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Hugi Motors #BridgeTheGap (Update: A change of face)


#21

Rioter Mk.4: Back to roots, turning over a new leaf

The FRTX made waves during its presentation at Detroit. But when Hugi Aleixo revealed the R badge which laid in its C-pillar, the waves turned into a tsunami of hope. To add to that hope, Hugi later revealed the true meaning behind the FRTX intials; Future Rioter Template Xperiment. The car was not just a tour de force, it was the blueprint to a new Rioter. Bigger, badder, more powerful than ever before; back to being a true muscle car.

The Mk.4 family tree began in 1983, with the bottom rung belonging to the car above; the S. Did the “S” stand for sporty? Not quite. That “S” stood for “SImple”. The car’s bare-bones trim, featuring nothing but rubber, coupled with its limited equipment, meant this was the Rioter for the sports car fan on a budget.

Not many complained about such a basic sports car, mainly because it opened the doors to many who could only dream of the Rioters of old. There was a funny footnote about the S, however; when it was released, its 260-hp V8 was only an optional (a costly one at that). The car was intended to be sold with a weaker, much-smaller 4-cylinder. However, many derided that engine, gladly forking over the cash just for the claims of V8 ownership. Hugi, seeing the sales boost, claimed the 4-cylinder was a launch campaign special, and wrote the version off after only 3 months!

Obviously the S was more about confort that sportiness, but it was still a solid range-opener. But for those with a bit more wallet, the next rung awaited;

The CB. Again, many questioned what the CB stood for. Some claimed it stood for “Cruiser Bruiser”, seeing as that was the promotional tagline for the model. But eventually, and once again, Hugi Aleixo was the one to sort out the doubts. During an interview, he mentioned the following;

What does it stand for? Well it’s no king lion, but it’s no simpleton either. To put it bluntly, it’s the cub everyone hated years ago. Just because it starts out small, that doesn’t mean a cub can’t become a lion of its own…

So yes, the CB stood for “Cub”; the same nickname which had been used as an insult for the Mk.3 Lion, by fans who claimed it was too small to be true to the name’s legacy. To ensure those same “fans” felt shame in the action, the CB was sold as a luxurious model, a far cry from the humble roots of the Mk.3 Adding chrome to its trim and a premium 8-track system, the CB was a bit of muscle, a bit of elegance, all in one sharp-looking package.
The rear end was an example of this elegance; the bars in both the upper and lower rear vents were rubber-based in the S, but the CB had chrome all around. It is also here where you can see the most obvious influence from the FRTX; the long stoplight stripe, paired with angled rear indicators.

What about the heart of the Mk4.? Well, things had changed in the '80s, including the ressurgence of a familiar engine configuration;

The fans rejoiced, for the V8 was back in its rightful place. But technology had added a remix to the popular song; a highly-advanced, 32-valve SOHC head was available for all Rioters, as well as the multi-point fuel injection. For a car promoted with luxury as the CB, this pot of technologies was a great help with boosting sales. And for a year, the CB had to carry the flag as the most powerful Rioter, so every little bit helped. But there was only one name who could top the Rioter charts. And in 1984, the CB welcomed its big(ger) brother…


The Lion was back, and back with style. Gone were the Cub insults, the engine strangling and the tiny bodies. This Lion had more of everything; more power, more advance technology, and more speed than any other Lion ever had.

The V8, originally a 4.8-litre unit, was enlarged to 5-liters, still paired with the same 32-valve SOHC head and multi-point EFI systems. However, power and speed were a completely different league from the CB; 418 horsepower propelled the Mk.4 Lion to an astonishing 181 mph (the CB’s speed being 167), with 0-60 being dusted off in 6.1 seconds.

Of course, the Lion was not shy to admit it had all this; along with the CB’s chrome trim, the Lion added a rear spoiler, two hood vents and the famed Lion decal, the one aspect left by the unloved Mk.3. All Lions had two-tone paintjob, as evidenced by this example’s Dark Greens/Brutal Black combo.

