AutoDissection MINI CONCEPT…

Photos courtesy of Motoringfile.

Transition. A term frequently used in reference to design. As in, “How will this transition to the final?”

Many things are lost and gained as designers go from a concept rendering to a final production model. And it’s important to keep this in mind. Hard though, because our perspective constantly shifts. Initial emotion is instigated as you see the photos for the first time, evoking a ‘gut reaction.’ This results in things like “WHOA!’ “YIKES!” “BLEAH…” or “HMmmm.”

I put these two images right next to each other so that you could see the actual before and after, but understand that changes are imminent. A rendering does not fit people into it, nor conform to a budget. The vehicle on the right,… does. Now, there ARE things that work well and things that don’t. Let’s get into what doesn’t work first…

The thing about doing a concept is that this is done to show the public what you’re thinking of doing. Not, what you ARE going to do. So, the elements that make the rendering so cool are the subtle ones. Wheel size, front light and grille treatments (Final looks like a Carp). Squat window height. These are all elements that DID NOT make it to the final, giving the car a less aggressive feel, making it more “unrefined.” No designer would want to hear that, especially since they’ve been working on this probably for the last 3 years. But things like wheel size is a no brainer, and someone should have caught this one. 22’s on the concept, 18’s on the final. Not a big deal, but worth it to maintain flavor.

But, as I mentioned… let’s keep perspective. Kind of like the fact that life is a tree. Depending on where you’re sitting, your view will only give you so much. If you’re dying of thirst, sitting at the bottom of the tree, then you’re not going to be able to see the pond that’s 200 yards away. So, make the effort to climb up and shift your perspective so that you can get a better view to judge. That being said…

What works. They call this THE CONCEPT. As in, an idea. It needs to be judged as such. Here are some ideas. Good/bad doesn’t matter. What matters is that they took chances.

What if we made the mirrors a different color? What if MINI made an SUV? What if we had funky doors? What if the center pod on the inside was a lit globe? (Go to Motoringfile to see all the photos.) Over a 3-4 year period, a lot is discussed and done to question whether these ideas are sound or not. Point is, MINI thinks forward and I respect that. They think “unusual,” …and we ALL respect that. And despite the “Carp Mouthed” front on the final, this is like a said… A Concept. They did this to see what YOU think. And if enough people like it or don’t like it, will determine it’s destiny.

I say build it. I say build it with the concerns I’ve expressed above. Who am I? No one really… Just your customer, like everyone else. I know what I don’t like, but have no idea what I like until I see it. The emotion that this conveys to me? Interesting IDEA. Is that what you’re looking for? Would I want to BUY it? I’ll keep an eye on the showrooms and see if you take me seriously or not.

Oh, and btw…

Every now and then, I try to share something I come across that helps to improve us all. We love cars and movies, but it’s important to take care of ourselves so that our passion stays firm! The better we “think,” the better we’ll feel.

Here’s a link to some FREE things I found that hopefully, you guys will like. Really great stuff as it works from the inside,… kind of like our cars.

Be your best!!

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Interesting weekend. July 4th ended with a bang.

Unfortunately, the bang resulted in breaking my hand. Literally. You shoulda seen the fireworks, but that will be another post.

Due to the pain in my hand, I’m extending this week’s Clubman name contest to Friday. I will announce the winner  along with doing another Dissection. KEEP THE NAMES COMING!


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Blog Dissection 001 CHEVY CAMARO…


Okay, here it is because YOU asked for it. “BLOGDISSECTION.™” Like my show on MyRide, “Auto Dissection,” only… it’s on my blog, duh. And since it’s the first one, I’ll call it… #oo1. Isn’t it neat how I thought that up? I’m just kinda deep that way.

Whatever… Here we go.

The CAMARO is here. …Almost.

A very long time in the making, …and there’s a huge list in Santa’s lap for this one. So why? Nostalgia? History? Power? Design? Well, …all actually.

But, since design is my thing, and this is “BLOGDISSECTION™,” that’s what we’ll discuss.


I’ve chosen silver to look at, mostly because the form is easier to read. And that’s what car companies do for the first few passes. No glitzy colors, but straight forward design. And this car rocks in many ways.

I’ve seen the Challenger and Camaro both up close. The Challenger is beefy, muscled and aggressive. But the Camaro is like a 50 yard sprinter with a six pack, groomed for the red sharp launch. Lean, ectomorphed and ready for serious power sprints.

The design captures all the nostalgia of the original passion, but it is now sculpted as if carved from Michelangelo’s magnetic fingers. If you were to take the wheels off and fill in the space, a beauty of a speed form it would be. Camaro fanatics will rock this car hard, and get in serious trouble with the cops. I anticipate a girth of tickets flowing through the system, funding all sorts of neat things.;(


There’s an interesting “pinched” element along the beltline that gives the impression of a lean waist. I dig that. A hip that diverts into the waist, then egresses up to the shoulder in front. Looks as if it’s been chopped and channeled. That’s the language. I’d call it “Pinched Surfacing.” Bitchin.’

The greenhouse is also lean. Tight, small glass gives a cocooned feel, or cockpitted. “Enter this space and we’ll launch,” it says. But be ready…


Tail lights are robotic. Following this beast is intimidating. But, my MINI would take him…;-) A three door wagon is a push. Interesting, but it may fall the wayside of the Magnum. Although, at 2 side doors, the lean waist still works.

As an overall design (I don’t know the initial conceptualist), this is a very successful approach. Although, coming to the table a bit late, it should do very well. So, where is it??


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