However, the other redesign looks like some kids edition of one of those little pine car kits in cub scouts with wheels way to big to be functional.
      Hey you want to hold DeLorean to standards you need to obey them to. Your turbine wheels are not fitting in the space it’s just crap for appeal.

    2. It’s always tricky. If I’m brutally honest there was an element of ‘designing for the audience’ here. I didn’t want to go too far and then get derided for it. If I was doing this in a studio or for my portfolio I probably would push it further.

      1. If there’s a website that can handle “out there concepts” its wherever Torch is – you’re sharing front page space with “This Is What Cars Would Be Like In A World Full Of Dragons”.

        The haters looking for normal can go back to Motortrend, give us the weird and bold!!

  2. Love it. And it reminds me – can we please see more turbine wheels in real life? The future my childhood promised is now here so let’s see ’em already! How is it electric cars don’t all have them?!

    But this exercise (and the Alpha 5 and all its drama) does raise an interesting philosophical question – is DeLorean properly a single car or a car company? What makes a DeLorean a DeLorean?

    As in, it’s hard to know what a correct one should look like when there’s only been a single model that was made for two years. So there’s not really a ton of heritage, only a snapshot in time.

    It may be the only car venture that has this problem?

    1. After the original company went into bankruptcy a British engineer bought all the assets and existing stock of parts (the Delorean Motor Company in Texas). It’s the same company that has shown the Alpha 5 EV.

      It’s well known John Delorean was thinking about further models, including a 4 door, that would have been styled similarly to the DMC-12.

      So you’re kind of right, in that their heritage is really only one car, but what a car to have.

  3. Adrian- the Bishop here… what I am particularly please about in your design is addressing an issue that bugged me since my pre-teen eyes saw my first image of the original on the cover of my Road & Track magazine. You are NEVER NEVER going to match the color/finish/look of the stainless with the rubber bumpers, so why try? In design you’re always taught that if it can’t be a match, or if parts can’t always line up, etc., DON’T DO IT. Just allow it to contrast. Cracking good solution.

    1. Getting bumpers and fenders to match is one of the hardest parts of getting a car into production. You’re dealing with different materials that hold different radii, different surface quality, different suppliers and all the while trying to maintain the highlight quality across the panel gap. I’m sure you’ve seen it in photos where OEMs can’t manage it and it looks like a paint mismatch.

      Being a designer is not just about drawing pretty pictures – it’s about solving problems to an acceptable aesthetic standard. Glad you like my solution – it seemed logical, pays homage to the original yet modernizes it I think.

  4. See, this is a tremendously good design.

    The secret to a ‘retro’ car is that either it must be a total departure from existing designs while retaining elements of them (PT Cruiser, HHR) and let the chips fall where they may, or it must keep what made it iconic in the first place. That does not mean copy and paste, unless you’re a shitty designer.

    Adrian is not a shitty designer. Adrian is in fact, not paid nearly enough. I have serious, SERIOUS problems with the front though.
    Like, seriously, Adrian. Come on man. That huge cut’s going to generate serious lift problems, and the badge is right in a high pressure area! What were you thinking? You gotta take it all the way in, or all the way out, not in between! And the fuel mileage guys are gonna have your head. Just… right to the guillotine, man.
    Look, just give it a damn fine chin spoiler with some brake ducting, maybe some LED fog lights, and we got those CAFE and performance numbers in the bag.

    1. Yeah to be fair the front view is the one I was least happy with, and it probably could use another go around. The original did have quite a high nose because it used the same springs front and rear, so it was massively over-sprung at the front. It wasn’t, as many assume, because of Federal bumper height regs.

      You usually need to keep the nose high these days for pedestrian impact regs, but it’s less of an issue for mid-engined cars. The front view is more about showing the down the road graphic, but I agree it could possibly come down slightly.

      1. Yeah, I was more poking at how it curves upward at the outside; aero and packaging would probably both lose their minds about that. And yeah, the suspension on the original was… bad, to be generous about it.
        Making it flat on the horizontal with a sharp curve at the edge (I am SO not an artist and know it) would solve the worst lift and turbulence issues without significant changes to the look. Basically make it ‘flatter’ on the horizontal, with deeper cuts to the edge but terminating parallel to the wheels. (Would probably need to move the DTR graphic inboard a few inches, but minor detail in the grand scheme of things.)
        Addressing underbody flow could easily be done with an invisible underbody tray up front, with an optional ‘handling package’ that adds a stealthed airdam below and NACA cuts for brake cooling inboard of the DTR graphic.