Along with all this, the Lion featured Hugi’s first ever targa-top; the Topper. Featuring two panels which could be taken off at will by the owner, this system added a bit of fresh air (rather literally) to the Rioter. Lions had this equipment stock, while in the CB it was an option. As for S owners, unfortunately the best they could do was live with a basic vinyl roof. As it was said before, S for SImple…

Either way, the Mk.4 was a rousing success. With a Rioter for each sports-oriented mind, there was hardly any gaps unfilled in its range. From its birth in 1983 up until its death in 1993, the Rioter Mk.4 was back where it deserved to be; a true American muscle car, now matched to technology that made it easier to live with (and harder to live without). Was the Lion the king of all Mk.4s then, the ultimate definition of this success? Well, not quite. But that is a post for another day…

Specs (model order corresponds to the post’s):



Author’s note: It did take me quite a while to follow up the FRTX post with this. But the reasons were threefold; I was busy with personal work and the CSR rounds. Then it took quite a while for the proper '80s American body to show up (and many thanks to thecarlover for finally delivering that in the form of this C4 body). Finally, the rear end design was the cause of many headaches, trying to deliver something cohesive, era-fitting and car-matching. Here’s hoping it didn’t fail too badly!


#22

Not too shabby! As an advice, there’s just one thing that I feel is offputting, which is the popups. Use regular lights and change their material to body paint so you can get much tidier popups :smiley:


#23

Only one offputting thing? Hooray, I mastered 99.9% of Automation car design! Now to get rid of that pesky 0.01%… (approaches car with grindsaw) :smiling_imp:

I kid, I kid. Thanks for the advice! To be fair, I don’t really know why I went for the opened versions of the popups in this case… Perhaps the idea looked nicer in my head because it was period-correct.

But in the end, having exposed popups doesn’t really make overall the design that much better, does it?


#24

Fleuma Formula B/R: The Lil'Riot's last outing

Above the Rioter, Hugi’s lineup of sports offered nothing. Below it, however? There were multiple attempts to replicate the success of Hugi’s muscle car, all with different spices to sell more for less. This is the tale of what happened at the end of one of those attempts; the Fleuma.
The Fleuma had been born in 1983, roughly at the same time as the fangled Rioter Mk.3. Its key difference? The engine was placed right behind your neck, as opposed to being in front of your nose. The Fleuma had been created to combat foreign newcomers who were singing the praised of mid-engined ownership, fighting fire with gasoline.

As for the B/R itself, it was a swan song. The reasons why will be explained later, so for now the focus is on what made the B/R its own Fleuma. The entire project was delegated to EHSC, a California-based company responsible for convertible conversions amongst other limited production cars.

Design-wise, the B/R was given a pinch of luxury flair; along with the Fleuma’s stock pop-up headlights, the rear was entirely redesigned, whilst the front end received a new set of front grilles and indicators based on the Rioter’s famous Linkers. New rims, a rear spoiler and a T-top roof completed the set of modifications, coated in a funky purple-ish orange nicknamed “Miami Vice”.

But the B/R’s true calling car, as with most Hugi performance cars, laid in its unique engine configuration. Whilst the Fleuma had an array of inline-4 and V6 engines, the B/R threw a European wrench into the mix, by adding a Boxer-6 engine to the Fleuma’s rear compartiment! Its SOHC, 18-valve head was not a sign of finesse, but the overall product was still capable of 150 horsepower, and with a 7,700 RPM redline to boot.

Suspension-wise the B/R had to do with the Fleuma’s double wishbone/MacPherson Strut combination, albeit one modifed to tackle track situations. Still, despite an all-steel construction, the B/R still clocked in at less than 1 tonne, an impressive feat for such basic monocoque construction… Needless to say this low weight figure pleased many sports enthusiasts, who were beginning to enjoy the assorted specs of this special Fleuma.

