TLDR: Your job is to create an executive class sedan that will be badged as a Kurokama and sold in the US.
2020: Toyota City, Japan
Kaizen Corporation world headquarters
It is undeniable that the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused some unusual events.
With how hard it hit the automobile industry, it accelerated the ongoing trend of mergers and buyouts, as automakers sought to reduce costs in an era of financial recessions and increasingly stringent regulations.
One of the mergers that rose from this situation was Shinka Alliance, a merger of two Japanese giants known for their innovative mindset, Kaizen and Kurokama. Where Kaizen prefers performance and luxury, Kurokama has dependability and efficiency on its side. This also very much defines where their cars sell well.
Kaizen is a big name in the US, where their performance, prestige, and aggressive style mirror values of the American dream. However, these very same values reduce their effective presence in European and Asian markets (with the exception of Japan, Korea), where they are often seen as too inefficient. Since 2008, in these areas, Kaizens are mainly obtained through special order, the only cars they officially sell there in a dealer network are of their subsidiaries, RCN and Eon.
On the other hand, EU and Asia is where Kurokama thrives, often viewed as the perfect combination of performance and dependability. Their SNB-sourced engines push the limits of petrol engines, hitting efficiency figures that rival diesels while still having respectable performance. However, this makes the brand uncompetitive in the US, as by the standards of Americans, their performance is lackluster and the manual transmissions makes them hard to drive. Since 2006, only two models have been offered there.
This merger, however, was not a sudden decision, but a culmination of decades of cooperation and the common dream of progress. It seeks to address the drawbacks and bolster strengths of both companies, especially regarding various international markets.
Thus, one of the main goals of this merger is to return Kurokama to the US market.
It was determined that a flagship model would greatly assist in garnering interest for the foreign brand along with its more affordable sedans and crossovers. This flagship name would revive the vaunted “Sora” name in the form of an executive class sedan.
Your job is to create a compelling, premium/upmarket, and modern design that incorporates Kurokama and Kaizen cues.
Design cues to take in mind
The refreshed 2020 Kurokama SC
With some outside help.
Various 2020 Kaizen models
Some of them with help from @Reizei
Kurokama cars are mostly defined by their flowing and dynamic lines, often guided by aerodynamics of the car (often resulting in a rather round front).
They also display extensive use of piano black plastic in their design, so that is another thing to keep in mind. It often supports the design by drawing out the dynamic shaping.
For reasons stated earlier, Kurokamas also stray from fake vents and grilles, and while we are at it, also from fake exhausts.
The only time you will find a sealed vent on a Kurokama is when it is not sealed on the performance version.
Another, and almost the most important thing to keep in mind is how their DRL are shaped, and how their
headlights are defined. Kurokama has the signature Bracket DRL design, also often called “Sharpeye”.
Another signature for Kurokama headlights is the round projector for low beams. That must always be present.
Excerpt from an english project that describes the styling cues
Like most cars, the front forms a “face,” a critical part of its identity. The headlights are shaped to resemble a fist, the outlines of the DRLs or projector shape resembling individual knuckles.
All these styling cues should combine to create not only the impression of both a fist punching through
the air and a slightly angry face, but also lends an aggressive, understated, and refined style.
Giving an impression of effortless speed, they highlight the upscale car’s sportiness and
practicality, which are backed up by the drivetrain and interior options. The car looks like it
could push others out of its way, asserting its (and its owner’s) dominance on a crowded road.
The design language is commonly referred to as the “fist,” meant to resemble a knuckle/fist flying through the air, conveying a sense of punching the air around it in a show of raw power, effortless speed, and sheer performance, pushing the energy from the rear to the front. In this case, the rear (especially the lights) takes inspiration from the tense tendons on the base of the palms that “rise up” as one rolls a fist and punches. pushing energy to the front.
A reference can also be made to tensed up muscles of a punch. The top curve formed by the side vent sacrifices harmonious front to rear flow, opting to mimic the side profile of a tensed up muscle. One should note how it seems that people depict active muscles are not relaxed, flowy (in a single direction) figurines, but rather a series of contrasting curves and lines that combine to form a sense of tension and potential energy. This also has the effect of visually transferring energy from the rear to the front, reinforced by the door crease along the top that seems to transfer energy, and the bottom body molding that seems to tilt the car forward.
On the other hand, Kaizen design is one of tenseful, aggressive style. Their cars often feel like there is a beast inside ready to be unleashed.
However, by any means, they avoid being a cacophony of varying styles.
The general design of a Kaizen should resemble a fist punching through the air, especially in the frontal and side area. This look is enhanced by a crease that runs from side to the upper edge of the taillights.
Kaizen, much like Kurokama, is also not a fan of fakery, and thus also does not use fake exhausts. In the same note, they are also all for dynamic looking and aerodynamically practical vents and creases. A flat surface is often seen as undesirable.
Your main challenge would be to try to combine these sometimes contradictory elements.
- Model/trim years set to 2020 (it will technically be a 2025 model)
However, if you submit it before the deadline, and get the year wrong, then I will give you as many attempts as needed for you to meet the year regulations.
- 4 door sedan liftback/fastback body style (this also means two rows of seats)
Please don’t submit a wagon. VERTICAL TAILGATES/TRUNKS ARE BANNED IF YOU SUBMIT A HATCHBACK. If you submit a hatchback your car will receive additional visual scrutiny.
Wheelbase: 2.8 to 3.0m (normal rounding rules apply)
Front engine, rear wheel drive
It should be closer to a production car than a concept.
