A week in the 2020 CHEVY SILVERADO DBL CUSTOM TB 4WD reveals the reason that it’s STILL winning…

As you know, we here at Fireball Publishing love trucks. Then again, we like pretty much anything with 4 wheels.

But with great design always comes a little bit of silliness. And that silliness comes in the form or Car Names.

There’s no balking that the 2020 CHEVY SILVERADO is a masterful stroke of truck, but DBL Custom TB 4WD? I think I’ll just stick with Chevy Silverado…

Design cues stay the same for 2020, so for the design-side… there isn’t a lot to talk about here. Although the Individualization of Trucks is key to any market, 10 colors helps. But as always, it’s your own personal touch on the Silverado that makes it unique.

Now that isn’t to say that right out of the box it isn’t unique. It is. And it’s been a winner of a truck since it’s inception. The only argument that some may have made is that the design isn’t as successful as the previous language truck. I’m on the fence about this because this truck simply looks good.

But at just under $45K, you can pick up the previous design for about half. And it’s a GREAT looking truck. Either way, you’re gonna have a smile on your face.

NEXT CHALLENGE. Turning this 15mpg beast into an EV. It’s absolutely the next evolution and Chevy knows it. The key is to be able to convince buyers that this 2020 is the BEST for now. Hard to do when they’re revealing an Electric HUMMER on the cusp. But we know the EV Silverado is coming…

Inside, the workforce is strong in the Silverado still. Luxury mixed with a utilitarian function. It’s a home office on the road in comfort and style. But this truck is really lazer-pointed to buyers that have a lifestyle that REQUIRES a truck. Inner city, not so much. Active Lifestylers… yes.

If you just want to get around, Chevys got some sedans… but if you want to take on the world and kick some ass doing it, then this may be the vehicle for you.

And if you can’t decide exactly what to do with all your stuff… (you know, the gear you bought on a whim), then toss it in the back and you’ll LOOK like you’re going places. Silverado again, for the WIN.

A super intense adrenaline week in the 2020 CHEVY CAMARO 1LT…

When someone tells you that a car “feels” like an extension of themselves, it “feels” like a cliche. I mean, how can a car feel like an extension of your arms legs… and ears?

But if you can’t understand how that can be so, let me explain by saying that obviously, you haven’t driven the right car yet.

This is not something that’s going to happen necessarily in a regular sedan and is most likely targeted to a performance car.

But I’ve driven virtually every kind of car on the planet and when I say that the 2020 CAMARO 1LT feels like and extension of myself… I mean exactly that.

It’s pinpointed accuracy is like a perfect Karate Kata… Each move directly focused to where you want it to go. Street, Track, Freeway, Driveway. It’s like a perfect suit that can be removed to an MMA Status, ready for anything.

The design has evolved slowly since this gen first came out and is getting leaner and meaner as the years go by. Less nostalgic and MORE EVOLVED. At this rate, it can only go forward.

Knowing Chevy, they are currently working on the NEXT GEN as I write this, being inspired by not only performance tech and mean design, but EV Hyper-power. You CAN’T have a 4-door Tesla be beating a Camaro, and they know this which is why this time in Camaro’s life it’s so EXCITING.

This next month marks the launch of our CAMARO Coloring Book and it’s perfectly appropriate as this mesomorphic beast is taking 6 hour workouts very seriously in the hands of enthusiasts. The design is sculpturally beautiful and the interior as close to a fighter cockpit than anything else. Even some Jets I’ve seen.

Mustangs and Mopars are also solid members of the Musclecar Family, but Camaro is piercingly serious about a focus and determined future. THAT… is clear by GM launching the EV Hummer soon and not a regular SUV. Nothing normal seems to be happening at GM right now.

I’m VERY excited about the future of Camaro’s intensity. Driving it for a week kept my blood pumping in the right direction and luckily, out of the pokie as it does make a fun car for the Malibu canyons too.

Again, an already sleek machine of road destruction and I anticipate more Transformers action in the near future…

A smooth week in the revised 2020 LEXUS ES300h HYBRID…

Sedans are plentiful with brands nowadays. So much so that it can be hard to tell them apart… were you to remove the badging.

So what are they doing to make themselves stand out DESIGN-WISE. As we are a design-blog, I’ll leave the tech stuff for the next guy and simply mention 44mpg, 2.5l 4cyl Hybrid Drive and a $53K Dagger.

When I look at cars, rarely do I see them as they stand but rather what they could become. They’re POTENTIAL. Something that makes them unique to you. And with that in mind, I’m going to include some Fireballness in all my design reviews from now on.

Case in point, this new 2020 LEXUS ES 300h. It’s an absolutely terrible name to call a car with no creativity at all… so we’re going to change it to the SHOGUN and give it a bit of flair below.