As you can see, the rear end owned a little bit to its bigger brother. The Fleuma had been nicknamed “Lil’Riot” for obvious reasons, but EHSC ensured the looks were even closer to the Rioter, by adding more trim below the tailight set. Although some say EHSC’s true intentions was to mimick the FRTX. The triangle shapes at each end of the rear end were certainly not a clue. As for the grille on the bumper, that was added to ensure better air flow from front to back, in pair with the vent above the B/R’s engine.

Sadly, all about the B/R was clear proof of the writing on the Fleuma’s proverbial wall. Its production run, limited to 500 units, its unique looks, which no other Fleuma had. And also its rock-hard comfort, which further ensured the B/R’s status as a track-bound tool. Not exactly a sports car fit for Ocean Drive, as many owners (and their backs) proved.
The Fleuma’s early career, plagued by engine failures and a very controversial model, had led to poor sales. The B/R showed a lot of hope, but Hugi Aleixo would rather focus on keeping the Rioter going strong than, in his words, “backing an Old Yeller who’s already in the shed”. After 1987 the Fleuma was no more, leaving a sad bitter taste after such a bold swan song from such a little runt…

Specs:

Author’s notes: Before you ask, yes, EHSC is supposed to be a very tongue-in-cheek reference to ASC. My humour isn’t known for constant subtlety, much to my disdain… :sweat_smile:
Also, this car is meant to be a bit of a test, hence the whole “redesign” lore. In case the design bombs, it won’t be considered the Fleuma’s main design. Would you consider this a good design for all Fleumas? If not, what would you change?


#25

American Muscle guy: Oh, Nice! a corvette, what kind of V8 does it ha- (Looks at the engine) a boxer?? (TRIGGERED)


#26

It’s not a rival to a 308, C4 Corvette or 911 Turbo in terms of outright power, and that rear fascia is very divisive, but I’m sure it would easily leave a normally aspirated SW20 MR2 in the dust.


#27

So the rear fascia is divisive… Well, being the most designed area of the car, the risk of it being overdesigned was high. Looks like a few downgrades are in order.

Also, the Fleuma was never meant to fight 308s and C4s. The reasons are two-fold; A) the Rioter is sort of my Corvette, which automatically makes it the true 911 rival. B) Both for lore and my own inspirations, the Fleuma is intended to be a car that never fullfilled its true potential. A bit like a certain mid-engined GM product, you might say…


#28

This man has managed to fit a Rioter V8 into a small car! Hugi executives hate him!

Ok, not really. This silly title is silly because I wanted a fun start to this real-life announcement. And also because said announcement is more on the serious side of things.

Tomorrow, July 31st, I will undergo eye surgery to hopefully reduce the crutch that are my expensive pair of glasses. Needless to say, this surgery’s side effects will prevent me from working with anything digital for several weeks, if not a full month. It will be a bit like being hit by a million flashbangs, only with more darkness and less blinding glare. And you get to wear something over your eyes because any micro particle can ruin your day.

Thus, due to all this, all Hugi and CSM-related operations will be on hiatus until I make a full recovery. During this period I will be unable to answer any requests/doubts/memes, but you can still post said things if you so desire. The answers themselves will take quite a while to appear though, I’m afraid.
To the few who have stuck around during this quest of mine to design a decent front end (and maybe a full car when the stars align), you have my most sincere thanks. Here’s hoping my refined eyes can pull their weight and help make Hugi a better company overall, once this is all said and done.

And speaking of future Hugi products, I decided to throw in a little teaser for the next car in line within Hugi’s lineup. After all without it this would’ve been just a long pillar of text, and that’s no fun for sore eyes, right? Without further ado, here it is. Once again thank you for your words, and hopefully we’ll meet again.


Credit (and many, many thanks!) to @Mr.Computah for this wonderful ending postcard!


#29

Goodluck with the eye operation!

Sounds like corrective laser surgery though. I only had real issues for about 8 hours after the operation. After that it’s just a matter of keeping your eyes hydrated and clean to ward of infections or to disturb the laser cuts. But apart from that, the next morning I was basically recovered, so I hope the same for you.