        And to give you some idea how much I like this design, I already figured out the drivelines. Something that looks this good, that looks this modern, deserves only the best driveline. That means high power, high reliability, high tech. With a definite torque bias, because we want it to feel American in power delivery, European in handling. There’s only one choice there and it ain’t the Ferrari Tipo F163. Hell no.
        It’s the Hyundai Lambda II RS T-GDi. There’s only one problem: there is no transverse setup for it. And we’re not using the notoriously awful GM/Ford 9 speed, a transmission so bad one of the partners refused to use or even build it. So we’ll be using a modified Aisin F8F family, which would be the F8F55 rated for 450ft/lbs. (Our Lambda II makes 365ft/lbs, the F8F45 tops at 350ft/lbs. We’re not detuning that much.)
        I’d love to do something unique and interesting with the switchgear inside, but the fact is that everyone gets all the same junk from the same suppliers. There’s no differentiators left there. Everybody has the same ‘LED in dial’ temperature controls, same window switches, etc.

        Bear in mind, said production version would be under LVMA rules. So we’re spared many of the usual problems; we just need Hyundai to tell us what catalytic converters they want it to use. Obviously I’m thinking more ‘grand tourer that doesn’t suck’ than ‘sportscar’ here though.
        The other option would be to eschew the transverse RWD setup entirely and go for a transaxle/AWD-capable design. But then we’d be a little too true to the original with catastrophic cost over-runs. 😉

          1. Or – hear me out here – we set up DeLoreanCoin which is totally an algorithmically pinned stablecoin which isn’t 100% bullshit honest, sell a few million of them, reverse merge with a SPAC, price the first 10 at $2.5M each on an invitation-only basis and promise they’ll be powered by a Koenigsegg Freevalve V6 making eleventy billion horsepower and gold plated bodies with bespoke ostrich leather interiors.

            Then we pay ourselves all the money as ‘special consultants,’ declare bankruptcy, sell all the IP to ourselves for a dollar, and actually make the real car.

            … oh, who am I kidding? Neither one of us could make it past the first sentence with a straight face.

          1. The EV that was being thrown out as the second coming of Jesus Christ not only does not exist, it will never exist, and it will never be produced. Period. That’s not opinion – that’s just fact.

            Adrian’s design here as it sits, could be put into real serial production under LVM rules. In order to meet LVMA rules, you must use a new, emissions legal engine from a tier 1 manufacturer used in current model year, emissions certified, production vehicles. There is no EV exception, and even if there was, see above re: cost overruns.
            By using the Lambda II and modified Aisin F8F45, driveline development time is all but eliminated, as well as any legal questions. (That’s why the F8F; the ECUs, which are emissions covered, are already set up for 8 speed automatic.)

            In other words: it’s a car that could realistically be built, sold, registered, and road driven. Legally. Today.

            1. You’re high. Noone could fit in let alone see out and drive this design without Teslas auto pilot but actually working.
              And in the words of Johnny Cochrane if the wheels don’t fit you must crush this piece of crap.

            2. Ok, now I’m completely lost. Not only am I lost, I’m mired to the rockers over here, can’t even figure out which map I should look at ( LMVA >clearly< isn’t the Louisiana Medical Veterinary Association! ), and can’t see an identifiable road from here ( “…you MUST use a…engine. There is NO EV exception … ). I read those last 2 sentences several times, and they seem to say that ALL cars MUST be designed around ICE, which I’ve never heard of-and doesn’t make any sense to me. You are in the industry, and I am not: please give me some clarification here.

              Not trying to be contentious here; I’m genuinely asking for help understanding.
              Thanks

              1. Also, I should probably elaborate on federal VIN versus VIN. Because they are two totally different things and it matters far more than people understand. Partly because Florida will register a banana if you give them 6 random letters and numbers. VINs apply not only to complete cars and trucks but also to motorcycles, trailers, incomplete vehicles, and LSVs.

