For decades optical tuning – improving the looks of your car – was something which was the exclusive domain of a certain automotive subculture. The successful movie series The Fast And The Furious with actor Vin Diesel paints a romantic picture of tuning scenes around the world. Until recently the aim with optical tuning was to make the car look more equivalent of a high performance race car.
That was then, but this is now.
This decade has brought a completely new style of car tuning. It steps away from any racing heritage, but the aim is to create something out of the ordinary.
Here are some examples.
The Rolls Royce Ghost is already an exclusive car by itself, but Swiss tuner Mansory can help with creating a total unique and individual piece. In this 2010 case, the color is a unique blue, they added a golden grille, various golden ornaments and monstrous 22-inch one-piece – two tone wheels.
The slogan of tuner Mansory is “more than tradition, more than racing”. Whether or not Mansory appeals to your taste is not the issue here, the slogan clearly communicates the different path in tuning they have chosen. It is to make cars extraordinary but not by adding functionalities found in race cars.
When Kia America wanted to create something special for the New York Auto Show they teamed up with DC Entertainment the publisher of legendary iconic characters, such as Superman, Batman and The Flash. The Kia Sportage Wonder Woman is an eye-catching car with its red, white and blue paint with spangled sides, an aggressively low body kit and a WW logo grille.
And if you are still not convinced we might have a trend here, then take a look at this third example by Smart. This one is called Smart Forjeremy. It is a result of a creative collaboration between Mercedes Benz Cars Advanced Design Studios and the LA based fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Scott is known for his attention-grabbing clothing and his designs are embraced by celebrities like Kanye West, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The Smart Forjeremy was first presented at the 2012 LA Motor Show. The faux-feather flourishes light up when the brakes are applied. Also this Smart Electric drive has special propeller-inspired wheels.
But the biggest news came this week while the Smart Forjeremy is on display at the Shanghai Motor Show. Smart announced that it will actually do a limited production run of this outrageous car. Smarts in-house tuning company, Brabus, will produce the Smart Forjeremy in the coming month in three engine variants including a 55kW electric motor version, a 60kW electric motor version and a 75kW petrol engine version.
I am sure we are going to see more of this kind of optical tuning in the future. Only one question remains. Which car brand is next?