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Old 02-16-2009, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Photoshop fun: GM Volt with racing disc wheel covers (and fender skirts.. and more!)

With GM fretting over and bragging about how it nit-picked every last aerodynamic detail on the so-called production version of the Volt (see Video: discussion of several GM Volt aero features ), it's surprising that they chose styling over efficiency for the four air blenders the thing sits on.

By air blenders, I mean those chunky open wheels that carried over pretty much unchanged (except scaled down) from the concept car to the production version they've shown to the media & public:

Concept:



Production (so called):



We already know that smooth wheel covers are low hanging fruit. (See: Experiment: smooth wheel discs tested A-B-A - 4.6% mpg improvement @ 65 mph )

So what would the Volt look like with that oversight cleaned up?

Photoshop to the rescue!



They look pretty good on the car. Of course you can debate aesthetics until the cheap oil runs out, but I think they go well with the Volt's overall look.

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Old 02-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree! Most discs (IMO) look awful, but those look pretty good. No reason they have to be bright silver either...they could be painted with patterns that, when spinning at 55mph, make other drivers see optical illusions!
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Optical illusions... or hallucinations! Hypnotize the other drivers (you will buy GM stock... you will buy GM stock...)

You're right - they could do any number of things design-wise, and still have a relatively smooth wheel surface.

Dark looks interesting too:

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Old 02-17-2009, 05:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like. Where can i get them??!!!

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Old 02-17-2009, 07:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i got a little carried away... with my all time fave rims



i think it actually brings back a little of the original concepts brutality and smooths out the production version further at the same time

Last edited by lunarhighway; 02-17-2009 at 07:31 AM..
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice work! Whose rims are those? Are they off a Firebird?
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not a fan of black hoods, but that looks great Lunar! Love the air dams too.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Are they off a Firebird?
jup, and no other than KITT from knightrider...
i remember i already liked those rims when i watched the series as a kid
i can't see why all carmakers are so hung on these spoked alloys... since rims are more of a fashion item than a functional design these days why not go for something else, especially when it actually improves FE for free.

since the roof was black/transparent, and i just deleted the grill i thought the dark hood might be a simple drag free design feature to give the front some extra weight.... i was also a bit inspired by these late WW2 American planes where they just polished the aluminum skin to save weight and perhaps reduce drag...but most importantly production time i think ... only top of the nose and sometimes part of the engine nacelles where painted in a flat green to keep reflections from blinding the pilot...

but thanks to the magic of photoshop layers here one without it... the front needs a bit more attention but whatever...
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Man, you're skilled at Photoshop!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarhighway View Post
jup, and no other than KITT from knightrider...
i remember i already liked those rims when i watched the series as a kid
You've got a good eye for good aero. Phil mentioned that specific Firebird wheel style in his post about wheels/tires drag thread. That's why it popped to mind when I saw it.

Quote:
1982,Pontiac Trans Am Firebird wind-tunnel studies show Larry Shinoda's trick aero wheel-covers trim 0.027 off drag coefficient,compared to a open wheel.
source: aero mods-data-% change or Cd change ( installment # 7-Wheels/Tires/Wheelcovers/etc.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Moonies

"I will buy GM stock---------- I will buy GM stock------------" Sorry! Just thinking about the wheels got me going.----------- The look is really elegant,especially with the absence of the fake grill.Perhaps we'll have a Volt-modder soon.----------------- In next month's AUTOMOBILE they're saying that the Volt will be the first 100-mpg hybrid.Is that what everyone is hearing?-------------- I'd feel a little better about the bailout if that materialized.

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