#30

First of all, thanks!

Secondly, from what I’ve gathered after speaking to a few people, it doesn’t seem to be a laser-powered surgery. I am unaware if this is the correct English term, but the lenses I’m being given are intra-optical lenses. And presumably that type of surgery is not done with a laser…


#31

Ah, the more serious one, I understand the increased recovery time for that!
Laser might be involved (clean, computer-steered cuts are a good thing in your eyes), but the introduction of lenses is more intrusive.

May everyhting go well!


#32

Good luck with the surgery, hope you recover soon! In the plus side of things, this is going to be an improvement in your quality of life :smiley: hope to see you back around soon!


#33


Indeed; as the picture above states, Hugi is back in action!

And so am I, for that matter. After a week and few bits down in bed, the eyes are well recovered, and the doctor has given the go-ahead for my life to return to its usual paces.

So, what is this update about? My eye surgery and the adventures before as well as after it. Without further ado, have some pointers;

  • The surgery did not have the smoothest of starts. Once I was suited up, the first attempt at making a entry point for the serum resulted in a burst vessel. Talk about a hard knock before the right time! And finding another vessel still took a bit, mainly due to another reason…

  • …which was the fact one of my lenses was missing. Yep. I was in the waiting area with a botched drill and one lens was not even accounted for! Needles to say, the nurses and my operating doctor were in a craze trying to find it, whilst I turned to my anesthesiologist saying “if this is about to happen, it’ll be a very bad joke”. Considering my first attempt was cancelled due to lack of said anesthesiologist, I wasn’t feeling very hopeful at that moment.

  • However, after a while, the missing lens was discovered, and my surgeon didn’t even want to wait, as he took me to make markings on my eye for the surgery (which might prove this wasn’t done with a laser, @Private_Miros?). The nurse was still trying to find a spot on my left hand for the serum insertion, but screw it, markings first. And then I panicked a bit, because Mr. Surgeon said he wanted to use a needle for the markings. No can do, Doctor Nick. Needles are bad enough for me as-is, let alone on my god-forsaken eye! It may be childish on my part, but if I can avoid needles I’ll be a happier camper wagon.

  • And then, once the whole serum was finally done, onwards I went. Soon I was in the surgery room, the gas mask went on my face and the anesthesiologist gave the “order to sleep”. A couple of inhalations later, poof, knockout blow. Them anesthesia gas is good, could use some of that for rough patches of sleeping… I’d say the surgery took about two hours or so, but I can’t pinpoint the exact length. All I knew was that after waking up, I had an aviator-esque mask on my face (a fact my mother brought up quite frequently, haha), and thanked the anesthesiologist for his help whilst barely seeing anything.

  • The nurse was rather hopeful; she claimed I could watch TV and even get to the computer once I got back home! Psh, as if. Not when my eyes were like a late '90s WCW Pay-Per-View, because all I felt was Sting.* And to boot, my left eye was chock full of rheum, a fact which was further proven by a medical check next day. Fortunately, after one of the three drops I was taking was replaced with another to fix the rheum, the eyes felt better about three or four days. Still, screw this feeling in the chest with a mace. And then crush its crainum with it.

And, well, afterwards it was a lot of resting in bed, taking the visor off after three days and using sunglasses whenever I entered house divisions with more light. And watching Daniel Craig 007 movies. Some may say that’s not the safest thing to do with eyes, but I had already watched Spectre. As far as the bottom of the barrel goes, I had already gone through the dirt beneath the barrel. #sickburn

Not the world’s most exciting routine, but this is not a rule that I felt like breaking. Like Mr. Computah rightfully said, this was all about quality of life. It’s about finally ditching a near-quarter-century of glasses reliance, as well as ditching the very expensive-but-very-outdated pair of glasses I was wearing. Now I have nothing to wait for or be worried about with my eye health, and I can finally advance with all my personal projects.