                A VIN is nothing more than a serial number for a car. i.e. I can give something I build a VIN of DN2022010D002, affix it in the prescribed places, and for registration purposes? It’s still worthless.
                So I can have the state inspect the car (varies by state,) and they will then decide whether or not to issue a state inspected VIN. A state inspected VIN is vital because it is an actual specific legal process which legally certifies that the vehicle is compliant to the state’s satisfaction based on their personal inspection of it. But you’ll note that these state VINs don’t follow any consistent format.
                That’s because a state issued VIN is exactly that: a state issued VIN. No other state is legally obligated to observe or comply with it. They can require you do a new inspection and get a new state VIN to transfer title if they want. They usually don’t, but, them’s the laws. And the federal government does not recognize state VINs. See eCFR 49B, chapter V, part 565.
                To quote in part:
                “Each vehicle manufactured in one stage shall have a VIN that is assigned by the manufacturer. Each vehicle manufactured in more than one stage shall have a VIN assigned by the incomplete vehicle manufacturer. Vehicle alterers, as specified in 49 CFR 567.7, shall utilize the VIN assigned by the original manufacturer of the vehicle.”

                Then they go on to explain what’s involved in a 17 digit VIN to make it federally legal. When you import a car, the Registered Importer (not the government) is required to inspect the vehicle for compliance with placement, and then affix a ‘substitute for US VIN’ label which does not alter or obscure the original manufacturer VIN.
                That VIN is a federal VIN.
                No state can refuse to recognize or register a federal VIN, period. All 50 states must recognize it as a valid, US legal, federally compliant VIN. They can object to registration for other reasons, but they absolutely may not say or do shit about the VIN. Any state altering, modifying, or insisting on an additional state-issued VIN is in violation of federal law. That 17 digit VIN assigned by the RI is absolute law throughout the land.

                As a manufacturer, it’s rather different, but actually really easy and why companies have wanted LVM for a long time. If you want to be able to issue your own, federally legal VINs, it’s about a five step process. Step one, pick a US permanent resident to serve as your agent for service of process. Step two, obtain a WMI# from SAE. Step three, tell the NHTSA about yourself – who you are, what you make, what letters you’ll use to identify your manufacturing locations – forms 565 and 566. Step four, submit your equipment and tire forms. Step five, receive your manufacturer identification or confirmation that you are a low-volume manufacturer (identifier 9.)
                You’d think being government paperwork it’s a nightmare, but it’s seriously not. And step two is not required for low volume. You register for and log into the NHTSA’s manufacturer portal, you fill in the blanks, and you receive your manufacturer identifier. Seriously, it’s easier than taxes, and shorter too. (BTW, if you make warning triangles, you need to fill out your form 566 damnit! Yes they’re covered!)

                And seriously. That’s it. Do those five steps, and you can issue federal VINs for your trailers like NA9GC404XNC000325. Which would be a 2022 low-volume, gooseneck ball, 40′ specialty with 4 axles manufactured in wherever you want C to be, and the 325th one made.

                1. You’re high. Noone could fit in let alone see out and drive this design without Teslas auto pilot but actually working.
                  And in the words of Johnny Cochrane if the wheels don’t fit you must crush this piece of crap.

                2. Ah: makes perfect sense now. Thanks for taking time to drop that on me!
                  I’m going to copy & save this as it’s a much better explanation than I could glean a few years back when my bil was worrying about titling a Super7 clone here in Virginia. If I ever have occasion to use it, I’ll certainly include attribution.
                  {thumbs up emoji}

              2. Haha, sorry, and no worries. It’s a VERY complicated topic and there’s only a handful of people out there who really understand LVM[A] or the rules around it.

                LVM[A] is Low Volume Manufacturer [of Automobiles], a very new and hotly anticipated change to EPA, NHTSA, and DOT rules around replica, kit, and low (sub-1000/year) production cars. We (as in the industry writ large) have been screaming for this change to have final rulemaking for close to a decade. I’m not in the industry full-time, but it is my side gig, and since I do major engine work it’s something I have VERY much kept a close eye on.