The entry must include the Kurokama badge
Now, we must do some housekeeping.
Planned start of submissions
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Time zone: EST
Planned end of submissions
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Time zone: EST
Submission messages regulations
PLEASE SUBMIT TO BOTH ME AND MAXBOMBE (ADD BOTH OF US AS RECIPIENTS OF THE SAME MESSAGE). ONLY DISCOURSE IS ACCEPTED (NO DISCORD)
AFTER I CONFIRM THAT I RECEIVED THE SUBMISSION/CHANGES, DO NOT EDIT ANY EXISTING MESSAGES, DO THE FILE SWAP TRICK, OR MAKE MORE THAN ONE SUBMISSION MESSAGE. IF YOU NEED TO MAKE CHANGES, REPLY TO YOUR EXISTING SUBMISSION MESSAGE AND WAIT FOR CONFIRMATION. THIS WILL APPLY TO ALL REGULATIONS BELOW
Car model/engine family: CSC37 - (discourse username)
NOTE: Please check that your username is written correctly, submitting a car with an untaggable username will render such submission invalid.
However, if you submit it before the deadline, and get the name wrong, then I will give you as many attempts as needed for you to meet the naming regulations.
(Ask this question: if you copied your username from the .car in game name, and pasted it in discourse with the @ function, would discourse suggest your name and your name only?)
Car trim: Your car name
Engine variant: Engine name
Interior design (optional)
When you submit your car file, you may specify the interior of “any” car you wish to emulate. This can be done by simply sending an image of the interior.
The interior specifications should be on the same message chain as the .car file submission (eg. you can send the interior as a response to your .car file submission if I confirmed your submission without interior specs, or include interior specs with your .car file message if you plan to send them both at the same time). Realism rules will not apply here, this is purely design based.
You must post at minimum a picture of your car and the car name. Ads and photoshops will be much loved.
IF THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE POST IN THIS FORUM FROM THE CREATOR, THEN THEY WILL GET DISQUALIFIED
Everything not specified in this rulebook is fair game. However we reserve the right to change rules at any time, with clear notifications on this forum.
When submissions start, changes will be minimized.
We will notify and try to help you to the best of our ability if any rules are broken before the submission due date. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
If there is a technical issue right before the deadline, then due date extensions (grace periods) can be negotiated.
You know what, just get it right the first time… We would appreciate that so much.
Old version for archive purposes
Founded in 1937 as the firearms division of Toyota Automatic Loom Works and spun off in 1945, Kaizen Corporation has shamelessly leveraged their precise and skillful gunsmithing experience to develop and produce some of Japan’s most luxurious, engaging, and relentless automobiles. From pioneering the super-sedan, adopting almost every major innovative technology, having a heavy presence in motorsports, planning for trends and regulations 10 years ahead, or simply offering (relatively) affordable Japanese luxury, the manufacturer seeks to define their namesake: continuous improvement. On the world stage, it competes with highly prestigious brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, while its other brands, RCN and Eon, take care of more mainstream competition.
Founded by Toichi Kurokama in 1954, Kurokama primarily focused on small, cheap utility cars that were in demand in post-WWII Japan, before focusing on more mainstream models in 1959. After a dark period from 1965 when the founder was killed in an automobile accident, a small racing garage known as ‘SNB Japan’ signed a contract on making engines for their cars, mainly due to SNB using Kurokama cars to race. Due to its outright success, this partnership still goes on today, to the point where Kurokama today owns SNB. Well known for highly economical yet fun to drive and safe cars, along with well-regarded turbocharged engines and anticipating and taking advantage of the current crossover craze, Kurokama actively cultivates a “lifestyle” image, its cars appealing to a wide range of consumers.
As the Covid-19 pandemic hit the auto industry hard, it accelerated the ongoing trend of mergers and buyouts, as automakers sought to reduce costs in an era of financial recessions and increasingly stringent regulations. This created some unusual bedfellows.
Perhaps Kaizen’s strongest market is in the United States, where it is regarded as a highly prestigious, sporty, and luxurious brand, much like BMW. Being perhaps the first Japanese luxury car brand to make inroads in the US, its soaring reputation is very much ingrained in the American mindset. However, it does not have much presence in Europe, often being overshadowed by the German brands, the cars often seen as too inefficient and not prestigious enough. Kaizen would withdraw completely from the European market in 2008, selling only RCN and Eon models. However, the brand is gaining popularity in China and other countries in Asia, due to then newly acquired brand, Eon, that focuses on budget and electric cars, along with the general prestige of the brand.
On the other hand, Kurokama is one of the few successful Japanese brands in the European Union, hitting the perfect combination of economy and performance. Kurokamas consistently push the limits of petrol engines, hitting efficiency numbers that rival diesels, while providing performance when needed. This would make the brand particularly uncompetitive in the USDM market, where despite being comfortable, they are often seen as underpowered and difficult to drive, due to their dedication to the manual transmission. Kurokama would nearly withdraw from the US in 2006, selling only 2 models afterwards.
Thus, this pairing would not be one of those sudden relationships, instead being the culmination of decades of cooperation that addressed drawbacks and bolstered strengths, opening up new markets and enabling the proliferation of new technology.
One of the main goals of this merger is to enable Kurokama to “return” to the US market. It was determined that a “flagship” model would greatly assist in garnering interest for the “foreign” brand along with its more affordable sedans and crossovers. This flagship name would revive the vaunted “Sora” name in the form of an executive class sedan (E-segment).