Out of the box, the Lexus’ “pinch” language is still working for them although slowly entering into it’s twilight years. Time for some freshness soon, but I’m sure that’s happening. The best part of this 2020 model? The INTERIOR. A sexy-cool space that pities the fool who doesn’t spend time in the rear.

Seriously, how many people buy these cars and NEVER sit in the rear. Fo-Shame. But the cockpit is smooth and sexy and really well executed with it’s material choices and sculpture.

EXTERIOR is still ok, yet feeling beefy. Quarter Ponder Beefy. It’s a big car for sure and with some color-change options other than silver, might help lighten it up.

Our SHOGUN mods reveals what could be done with this Lexus should you get a wee bit ballsy. Slight color separation in the body panels breaks up the heaviness and with the addition of some WARRIOR SPIRIT and larger blacken rims… helps to complete the setup.

Not a costly excursion should you decide to add some flavor to the stock version. Would be a sleek sled for slides to Vegas.

We like the 2020 LEXUS, but eagerly looking to see their language EVOLVE. The grills are big enough now and will pretty much take over the entire front end soon. We’d recommend sketch development and exploring areas of INSPIRATION. But as we doubt that Lexus is really listening, let’s just keep our swords crossed and drive on…

The reason that the 2020 GENESIS G90 kills it in the Luxury Car Market…

Fireball Coloring Books on Amazon

I’ve been in MERCEDES. I’ve been in BMW. I’ve been in JAGUAR. All are fabulous cars…

But for what you get in the 2020 GENESIS G90 at $72K, you’ll need to spend at least $150K on the models above.

Sure, you’re a Millionaire and spending money is like eating a bowl of Yogurt. But for many of us wanting Luxury but not wanting to drop our kid’s full tuition on vehicular contraptions, the GENESIS is it.

This being a DESIGN BLOG basically, we’ll get the stats out of the way first. The one I drove… $76,725. Fully loaded. 19mpg. Gold Coast Silver.

Okay, now that that’s outta the way, let’s talk coolness…

The 2020 GENESIS G90 is full-on luxury at it’s best. Each car that comes out is a steady improvement on the previous, although grilles are getting MUCH bigger on all cars. Not sure why, but whatever.

Eventually, all cars will be only GRILLES and you’ll just sit behind it. Hm.

Although I like the G80 better in design from Genesis, the G90 is more for the older market. It’s traditional lines are beautiful, but not racy. Smooth and elegant, but not aggressive. Perfect for those wanting to cruise and NEVER get on it. Although it could, pretty sure that drivers of this car will just want to chill.

The rear door is HUUUGE. And it makes sense as the rear is really where you’ll want to sit and do you work… all of the time. Full recliner seats, controls, everything that is up front. All it needs is a Presidential Seal and you’re good to go. Can’t imagine having to add anything else as there’s nothing left to do but snooze. Maybe add a masseuse?

The 2020 GENESIS G90 was one of those cars you don’t want to send back. I get a few of those every year, but should you be in the market to get some luxury, you’d have to be nuts to get anything else.

There really isn’t anything that I don’t like design-wise of the G90 and its evolution is steady. Their concepts are eager and interesting as well, but I’d like to know YOUR thoughts. Is there something you like better for the price-point? LEAVE A COMMENT below…

Take a look at Genesis’ site and build one for yourself.

Take a look at the 2018 Model here…

What makes the 2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T a EUROPEAN CAR??

I work with many car companies, but this is the first time with VOLKSWAGEN. I’m generally driving custom Bugs and Buses, but here goes…

Right out of the package, the 2020 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT feels European. But the strange thing is… that as you sit in the car, you can’t really identify why that’s so? I mean, it’s got a great looking interior, but something about it just feels Euro.

So, this was my quest. What causes something to feel Euro, Japanese, Korean? Well, it certainly doesn’t feel Euro so much on the outside as I asked people to guess what it was without seeing the badging… and the common answer was simply, “I don’t know.”

People appreciate the clean design from the outside, but the language seems fairly ordinary. Could be that it was SILVER. Or just another silver sedan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good looking car and a wise choice for a Pepperdine student with 27mpg and a $23K ticket.

But unless you love VWs, you may not be able to pick this out in a police lineup.

The interior is very clean, sleek and… yes, European. It may be the clean long lines of the dash. The simple and practical seats. Or the fact that you could take a hammer to it and it wouldn’t be affected. It’s solid and German, but that’s a tactile response.

There’s something classical about it. 80’s practicality and simpleness. No nonsense or fluff here. Volkswagen wanted to make a solid car that didn’t feel tinny, plasticky or cheap. For $23K, it’s a lightweight road-buster.

And as with most new cars, I look to see it’s possible modifications. It’s got a 2.0l 16V DOHC Turbo, front wheel drive and doodad hookups. All of them. Drop the car 2-inched, tint it, get it in black with black wheels and you have an Autobahn wannabe. Clean. Long. Solid.