                The reason LVMA is so massively important is because it gives builders and modifiers a legal avenue to engine installation and replacements. Prior to LVM rulemaking, I could not in any way legally build say a replica Alpine A110 and install an engine. Period. I could deliver to you a chassis and body, and nothing more. If you installed an engine, this car still could not be legally registered or operated under federal rules. It just absolutely was not possible. Because my chassis would have to actually get a model year, and comply with federal requirements including not only emissions, but also lighting, crash testing, airbags, the whole works.
                Under the finalized LVM rules, nearly all of those federal regulations are set aside and a manufacturer does not need to complete lighting, crash testing, structural, or emissions testing. And can assign a federally legal VIN and provide customers with completed cars – engine and all – that can be legally registered and operated on public roads. With one very big caveat.

                In order for your low-volume car to be permitted to do this under the rules, you are required to install an engine from a tier 1 manufacturer (e.g. Ford, GM, Hyundai, etc.) used in a current model year production vehicle, or a tier 2 manufacturer (e.g. Cosworth, Cummins, Yamaha, etc. – companies which make engines but do not make vehicles) who has sought and received emissions certification for a specific assembly, and which is sold to you as a complete, emissions-compliant assembly.
                What this means is that you can only install an engine which is sold to you as a fully dressed longblock including emissions hardware. You are legally permitted to delete or modify non-emissions components (e.g. A/C delete, different radiator or thermostat, etc.) and to make necessary modifications for fitment (e.g. air filter assembly and plumbing, post-cat exhaust, vacuum routing,) but otherwise it must basically be treated as a sealed assembly.

                Because the LVMA rules do not have an exception for EVs (which are subject to stringent NHTSA, DOT, and EPA regulations including things like MPGe and crash safety,) any BEV is automatically prohibited. You could build one, but it’s a non-compliant which must be shipped sans batteries and motor and cannot be assigned a federally compliant VIN. You would have to find a tier 1 willing to sell you a complete powered chassis including crash structure.
                The real problem is that currently, there are no engines which are legal under LVM rules either. When the process started, GM introduced the ‘E-ROD’ series, which were federally compliant drop-in engines. Emissions complete, with ECU and transmission package. They could have been used if rules were finalized. But NHTSA dragged ass for literal years, GM priced them ridiculously (the 2.0 LTG 6-speed package was about $20k and completely inflexible,) and AFAIK the current small-blocks have not been certified. They’re also incredibly expensive – the LT4 is $21k and the LT1 wet sump is $12k.

                This means for anything like that, your only option is to make a deal with a manufacturer to get them to certify an engine package for ‘crate’ sale, and then get them to sell you the crates (which will involve things like minimum order quantity and minimum spends.) Which yes, means you’re right back to the tens of millions of dollars to get in the door – but at least it’s not hundreds.

  5. Looks like you’ve designed an Ioniq5 coupe as much as a Delorean, not a surprise given the Ioniq5 clearly used the ‘80s futurism look for inspiration, and almost certainly specifically the Delorean.

    1. Looks like the original in a matchbox redesign.
      I’ll have to be honest I am not a fan of the cars he’s putting out. But hey nobody is designing cars for my demographic so maybe they actually are good.

    2. High praise indeed, thank you. The Challenger is a modern classic no doubt they absolutely nailed it. Mike Castiglione was the designer I think. If you follow my writing elsewhere I’ve covered the Challenger and what makes it work so well.

  6. Hopefully we, as a society, have gotten beyond the idea that “it looks like a Kia” is an insult, for Kia has made some fine looking cars and has done some genuinely risky things like the very unconventional new Sportage. Because the Alpha 5? It looks like a Kia. It would fit perfectly between a Stinger and an EV6 on a dealer lot.

    Yours kinda makes me think “what if Zagato did a Delorean” which is an interesting thought.

    1. Yeah Kia have recognized value is only part of the equation, customers have to desire your cars as well. They’ve generally been pretty tidily styled (the Optima and first two generations of the Soul I thought were excellent).

      I should have given it the trademark Zagato double bubble roof!

  7. I dig your take but I’m admittedly fairly indifferent on an updated Delorean because I continue to find little to like about the car, even 40 years later.

