(Author note: I’ve decided to do something different with this car. Since it is a Car Design Competition entrant that has been facelifted after negative feedback, I’m going to talk about it in a more personal manner. It’s still somewhat part of the brand’s lore, but the text will be more a “Where Is Its Design Now” feature…)
1987 Hugi STA 5/5: No, those numbers aren’t its review scores
When I designed the STA, I had plenty of references in mind. Most of them were American-based references such as the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, since big square American barges rank amongst my favorite sedans of all time. And I thought I had a solid contender primed and ready to impress in the competition.
Of course, expectations were a bit too high for proud self. The car bombed, mainly due to my competition running gag of having incredibly ugly front ends. The rest of the car was mostly ignored, thanks to the terrible front impression (which is more or less a car’s first impression if you think about it). Adding two small vents to the nose proved to be my undoing, an undoing I have since corrected…
Meet the (hopefully) less controversial nose of the STA, not side vent-free! That is by far the biggest change within the design, considering it was also its biggest flop. But the front grille has received some minor modifications as well, since I had learned about the metallic bars that can serve as trim after the car’s class video.
The rest of the front has remained the same, while the sides gained a nice chrome companion to further boost the car’s Premium appeal.
As for the rear, the focus was on adding an extra piece of trim to link the taillights together. The Rioter’s “Linkers” were retained, as well as the taillight units. As always, the key is to make the car feel luxurious without making it gaudy, which is the biggest challenge of any Premium design.
And if you somehow remember the old STA, you might be asking “Nik, didn’t you call it the STA 4/1? Why the 5/5?” Well, the changes in this rich car were not limited to Botox;
Meet the STA’s new heart; a 5.5-litre twin multi-point injection V8, which replaced the old 4.1 inline-six that once powered this barge. I had gone with the inline-six as I felt not all luxurious car require a V8 for Premium feel, as well as being a thinly-veiled reference to the Santa Matilde 4.1. Although now it is not so thinly-veiled now that I’ve linked a picture to it, but it was done for reference’s sake…
This V8 puts out… I dunno, somewhere between 333 and 358 horsepower (the game has a power rating deficit glitch at the time of writing, as it gives me two different power ratings for the same engine)? Either way, the STA was not created to reach high speeds, but to waft you from A to B under the most comfortable of rides. As any American barge sedan should, really!
I did comment on the Premium class video that I wanted to give the STA a second chance despite its failure. I have no idea how well such chance will be received, but the learning experience that led me here was worth it either way. As a designer, feedback is priceless, but where it takes your designs can be even more priceless…