We’ll be doing more Vdub as we go, but this one is a great start. For us… and possibly for you.

Design Review – The 2020 CHEVY BOLT still lays the EV Smackdown

Sure, electric cars are coming in at a whopping pace and Tesla is leading the charge. But hot on its heels is a car that not only is close to rivaling it, but has the potential to be a solid player.

Each time the Chevy Bolt rolls up to the Fireball Pad for review, I get excited. Sure, it’s a small runabout that may not be all that badass, but next to the roaring silent pull of the Tesla Model 3, the Bolt has a kick that is best not experienced after having lunch.

Design-wise, the 2020 CHEVROLET BOLT isn’t all that different. But 200hp and a 250m charge is solid as they come when others are still hitting 125m. The overall runabout package appearance is still attractive and given the right color, vinyl, tint and wheels, you could hit the Academy Awards like every other Pimp Daddy.

But the best part is that it’s unassuming, yet slick. GM Camaro language which gives it a racy quality that warrants a Speed Racer theme. Imagine, a white one with a big #5 on the side?

I’ve always loved the Bolt and there are many reasons to justify. But c’mon… it’s electric, makes no sound, starts at $36K and you can park it ANYWHERE. Plus, it can hold a crap-load of supplies from the hardware store in the back. Who doesn’t love that?

I had the Bolt for a week and the most fun I had was taking Kathie around. Each time she would take a sip out of water bottle, I’d launch. I may be in the dog house for a while, but boy was it worth it.

Interior still belongs on a Jetson’s Spaceship, although that probably won’t last into the next gen. But a hood mounted homing beacon bird isn’t out of the question. Guess I need to make a few calls…

The 2020 CHEVY BOLT is still an excellent choice in EVs so far… In fact, it may be in a class of its own.

Design Review… 2020 HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC ULTIMATE

Buy a KONA… TIKIfy it.

Man, the world is getting crazier and crazier out there. Technology is going off the chart and at the same time, we can’t go outside much to experience it. Or can we?

If you listen to enough people, read enough articles, watch enough news, you’re left with TOTAL AND UTTER CONFUSION. No one knows squat!

So, let’s just talk about a cool car, shall we?

Ladies and Gents, please find enclosed the 2020 HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC ULTIMATE. Or, as I like to call it KING KAMEALECTRIC.

At just over $46K, this Hyundai EV is the shizzle. A swift, zippy EV that not only feels well built, but is both large enough to carry yer shit and small enough to park just about anywhere. That is, IF there were any parking lots open in LA… which there aren’t. But that didn’t stop me this last week from driving the Kona pretty much everywhere to give you the goods. Doosh.

Tech stuff? Oh yea. Total range popped in at 265m on a full charge. Ceramic Blue with Cream interior went extremely well together, although I would be the first to TIKIfy this EV with Hawaiian print seats, a few leis and surf utencils. That is… IF the Beach were open, which THEY AREN’T.

If you want an EV, there are only three. Well, there are more, but these three kick it. Chevy’s Bolt, Tesla’s whatever-u-pick… and this here KONA. Which one would I choose? Well, $46K is a bit steep in this package. Well above the Chevy, but around the same as the Model S. Kinda.

For me, it comes down to design and this KONA looks goooood. Not necessarily OFF-THE-CHART good looks, but a great start. Gimmee some wheels, Tint, a Striper (not a stripper) and some vinyl and we’d be off to SEMA… which may or may NOT be happening.

All-in-all, the 2020 HYUNDAI KONA EV is a killer electric with kick-yer-ass pull. Not like a Tesla, but who needs barf in their car? Not me… I barely have enough Toilet Paper as it is. There, I’m done.

Design Review: 2020 JEEP GLADIATOR OVERLAND is the most fun you can have… on pretty much anything

Surf Woodies available on AMAZON

I have to be honest. The first time I got the Jeep Gladiator, I was fairly skeptical as I compared it to the Wrangler (I had one) and why having a truck bed in a Wrangler didn’t make any sense for me. But then… I had to carry some crap that week. Oh… this works.

What I mean is, until the moment you need a truck… you don’t need a truck. But when that moment comes (and it did with the Gladiator), you’re happy as hell that you have one and don’t have to borrow your friend’s embarrassing old beater.

Pretty much all you guys know that I’m a fan of the Wrangler for many reasons. One being turning radius, which the Gladiator doesn’t share. 3-5 point turns are the extra hassle and so is finding large enough parking spaces. But… like I said, when you need a truck bed to haul all the things you THINK you need to haul, then those other things disappear and you have a huge smile on your face.

The Gladiator started to be my new best friend once I realized that my Bike could go in the back without a rack. Kathie’s Costumes could be transported, no matter how big they were… unless they were Ellen DeGeneres’ Knocking Boots. Those would not fit.