Speaking of which, this “mysterious” black car will get its third and final appearance here somewhere next week. I still have some things to do this weekend, which is why I cannot reveal it straight away (if your memory somehow has forgotten the other car here with this body shape)… But once that’s done, Hugi and CSM will be fully back in biz. Hugi might even get a reasonable city car once this black beauty is revealed! gasp shock!
To Miros and Mr. Computah and those who liked the announcement post, many, oh so many thanks for the extremely kind words. Here’s to a more lively future for this thread, both in car variety and comments about said cars. One of these days Eida, one of these days… Bam, zoom! A good front end design!


#34

1993 Rioter Mk4.5 LRZ-1: One of a kind, last of its kind


All series have a period of change, with that one final episode to ensure true proof of irreversible chance, whilst still delivering hope of a follow-up. For the Mark 4 Rioter, that episode came in 1993.
There was a quick teaser that things were setting up for a finale beforehand, mind; in early 1992, the Lion was swiftly retired from the Rioter lineup, with many quickly guessing the Mark 4 dynasty was about to wind down.
However, something else caught the attention of the car press a few months later. That being the image of a Rioter armed with camoflauge, packing a rear wing and larger rims. Needless to say, this mysterious Rioter began a stream of questions; was it a mule for a whole new Rioter? Was it a swan song for the current one? Was it a testing car for new technologies?

The answer was a combination of the two latter questions; the ultimate Mark 4 Rioter, dubbed the LRZ-1, as seen above. The most technological Rioter at the time, featuring a multitude of firsts for Hugi’s quintessential sports car. The design was one of those firsts, in a way; gone were the pop-up headlights, replaced by new, more aerodynamic units designed and made in Japan. Next to these lights were triangular-shaped front indicators, also a far cry from the Linkers of old. They were affectionately dubbed “Pepper’s Roni” by the elite enginneering team behind the LRZ-1, which may or may not bring to mind a certain type of food consumed during development…

Along with new headlights, a whole new set of front grills occupied the front bumper. Alongside these extra openings were side vents and a new hood vent, replacing the double vent units found in the Lion. The grills around the license plate were taken from the Fleuma B/R, only now the chrome stripes were automated, designed to angle at high speeds to feed more air to the engine. Between these larger grilles and the smaller ones lied the fog lights, which were an optional for the LRZ-1. Mainly due to the car’s main goal, but we’ll get to that later…

The LRZ-1’s rear also featured significant changes compared to the old Mark 4. Gone were the long light stripes and divided trim. In its place, a chrome trim surrounding the lights and rear license plate, which united with the latter’s frame at the middle. The taillights themselves were also changed, as they were now based on the headlight units, with the only difference being the additional reverse light/rear indicator unit, almost making the entire set feel like a pair of eyes staring your down…

The Rioter badge was placed betweent the two exhaust tips, another new aspect to this Rioter. The tips themselves had their respective single-striped vent, which did not angle like the front grilles. As well as all this, aerodynamics were enhanced by a set of additional parts. These parts being a new bodykit, featuring all-around lips, and a new active rear wing, adjustable with three different modes (modes being Street, Cruising, and Racing).

The LRZ-1 was anything but subtle, even in the shade of stealth black featured in this example. So many were the external changes, fans began calling the LRZ-1 the “Mk4.5 Rioter”, as a middle ground between two very different ideas…

But of course, this Rioter would hardly be known as a whole new breed of Rioter if it weren’t for the tech underneath all the facelifts. And in the LRZ-1’s case, there was enough new tech to make a year-old Mk4 feel dated by 10 years…

Beginning with the chassis, the LRZ-1 replaced the monocoque of previous models with a brand new spaceframe, the first ever in a Hugi car. Galvanised to protect the car from use and abuse, this light frame was made lighter by the use of aluminum panels, another unusually elegant solution for a people’s sports car like the Rioter. All this combined made the LRZ-1 only a fraction heavier than the Lion, ranking at 1381 kgs against the Lion’s 1372.

