Andrei Avarvarii

By on July 7, 2008

am_vanquish_2_s_ttac_01_02.jpgJames Bond had a lot of magnificent rides during his extensive career. Aside from the iconic Aston Martin DB5, I consider the Vanquish to be the quintessential Bondmobile. The Vanquish was AM's flagship for seven years, until Aston "temporarily" replaced it with the '07 DBS. The S is a dramatic design, but all those holes in the hood, carbon-fiber insertions and big aprons make it look "overtuned." It's a little bit too flashy for those of us who prefer to be stirred, not shaken. (Aren't Lambos supposed to be the whip of choice for the guy that shows-up at the party with gold chains around his neck?) James Bond himself doesn't seem to be too fond of the DBS; he keeps destroying it. In 2010, we'll the Vanquish's "legitimate" successor. Meanwhile, I took the liberty of photochopping one for you. You may notice that I preserved some elements from the original car, like the prominent rear shoulders, the round fog-lights and the chrome accents that begin at the base of the A-pillars and join under the rear window. The rest was just an effort to keep it simple and elegant. Aston heritage speaks softly. And carries a big stick. 

By on July 6, 2008

bmw_3_shootinbreak_ttac_01_02.jpgEarly last month I showed you my impression of the future BMW 3 Series PAS. I promised a look at the other 3-wagon derivative, the shooting brake. Et voila! I've allways had a soft spot for the shooting brake. Their mixture of style and practicality makes me wonder why this genre isn't more popular. I imagined the Bavarian model with a glass roof (very popular with wagons and sports model these days), big wheels and a sloping back (enough to get a clear difference between this and the "normal" wagon). I've also included the side ornament present on the CS Concept and on the recently shown 7-Series. Bespoke LED lights and other details should differentiate the car from the rest of the 3s. The idea of an old Aston Martin's perfume mixed with the dynamics of the latest Bimmer makes me excited to see this car in the flesh.

By on June 30, 2008

lr_7-seater_s_ttac_01_02.jpgAfter purchasing Land Rover, Tata aren't wasting any time trying to turn the British brand into a cash-cow. Apparently, introducing a new seven seater, based on the Freelander is their first move in this "Roverlution." Yes, they already have a seven-people carrier in the Discovery. But in these fuel-fastidious days the ol' trucks seem a little… out of place. The new car is said to be more road-oriented. [Sigh. It had to happen eventually.] It will use the Freelander 2's elongated platform. Styling will be a mix of what we see on LR's smallest and the LRX. I struggled to maintain the rugged lines fans love so much while making the vehicle fit into the next decade. How often will seven people travel in the same SUV is still arguable. But I guess, knowing that you can transport an entire girls volleyball team is enough of a reason for some.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on June 27, 2008

ferrari_rearquad_ttac_03_01.jpgI was shocked the first time I saw the Ferrari 599. Such a sculptural and athletic body with a… Hyundai behind. Why? Why would they drop the iconic rear quad lamps that scream: "Ferrrrarrri!" even more than the exhausts?! Were they bored with it? Or just trying to differentiate those Italian bottoms once and for all from 'Vettes that can reach similar levels of performance these days? Whatever the reason, the only new Ferrari where the single circles seem actually justified is the P4/5, a hardcore racer with minimum elements for road use. Unfortunately the new California also uses the new single rounds lamps; even worse, they also removed the signals and rear white lights from the middle of the block (those are now underneath). I'm not the only one who feels this way; James2 contacted us with a request: "I do wish though that Ferrari (or is it Pininfarina?) would return to quad taillamps. TTAC's Andrei should do a photochop to see the difference an extra pair would make." Well, James, here you go. In addition to the 599, I also did the California with the top down and with the top up to show them how it should look. 

By on June 23, 2008

opel_astra_s_ttac_01_01.jpgOpel is undergoing a serious identity change. The GTC or the Meriva Concept shows a new dynamic line, with intersecting creases on the side and headlights and turn signals mounted on the outside corner. The Insignia– the Jeremy Clarkson anti-matter sedan formerly known as the Vectra– is leading the new design wave. The second Opel to bring the new style on the market will be the fourth gen Astra. The car offers significant stylistic changes. The entire Astra line-up will get more dynamic and exciting. Even the five-door model presented here will have a slopy back and some muscle. The ascending prominence on the sides will became an Opel trademark. Spy shots show that the grill will resemble the Insignia's prow; different headlights will ensure model individuality. The UK will get the Astra as a Vauxhall and the US as a Saturn. You remember Saturn, don't you?

By on June 20, 2008

ford_new_capri_ttac_01_02.jpgFoMoCo made use of the "Capri" appellative a lot in the past on a diverse collection of vehicles: the UK Consul Capri of the ‘60s, the Australian convertible of the early ‘90s and a whole bunch of Lincolns and Mercurys all shared that name. But, you don't really remember all of those, do you? And that's because the Capri that sticks in our minds is the coupe produced by Ford Europe between 1969 and 1986. The European equivalent of the pony-car was affordable, smart, sexy, and popular even in the US. Long story short, Ford wants the same level of the success all again and plans to bring back the Capri in 2012. While the idea is not exactly new, it seems that this time it's actually going to happen. Expected to follow Ford's new design language, the little coupe will get some genes from the Iosis concept. Finishing touches like the metal-grid side vents should produce the required amounts of flashbacks for the nostalgic.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on June 16, 2008

mb_a_coupe_s_ttac_01_01.jpgI was reading about Mercedes in the last issue of Auto Motor und Sport. Apparently, the German automaker's learned that the introduction of the A-Class negatively affected their premium brand image (Doh!). Things will be different for the entry-level mini-Merc come 2011. MB will ditch the sandwich platform and modular interior, and aim the newbie at a younger clientèle. With a dynamic silhouette, the new A-Class will appear as a coupe, intended to compete against the BMW 1-Series and the Audi A3 (the current CLC is sort of a C hatchback; bigger and more expensive than the other premium hatches). The cheapest of Merc's new platform is still under debate; MB officials are negotiating with VW, Fiat and BMW for a joint-venture for a cheaper front wheel-drive underpinnings. My rendering puts all that together and adds a dynamic sloped back, descending front window, new grille (seen on latest concepts) and the high-tech headlights we can expect for 2011. 

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on June 13, 2008

volvo_s60_mkii_ttac_02_02.jpgWhen it was first introduced in 2000, the S60 was a real "reVolvolution" (term used in the advertising campaign): a significant departure from the traditional Volvo boxy design. It used styling elements from the S80, but in a more daring manner. The (now) trademark Volvo shoulders are at their best on this car. But time flew by and the S60 has grown old and needs a replacement. Volvo officials say that the 2010 (way hey!) new car will be as revolutionary as its predecessor. Following the design language of the XC60 concept, the new sedan will even share the platform with the SUV. Novelties include the new large Volvo emblem and larger spaced letters in the brand name on rear. A wagon version is also expected.

By on June 9, 2008

nissan-_z_s_ts_ttac_01.jpgThe new GT-R from Nissan is a media darling, and deservedly so; a gran turismo with enough usable performance to tackle the Porsche Turbo. My question: does the GT-R still leave room for a smaller sports car like the Z-Series? The 350Z's decreasing sales and the increasing age (five years) tells us that the car will need a replacement soon. Hence Nissan test mules showing slightly longer and wider bodies. This "up-sizing" game has always amused me; the spot left empty by an enlarged car is often filled by a new "compact" model. Anyway, it seems the sixth Z will be a bigger, badder sports carl. I imagine the trademark sharp lines of the Z mixed with carbon-fiber parts (a CFRP roof would make sense), eye-catching LEDs and just a bit of GT-R. Enough to tell the two are brothers but not so much as to make the Z a GT-R wanna be. Let's see if fame runs in the family.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on June 6, 2008

lexus_hybrid_mpv_ttac_01_02.jpgThought that the LF-A will be a brand diluting agent for Lexus? Well, seems like the Japanese have something a lot better in mind for that job. Lexus has announced plans to sell a "luxury Prius." Lexus will present their HPV (Hybrid Purpose Vehicle sounds cheesy enough to me) alongside the next gen Prius at the next North American International Auto Show. Why make a luxury version of the Prius? God knows. I can only guess that tree-hugger superstars that used to drive Priora complained about the car's increasing popularity and plebeian interior. For this rendering, I tried to add some IS headlights onto a Prius. The resulting hybrid hybrid looked plain dumb. Once I decided that the "ordinary L-finesse" wouldn't work, I opted for some manga lines that emphasize the car's expensive-toy status. You know, Toyota might want to forget about the Hybrid Purpose Vehicle appellation, considering the whole human papillomavirus thing.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on June 2, 2008

bmw_3_pas_s_ttac_01_02.jpgThe relentless search for automotive niches is only getting started. BMW, for instance, will offer the next 3-Series as a sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible (with folding hard-top), shooting brake (two doors) and a compact PAS (Progressive Activity Sedan). They'll offer a total of three wagons, with light, strong and ultra-strong utility flavor. I can't say I mind the idea of a 3-Series shooting brake though, as I'm a huge fan of this body type. But that's another article. Right now, we're having a first look at their small PAS. What is PAS? Well they say it's sort of a crossover with plenty of room for all the family members and the dynamic capabilities to keep the male side happy (think X6 that shrank in the car wash). Expect the new BMW uber-grille (will be soon launched on the next 7-Series) and a more mature flame-surfacing treatment. And don't shoot the messenger.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here

By on May 30, 2008

maserati_quattroporte_vi_ttac_01_02.jpgFor the last 40 years, Maserati has delighted us with one or two generations of their unique grand touring sedan. Several famous designers have worked during the years to dress the finest Italian sedan in the finest Italian clothing. Successively, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Alejandro de Tomaso and Marcello Gandini shaped-up the image we have in the back of our heads when we think "Quattroporte." In 2003, Pinifarina sculptured (in my opinion) the best Quattroporte ever. I sure hope the the sixth installment of Maserati's largest will get to be penned by the same Italian studio. I've rendered the gen six Quattroporte under the influence of the Grantourismo, and tried to add some nerve to that front fascia (it looks a little droopy on the current model). Pretending to be one of the guys at Pininfarina sure was fun, especially because this is a special rendering for me — number 100 since I got in the business. Andiamo!

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on May 27, 2008

alfa-romeo-suv_s_ttac_01_01.jpgIt's a car… It's a beauty… It's Cathrine Zeta Jone's jewelry… No, it's the new Alfa Romeo multipurpose crossover always handy sports utility fashion lifestyle vehicle. Why? Because they are planning to take over the world and, apparently, the CX-over is the must-have for such ambition. I imagine the car as a blend of the 2003 Kamal concept (which is more like an SUV) and the 156 SW Q4, freshened up for the expectations of the next decade. The designers at Alfa are well known for sacrificing practicality and functionality for the sake of design; their wagons usually have less trunk space than the sedans. It's interesting to see how are they going to handle this… uh… MUV (MPV meets SUV) that it is intended to be more practical. I imagine another niche being born: the FAV (Fashion Activity Vehicle).

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on May 16, 2008

mercedes_cle_01_02.jpgCan you imagine side windows smaller than the peepholes mounted on the MB CLS? Well, even if you can't, the car-creative guys from Stuttgart can. And they will feature them on a smaller four-door coupe based on the C-Class. Supposed to be called CLE, the niche opener will fill the gap (did you notice one?) between the C's and the E's while offering a sexy alternative to the BMW 3 Series & Co. I tried to address the side peephole problem by cutting the front windows lower at their extremities similar to those featured on the F700 Concept. This way only the rear passengers will get claustrophobic. Web rumors are that the car will use "suicide" rear doors and I went for that. It is unprecedented in the class (the Mazda RX-8 is a 2+2), looks cools and eases access. High-tech headlights and just a touch of chrome (we know it has to have a few shiny bits to be considered an MB) complete the picture. Could this be the Jaguar X-Type everyone's been expecting? Wait and see!

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

By on May 12, 2008

subaru_coupe_s_ttac_01_01.jpgAs all of us without what is euphemistically called "a life" know, Subaru and Toyota have joined forces to design and produce a new pair of coupes. Toyota is no stranger to coupes, Subaru is. Stranger that is. The new cars will most likely be based on a rear wheel-driver version of the Impreza, complete with boxer blowers. The new car(s) will definitely be a breath of fresh air in the cheap-sporty-fun class, which is currently dominated by front wheel-drive cars. As a Subaru, we expect a somewhat, uh, "different design" (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition a gorgeous Subaru). I just hope the coupes won't share any genes from the B11S; a concept that was an evolutionary dead end way back in 2003. Keeping the lines simple would be so much better for Subaru– but it was hard for me to find a balance between my designer instincts and remaining faithful to Subaru's well-deserved reputation for aesthetic affronts. I have to admit I used the "unsexy-tool" on this one but only to make it realistic. I look forward to seeing how the real thing will turn out.

[For more Avarvarii photochopistry, click here]

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