    This “Delorean EV” is a pretty clear case of “How do we get investors to give us money, some of which we might spend on designing an EV?” “Got it! Give it gullwing doors and call it a Delorean!”

    1. “This “Delorean EV” is a pretty clear case of “How do we get investors to give us money, some of which we might spend on designing an EV?” “Got it! Give it gullwing doors and call it a Delorean!””

      I think this is pretty on the money (ha!) so to speak. There’s a lot of investor cash sloshing around in the EV space as they’re all looking for the next Tesla. It’ll be interesting to see if they show the actual car at Pebble Beach, as doing the 3D model and producing some nice renders is the (relatively) easy bit.

    1. I don’t mind the wheel arch, though it’s a bit excessive. And the tires seem to stick out to the sides, aren’t there laws about that anymore? (Whether they’re enforced would be a different question.) It’s the wheels themselves I hate, but I guess that’s just me. The body does have a nice DeLoreanish feel, unlike the current “DMC” incarnation. The fact that the stainless steel is because DeLorean was too cheap to have a paint shop is a fascinating tidbit. Me, I’d prefer a hatchback, but I’m not the expected market, unless MSRP is under $20K.

      1. Also wasn’t the first delorean a piece of crap on Tesla scale? Bad panels over promises under delivery? In the movie Doc Brown needs to get the Delorean up to 88 mph, I heard a Delorean can’t go that fast.

        1. The Delorean can go faster than 88 mph. The problem in the movie is that US federal regulations limited the speedometer to 85 mph. The movie had to mock up a speedometer that went beyond 85.

      2. Yes there is legislation about wheel arch coverage, in the EU it’s 30 degrees forwards and 50 degrees rearwards of the axle center point.

        Designers always exaggerate the stance of their sketches, simply to make them look cool. Remember when you see the sketches released as part of a new model launch they are not development sketches – they are done over a 3D model of the final design as part of the marketing build up.

  8. I like the front and back… particularly the lights.

    However the wheels are too big, the tire sidewalls are too small, the roofline is a bit too low and there is no space between the body and wheels for suspension travel.

    Oh and the tires are also too wide for the body work.

    The real challenge to making a car concept drawing is to make one that looks great while ALSO looking like it could be built exactly as it looks and not be a nightmare to drive or live with.

    While this concept drawing looks nice, there is no way a production version would look like that… or if it did, it would be unusable as a car.

    1. Exactly that allows Adrian an advantage in the design contest. But given he has at most s couple days an advantage is okay. But I can’t get past the fact his designs look like they are put through that AI program mentioned in the article a few days ago and it spit this out. Everything looks like a cartoon Transformer and is non functional

    1. It’s important with this sort of thing that you attempt to meet peoples expectations of what the car should look like. People have an emotional connection with cars the cars they love.
      That’s where the Alpha 5 completely misses the mark. It’s very generic and could be anything from any company. It doesn’t have any of the visual themes or details from the original.

  9. For me, that flat windshield was part of that late 70s wedge design and is something I personally remember a lot about the DeLorean, so I would have found a way to keep that for the revision as well. But maybe that would have been too “retro”? You’ve gotta break some eggs to make an omelette and all that.

    1. See my comments below. But even flat surfaces and lines on a real car have some curve or ‘crown’ to them, so they have some tension. Otherwise they can look flat and hollow.
      For scales sake you wouldn’t necessarily indicate it on a render (although I have put in a tiny amount), but you would incorporate it on a full size clay.

  10. Can I just say thanks, not just for the design, which I like a lot, but for hanging out in the comments and explaining your thinking, the design process , and how it works the larger process of birthing a car (ouch!). It’s very cool that you are sharing your passion with us.

    And we don’t need crates of beer to start a modern DMC. We need a briefcase full of….not beer. You know, for tradition.

    1. Twinkies, right? A briefcase full of Twinkies.

      Part of what I’d like to do is lift the lid a bit on the actual design processes and thinking, and how it works in the real world. Design is a weird thing that lots of people THINK they can do it, without really understanding what design actually is, like when uncle Pulltab ‘designs’ a pick up by hacking the back off some poor unsuspecting sedan. Or when aunty Housecoat ‘designs’ cake sale flyers using MS paint. You know the drill.
      I quite often see people saying car companies are not trying or they should be building this that or the other. The reality is designing and building cars is a tremendously difficult, capital intensive fine margin endeavor. The fact OEMs get it wrong doesn’t prove they don’t know what they’re doing; it actually shows how hard it is to get it right.