Suspension-wise, the advancements continued; while the front suspension was still the Mk4’s double wishbone setup, the rear suspension featured an all-new Pushrod design, based on the company’s GT racing cars. Nothing else could do for a Rioter as powerful as the LRZ-1, and boy was there a lot more power.

The V8, based on the Lion’s unit, was further enlarged to 5.5-liters. The extra size was complemented by the most talked about technological feature of the LRZ; at long last Hugi made good on the FRTX’s promise and then some, by using an aluminum double-overhead-cam, 32-valve head to power this new V8! Designed in England by Hugi’s Croft branch, this beast of a V8 could safely rev all the way to 7000 RPM, all whilst offering 514 horsepower on tap.

The top speed may have been hurt by the aerodynamics (being rated at 300km/h), however don’t let that fool you. The LRZ-1 was designed to tackle corners with the grip and poise American sports cars were mocked for not having. It was made with the Rioter racing cars in mind, and nothing else. Most of the changes were made to ensure ability to cope with every track, in every spec, to the best of the driver’s abilities.

Yes, it was hard as a rock and hardly fuel conscious, but if that was your wish for a performance Rioter, you were not in line for the 250 LRZ-1s that were made. Under the tagline “One of a kind, last of its kind”, the LRZ-1 was a bombastic farewell to the beloved Mark 4, designed with only the most refined techologies on the market. Not only did it train Hugi to further develop these technologies for road and racing cars alike, it gave newcomers to the Rioter story one hell of a reason to watch the previous episodes. And it gave people a reason to stay tuned for a new season, too…


(Once again credit goes to Mr. Computah for the picture above)

Specs:

Oh, don’t change threads just yet. There is something else you need to take before you go. The LRZ-1!

That’s right, the LRZ-1’s car file is right here, as a celebration of both being the last Mk4 and my successful recovery from eye surgery. Enjoy, and let know if the experience was one of a kind! :wink:

Hugi Rioter Mk4.5 - LRZ-1.car (33.6 KB)


#35

Not a bad front at all! I think you need to add more detail on the rear (specially the lower part), but the ideas are there. If there’s something I need to say though, perhaps it’s a bit too boxy and edgy for what the 90s had in store, specially in '93 when a lot of these boxy designs started looking outdated.


#36

1983-1985 Fleuma Mk1 MS4: Tainted by malaise

As seen in the Malaise Of Glory challenge, minus one design mishap that will be explained

The Fleuma was Hugi’s North-American attempt at filling the gap left by the Mk.3 Rioter, creating a small cheap sports car for those who couldn’t afford the larger Mk.4. And in a way, the whole project had great potential; by using wind tunnels and studying the Mk.4 Rioter’s design carefully, Hugi Motors had created a very sharp, very aerodynamic body, which would provide great boosts to speed and fuel consumption. Plus, it lent the design a Mk.4-esque feel, which would help sales as future owners would feel like they owned a tinier Rioter.

Sadly, the promise fell apart during the first years of production. But we’ll get to that point later. For now, design; the Fleuma Mk.1’s front end used pop-up headlights, a staple of the era. While the front design itself was not complex, it still gave the sporty vibe required to sell a sports car in the '80s.

As for the rear, the design is vastly different from what EHSC did to the Fleuma Formula BR. The taillight setup doesn’t feature the angled stripe design of the BR, instead opting for a long stoplight strip that ended on two triangular prisma-shaped taillights. The bottom units housed the rear indicators and reverse lights, whilst keeping a small portion as a stoplight. The plastic trim inbetween these lower lights was inspired by the Japanese small sports cars of the era, proudly displaying the Fleuma name right on its center.

