Chevy Volt Camouflage Is Tough Business
The next generation of the Chevy Volt won’t be making a public appearance until January of next year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, meaning that engineers have been tasked with creating a Chevy Volt camouflage so successful that we pesky media folks can’t quite keep up. (Yes, engineers, not designers, create the camo that we often see on upcoming models.)
It turns out, this is pretty tough business for the engineers.
“If it were up to me it would be a shoebox driving down the road,” joked Lionel Perkins, GM camouflage engineer. “The design team wants us to cover more of the vehicle and the engineering team needs to have enough of the vehicle’s weight and aero exposed so that the tests in the development process are consistent with the product that will come to market.”
So what are some of the tricks that the engineers utilize to develop a Chevy Volt camouflage that, well, camouflages successfully? Here are a few that GM felt secure in sharing:
- 3D: Adding layers to the camo keeps onlookers from pinpointing exactly which model they are looking at, yet has no effect on airflow (if done correctly).
- Black and white patterns: You’ve no doubt seen this employed on many vehicles in spy shots; it’s certainly not the best option, but it does hide elements of the vehicle.
- Bubble wrap: Yes, really, the beloved bubble wrap comes into play.
- Swirls: Swirl patterns reportedly hide design developments quite well.
“Each car is unique. We are like a dress maker, and the car is our model,” explained Perkins. “No two models are the same. We need to make the right dress that fits the body we are dealing with.”
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