  11. I’d like to see big personal luxury sedans given the modern treatment, not like the Merc S Class Coupe, but the American personal luxury sedans brought back : The Chevy Monte Carlo (70-88) The Ford Thunderbird (80-97) Chrysler Cordoba (75-83) and Dodge Mirada (80-83)

    1. You wouldn’t do it sketches (because of the scale) but real cars very rarely have dead straight lines, the reason being at full size a straight line will actually appear to sag in the middle. For this reason, lines that look straight have a small amount of Z height change in them, usually just a few mm. Stand at the end of a car, crouch down and look along the body side and you’ll see what I mean.

  12. It just doesn’t speak to me as a DeLorean. Other than the taillights, it looks more like a slightly modernized and flattened Lotus Esprit with cartoonish wheel wells. It’s too flat to even look like a real car, and that hurts it even more.

    DeLoreans bodies are made of mostly flat planes because stainless steel sheet doesn’t bend easily and consistently over large, soft or complex contours in a die press like other alloys of steel and aluminum.

    Thinking more about what made the original the way it was might result in a design that feels more authentic. But most of all, this doesn’t look enough like something a human would fit properly into.

    1. Fair-ish point, but these days it’s possible to stamp very complex pressings in one go – look at the front fenders of the new Defender, or any of the Bangle era BMWs.

      I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. At this early stage of the design process it’s about the themes and the ideas. If you look at any design proposals they are always exaggerated to an extent. Once a theme is chosen to go forwards to a full size model it gets a lot more accurate in terms of package.

      1. Neither Defender nor Bangle BMW are stainless steel. Part of why Tesla’s Cybertruck is claimed to be made of such primitive polygons is the difficulty of forming large sheets of stainless steel consistently.

        To give an idea where I’m coming from, I don’t like to see designs that are either clearly impossible to manufacture as shown, or obviously impossible to serve in the role they are designed for. Impossible to manufacture becomes possible when we stretch the envelope, so I’ll admit to flexibility there.

        I do respect your version of presentation far more than I am conveying here! It seems that you’re accustomed to showing things in a much earlier, more vulnerable state, and I look for things more ready to roll. That vulnerability is extremely valuable.

        I know I seem harsh and overly critical, and I apologize for that. My personality is more engineer than designer.

        1. I’ve written in more detail about the design process elsewhere, but at this stage ‘how do we build it’ is not really a consideration. This is the early creative stage of the process – you can’t edit a film before you’ve shot anything, or remix a record before you’ve laid down all the tracks. It might sound a bit pretentious, but that’s the way the creative process works. It’s the same with cars.
          The Cybertruck is going to run in to all sorts of problems. Everyone I know with any industry experience laughed when they saw it.

    1. See my comment above. I do agree, that yes had the car remained in production there would have probably been four generations at least so the design would have evolved further – but it’s such an iconic shape there’s certain expectations that come with that and making too big a leap can alienate potential customers who like the original.

      Also, higher end customers tend (although this is a big generalization) to be quite conservative in their tastes.

      1. Ah! So now we come to a key question. In these exercises do you design for:
        A) what’s right in your eye
        B) What would you know will sell
        C) What you think Autopians want to see
        Certainly when someone in corporate is signing your check, I imagine you try to promote A as much as possible, but ultimately have to deliver B. But what about here?

        1. A roughly equal mix of all three. I really only have time to do the one proposal. In reality if this was a commission or I was doing it in the studio I’d do a few more proposals, some a bit more extreme. It all depends on what the person paying wants. I certainly wouldn’t put forward something I wasn’t personally happy with, but sometimes you have a great idea, render it up and it doesn’t work. Sometimes even in sketches something can look great, but by the time you add detail and color it loses something (you can be very dynamic and expressive in simple line sketches, but you can also fudge a lot!).
          Jason & David didn’t give me any brief, they just let me go at it, so this is entirely my ideas of what could work.

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