All around the car, the plastic trim tied the car together, whilst the side vents offered additional cooling to the mid-mounted engine. Also, this particular Fleuma, a 1984 model, was actually the car used by Hugi for marketing materials. But there was one minor mishap that went oddly uncorrected; the rear bumpers were missing, and the car’s ad displays a Fleuma without the bumpers that were featured on the front end. Here is the original ad for reference;

And yes, while the MS4 features two rear vents at the bottom, it only has a single exhaust tip. This ties into the “broken promises” feel that hampered the Fleuma’s debut. But above all else, there is one culprit that shines the most…

The MS4’s mid-mounted engine. At first engineers planned to release the Fleuma with a V6 engine, tuned to several degrees to match the car’s different trims, but Hugi Aleixo himself vetoed the choice, claiming high development costs. Needless to say, this was a lie; Hugi feared the sharp technology of the Fleuma would lure most of the Rioter’s fanbase to double down and opt for the cheaper Fleuma.

Thus the MS4 was stuck with the engine you see above; a 2.2-liter inline-4, all-iron engine powered by a 2-barrel carburettor, Hugi Motors’s “Steel Severn” engine. Hardly an engine fit for a sports car, the Steel Severn was used on several Hugi family cars throughout the '80s, but it wasn’t built with the Fleuma in mind. The engine suffered from component strain at high RPMs due to its cast iron parts, which in turn caused several reliability issues and two recalls to tweak the design.

However, no matter how smoother it became, it still didn’t stop the MS4 from being a 103-horsepower coupe, a far cry from the advanced import sports cars it was competing against. It also didn’t help that the MS4 was stuck with a 4-speed manual transmission, a choice more fitting for a family car…

Thus, the Fleuma MS4 was condemmed to live as a car that never truly upholded the promises set by Hugi marketing. To top all its issues off, the all-independent suspension could not stop the car from suffering of oversteer. Said oversteer wasn’t terminal mind you, but it prevented most owners from risking their limbs trying to drive the MS4 fast.

There was one silver lining in the Mk.1 Fleuma’s life that gave it a sliver of hope and produced the results owners clamored for, but that is a story for another day…

Specs:


#37

2003 Quarterback: The Soccer Mom of stiff kicks

The minivan. In the early ‘90s, this type of vehicle brought a new type of family motoring, one which Hugi Motors mostly overlooked. Despite the increasingly strong presence of minivans on American roads, the American company persisted with sedans and wagons, hoping to bank on variety and ease of parking.

This background only makes the existence of the Quarterback even more strange and whimsical. It all happened at the 2003 edition of the NAIAS, when the unannounced, unteased green minivan burst onto the scene wearing the Hugi badge. Much to the surprised of shocked bystanders, who couldn’t make heads or tails regarding the car’s entire conception…

Where to begin with the Quarterback? Perhaps the ungainly expression it wears design-wise. The outdated headlight units and extremely small, square-shaped grille lent the car an awkward first impression. The rear was slightly less offending, featuring one large stoplight strip, followed by two pairs of smaller strips on each side of the rear. One filled the role of additional stoplight and the other served as the rear indicators. Perhaps this section is the closest thing to the Quarterback’s image of American soccer minivan, aside from the “mad gainz” wheel arches, that is…

However, it was tough to see where Hugi’s design language fitted in the Quarterback. No angular front indicators, no coherency from front to rear… The overall design language was chock full of mishmash influences, none of which would sit well with conservative families. Their children would probably appreciate the juvenile simplicity of the Quarterback’s design, however. Its shark-wearing-dental-braces face is the stuff their drawings are made of, after all!
But the car’s ridiculously tiny rear wing and excessively wide wheel arches were only a warning shot of the insanity, awaiting those brave enough to peek into the Quarterback’s engine bay.

The most outlandish, norm-defying feature of the Quarterback; the all-aluminum, 2.9-litre turbocharged V10 engine with a redline of 8,700RPM and the horsepower rating of 340-horsepower. An engine which could’ve made the stuff of dreams for small sports car fans, but was instead thrown inside the ungainly body of a soccer mom minivan. Needless to say, the Quarterback’s maddening specs were dismissed by many as mere marketing fluff, and the engine producing them as a mere mock sculpture. Adding to this was Hugi’s self-imposed ban on turbocharging, and the company’s previous history of making non-turbocharged concept cars (i.e. the FRTX).