But other key elemest that I love in the new Wranglers were pretty much all present in the Gladiator, plus the addition of hauling. I also liked the idea of adding a camper shell for camping/sleeping. It was a perfect size for a “snooze.”

Sure, Jeeps are rugged. Sure, they tackle and conquer the Rubicon and YOU NEVER WILL. Sure, it can go off-road on ANY surface, but yours is asphalt. But none of that matters. All that matters is that you FEEL like you can. And that, my friends makes all the difference.

Jeep has designed the 2020 GLADIATOR OVERLAND to “suggest” all the places you’ll go, but most likely won’t. But who cares. As long as that option is there, I’ll plunk down $56K for this all day long. Just for the sheer fact that someday… I might. I might hit the Rubicon. I might trail-blaze the Rockies. I might park it in the dirt next to my house. Might is MIGHTY when it comes to Jeep and the great designs reflect that.

When you buy a Jeep, you become Indiana Jones or Joans. You become Tomb Raider, She-Ra, Black Widow or Thor. But keep in mind that none of the billion options that come with the Gladiator come with a cape. That, you’ll have to buy on Amazon here.

Design-wise? Success just keeps breeding more success for Jeep. Good luck Bronco. You’re gonna need it.

Design Review… The 2020 DODGE CHARGER R/T SCAT PACK PLUS is all things DARK SIDE

My job in the movies is to design CARS. I do do other things as well (sets/props/costumes/worlds), but mainly cars. And as a Car Designer in the film industry, it’s my duty to create vehicles based on the characters who drive them. I do this with my Coloring Books as well.

Case in point, my Batmobile for the ’89 Batman movie was basically, Batman as a Car. But sometimes, it’s fun to connect a somewhat regular car to a film character.

The 2020 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack is one-helluva-car. THICK, brute force, but even docile enough to be driven like you’re an little old lady from… Santa Monica.

Design-wise, the car isn’t all that much different from previous models other than the vicious wide-body flares that work diabolically well. This is something an evil character could really get into. So who from film would drive this car?

Well, as it stands in green, not many. Green is not an evil character color. But if you can imagine it in Matte Black with conscious color codes of RED? I can see this beast being touted by DARTH MAUL pretty easily.

Room enough in the back for several double lightsabers and powerful enough with a 6.4L V8 to destroy just about any opponent within reach. MAUL would… well, maul them.

Sure, it only gets 18mpg, but it is a muscle car and it is $56K. It would set you back several Gundarks and a host of Baby Yoda rundowns.

But design-wise, the 2020 Charger is a dynamic player in a world of combustable engines and bulging fenders. It’s an endo-morphic older brother that seeks to protect you against haters. That translates to a great design that still holds up and is worth every penny.

In a world of things that want to attack and eat us, the 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack would be an amazing choice as you roam the deserts in search of blue milk and Tusken Raider Booty. I’m in…

Design Review – The 2020 TOYOTA SEQUOIA TRD PRO is challenged to stay relevant…

My initial response to the design balance between the exterior and interior language of the 2020 TOYOTA SEQUOIA TRD was a big surprise. It seemed like 2 teams from different parts of the world had handled each project without talking to each other. But then… the more I drove it, I started to see some connections.

At first glance, the Sequoia’s exterior is ruff n’ tumble. All truck, big, tough and very competent. Everywhere I went, people seemed to really like it. And the Army Green paint begged for Military Stars on the doors. Had it come with that, I’d pretty much feel that I had Carte Blanc to go anywhere.

It’s muscular yet graceful in a Boot Camp sort of way. No surprises, and you get what you pay for at $65K. Yes, you heard me right… $65K.

But that’s when things started to go south a bit for me. I really like the simplicity of the exterior design, but $65,000 gets you a big SUV truck that was designed over 10 years ago and comes with an interior… well, an interior that like the last Lexus I drove previously, needs a serious upgrade.

Lots of plastic, in fact it was 99% plastic. At almost a Luxury Truck price, I felt that wood, steel, chrome or gold leaf should have been in order here. Something. Anything. But no, the Truck is bare-boned plastic on the interior.

The final straw was the surprisingly low 14mpg. Now, I understand that things will get better with Toyota and I’m not bashing the Sequoia. In fact, all I need to do to get a small perspective is shift and go back 10 years.

When this truck first came out, it was badass. And all you have to do is forget about what’s been done in the last decade and the truck will be awesome once again. But competition is fierce these days and trucks need to measure up. Toyota is gonna need to step up their game if they want to be taken seriously.

Sure, a 5.7l dohc 32valve iForce V8 sounds epic. And it DOES haul ass, but Toyota knows what it needs to do to compete in the globalEV and awareness market. Let’s see if they do and whether the badassness will continue.