The car’s overall suspension setup was equally bold, going as far as using a multilink design for the rear suspension. And to top it all off, a spaceframe body constructed with aluminum panels, hardly anything suitable for family motoring. There was very little in the Quarterback which could predict Hugi’s future cars, and even less tying it to any future minivan design the company could be producing.

It was already tough enough to take the Quarterback seriously, from the basic-yet-exaggerated design to the futuristic sports car specs. But the final nail in this bright green coffin came from the ad produced for the car. An ad which does indeed prove this entire thing was made on a crazy whim, by people who weren’t exactly familiar with family advertising (or how to make advertising for that matter);

No, this was not made on April Fools’. Yes, it was presented alongside the car at NAIAS, next to products from the biggest car companies in the world. One notorious American car critic even brought up “special teams” regarding the innuendo-prone catchphrase of “Mom’s done being the reserve player”…

And also yes, this car was (presumably) capable of hitting 60mph in 5.5 seconds. A time which would make most muscle car owners tremble in fear of mommy kicking their backside on the I-95. Top speed was limited to a “mere” 250km/h, perhaps for the greater good of the 8 passengers the Quarterback could carry.

In reality, Hugi was not aware of this project at first. The Quarterback was created as an after-hours project by bored (and most likely drunk) members of the brand’s racing operations, mainly the younger members, inspired by the tuning craze sweeping the country. The car wasn’t intended to go public until a tuning convention in Detroit. But when spy photographers caught it during testing presuming the car to be a brand new MPV, Hugi had no choice but to bring the Quarterback out to light.

The company went as far as to later issue a public apology for misleading information! A bit of a ridiculous overreaction, but it just proves the Quarterback’s insanity was contagious. Never would the world see a Hugi concept quite as class-breaking as this, nor an ad quite as ridiculous. But in a way, the notion of a V10-powered, road-going minivan would definitely mean the end of mom’s reserve player run… Wouldn’t it?

Specs:


Author’s Note: Yes, for those who know, this is the same Quarterback which was entered into the Automation Design Competition! My first ever Automation competition car, as well as its ad which was my first attempt at doing such.

Why did I post this now, you ask? Well today, September 30th, marks a special occasion in my life. My day of birth! Also yes, I celebrated it by tearing apart my own ridiculous ugly creation in third person. If YouTubers can do it, why shouldn’t we Automation designer-mechanics? :wink: Besides, this car is a benchmark. A benchmark which hopefully, a few years later, will make me say “man I was a terrible player back then… but at least dat catchprashe was good for a laugh”. Maybe one day I might even design a good MPV, who knows?

I promise my next real-life birthday Automation celebration won’t be as disastrous-looking as this… For now many thanks to those following Hugi’s steps, and see you around on the road!


#38

I think this design needs to improve a whole lot. The fixtures do not flow together, the sealed beams are outdated (should be phased out in cars sometime in the early 90s) and the wheels are too inset. The rear is quite bare and the lights do not work. This is a design that needs rebuilding from the ground up in my opinion.


#39

“thrash the dance floor…”

i see u r a man of culture as well


#40

I agree, to a 100% rating. Like I said, this was posted as-is to show how badly incoherent and outdated my design knowledge was in Automation (and also 4 laffs :laughing:). It’s a ‘90s concept design stuck on a Noughties’ body, complete with wheel arch extensions that would make Liberty Walk cringe.

From what I said in the text, I have nothing positive said about the Quarterback. If I ever design a Noughties MPV again, it will not be based on any of what the Quarterback is. It shall stay as a one-off piece of history. A ghastly-looking piece of history but hey, at least it’s more interesting to look at…

The muscle car only knows one kind of culture. The bruising kind… :wink: