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

(Original logo idea courtesy of @Elizipeazie, PS edit by @Mr.Computah)

Welcome to Hugi Motors. From a young age, Hugi Aleixo has known more about America than his own country of Portugal. After his American father, a former coachbuilder-turned-car-mechanic broke up a controversial wedding with his Portuguese wife, Hugi followed his father’s footsteps and began developing an undying love for cars as a whole.

Once in working age, Hugi saw his father’s car-selling business both as a way to further his car love and find a profitable job. Thanks to said successful job and an upbringing learning the tricks and trades of the automotive world, he began yearning for more than just selling other companies’ cars. Taking action to buy a nearly bankrupt company situated in Detroit, Aleixo put together a small-but-enthusiastic team comprising of the company’s former employees and some of his dealership’s own. His goal? To create a company that could bring together passion and quality in each car made. In other words, Bridge The Gap.

Since then, Hugi has made a bit of everything. From wacky MPVs to controversial front ends, this is a (barely) organized biography of whatever comes out of my head as a car design. Constructive comments are more than encouraged and appreciated. Memes can receive some of that appreciation too, beggars can’t be choosers. So as long as it’s civil, it’s welcome. Enjoy!

List of Cars (as of 02/12/2018):

Manufacturer designs:

Other cars by author:


Rioter MK.2 Lion: Keeping the lesser animals in check

The Rioter has never been a consensual cop. If anything, in a “Good Cop/Bad Cop” sketch, it’d play Bad Cop all the way to the credits. This two-door muscle car has one intention and one intention only; to shout and be heard.

Following the Official Car Design Competition, I decided to update the Rioter for a different era; the '70s. Disco balls can’t apply however, because the Lion would rather thrash the dance floor than dance along…

The badges on the side are one way to tell the Lion apart from other Rioters. The Lion’s 429 c.i. engine packs over 390 horsepower, thanks to a pair of fierce 4-barrel carburetors. When does 0-60 end? A meager 7 seconds. That would be the result of a short-geared 4-speed gearbox, complete with manual layout for those who want to control their elevens on the asphalt.

But above all else, it’s how pointy sharp these claws are. The design features the Rioter’s signature “Linkers”, a fancy term to describe the connected indicator lights at the front. Rather than adopting an L-shape like in the previous Rioter, the Linkers are angled to match the new front grille. At the back however, the Linker adopted a “half-plus” layout, slotting right between the tailights and the lower rear fascia.

The Lion is not known as the “Vicious Rioter” for nothing. It’s not subtle, but who buys a V8-powered sledgehammer for secrecy?


Eida RSA: Muscle Car brawn with the elegance of a free bird

No one knows why Hugi Aleixo choose the name Eida to name the company’s very first modern hypercar outing. Some say it’s the name of a forgotten girlfriend, who left him for a richer rival company’s CEO, others say it’s the name of the daughter that was born following those youthful times. No one knows why Hugi Aleixo choose the name Eida to name the company’s very first modern hypercar outing. Some say it’s the name of a forgotten girlfriend, who left him for a richer rival company’s CEO, others say it’s the name of the daughter that was born following those youthful times.
(OOC: If you’re curious, it’s actually the name of Japanese anime Dancouga Nova’s female character Eida Rossa)
Regardless of what its true origins are, the car, much like said origins, wasn’t exactly a happy story from the start. The original concept (Official Car Design Competition entrant, see above) was presented with mixed response from reviewers and buyers alike. Amongst other complaints, the front was deemed “buck-toothed” and “cross-eyed”, which was far from the sort of feedback that would help sales of such an exclusive performance offering…

Hugi wound up cancelling the car’s future show outings, unhappy with the design work carried on the Eida’s birth. But such a free bird couldn’t be caged for long, especially after journalists uncovered a mock 1/1 scale model of the car, sent for paint references.
Eida’s buck-teeth were gone, replaced by a more conventional single grille/headlights pairing. Below said headlights were something Hugi dubbed “Tubos Iluminados” (Portuguese for “Illuminated Tubes”, small LED lights encapsulated within small vents. An attempt to make the Eida’s design more in line with modern cars? Could be, although the original fog lights were hardly criticized by the press…
The sides now featured carbon fibre vents, a weight-cutting measure that also served to distinguish the RSA as a track-focused hypercar.

The Eida is not a hypercar that favors rear trunks. Mainly since its heart lies where a conventional trunk would be placed; beneath two agressive-looking vents is a highly-strung, high-displacement AiSi V12 engine. With 8.7 liters, the brute force of the RSA was rated at 943 horsepower. Not only that, said force was all offered without the aid of forced induction. Hugi’s pet hate, a hate that has lived with the company for 30 years, was not going to hamper the RSA, and these figures were good proof of that. Other proofs lied in the RSA’s 372 km/h speed and its 3.4-second 0-100km/h time, all aided (one might say Eided) by a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox…

In the rear, the Eida displays a simple-yet-elegant sense of styling, following the front end’s design cues. Of course, the twin exhaust pipes display the need for speed and the RSA’s track-bred intentions, as Hugi intended from the get-go. Between the two streaks further below, another LED light made an appearance, although this time the F1 influence shined through. Another racing touch to further the racing ties? It’s very likely…
Some say the Eida is still being worked over in the company’s most secret quarters, as the car was never officially released by Hugi Motors, or promoted as a production car in any car shows, but many buyers voiced their approval at the changes made between the “Buck-Tooth Bird Era” and this mock model. Perhaps this can calm Hugi Aleixo’s nerves over another reception failure, since design was the only thing standing between the RSA and its success in a market where number-crunching and specs are worth as much as its design


I don’t really like the story, but I like the quality, noticeably above what’s expected from newcomers. Keep up the good work :slight_smile:

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You’re referring to the brand’s “history”, or the cars’? The former isn’t really fleshed out, and I’m not sure I can come up with the incredibly detailed lore other users here display. Having a blank opening post wasn’t really part of the plan, haha…

But thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. Good to know the first rounds weren’t total blanks… Any tips for future ones? :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m refering more to the brand - for me setting it in Automation’s limited world is a rather boring and the story itself sounds a bit unrealistic, though that one is not that important IMO.

As for tips… I don’t really know, I’m not an expert myself, I’m just good at making some engines and making “ok” looking cars :smile:

A fair enough point. Personally, I thought making the brand setting exist in Automation world would be more fitting to the source material, but in the end it’s mostly second-place cosmetics (so to speak).
Still, I guess it’s best to just use real countries and leave the fiction to any company names I might use in the future… As long as the designs shine, that’s the important part.

And don’t worry, you did give me tips regarding brand history. So you didn’t come up empty in that department… :wink::+1:

(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…


Heheheh :smile:

Although, I have to admit, I quite like my interpretation of that 4.1 which I posted in the 80s thread. It’s a nice sounding and balanced engine that came out of it in Automation.

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Yes, but the displacement is probably not large enough to suit the Premium sedan demographic. Part of me wonders if the car would have better ratings, if I upped the inline-six’s displacement instead…

A very low revving, torquey engine then… I mean any bigger than that and you basically have a truck or bus engine.

5-liters should be enough, really. 5.5 tops, because six starts to sound more like a muscle car engine than a luxury one.

Also, if you don’t mind me asking, what are your thoughts on the car’s design?

Something is lacking in the lights, I don’t really like them, front and back. But no idea what to change exactly.

For the rest, I really like the car. 80s sedan all the way.

I might understand why the headlights don’t work, because they’re going into the car (for the lack of better terms)… But I’m not sure where to improve the tailights, maybe change the main units to something different.

Either way thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

Rioter Mk.3 Lion: When the Lion had to cut its fangs

The Rioter was born a muscle car, always a rebel since 1967. But by the time 1971 rolled along, things were looking bleak for the young muscle car dynasty. Increasingly draconian emission laws, high insurance rates… The muscle car had gone from tool of heroes to just a tool, period. And when drastic changes occur, one can only follow them with equally drastic changes of your own.

This is where the Mk.3 comes in. Hugi Aleixo knew maintaining the castrated Mk.2 was no longer feasible, and with new sleek and small European rivals barging their way through the American market, he had to turn to Europe to keep the Rioter alive. Setting up a design competition between Hugi Motors’s European studios, he asked for a small but still sporty concept, one fitting for two markets.

In the end, the studio in Croft, England won out, with the car you see. Gone were the sharp edges, replaced by rounder grille and light designs. Even the Rioter’s trademark Linkers were sacrificed, which was a bold decision given their popularity with buyers.
And more new details appeared; chrome stripes which formed from the door handles and ended at the front end, a giant lion decal on the hood, silver stripes at the bottom of the car’s sides and painted stripes on the trunk lid.
Some called these changes “gaudy”, but the era was marked by visual pizazz. Manufacturers all over America were forced to promote their cars through such pizazz, as power and speeds were no longer plausible.

But this was not the end for Croft’s concept, a car designed with sporty cues. Pleased with the final product, Hugi allowed the car to inherit the Lion badge as a reward to the Croft studio. The car would be sold as the Rioter’s new sporty version, but its claws were smaller than its predecessor’s…

The first major engine was the engine; with V8s strangled by multiple emission laws, the Mk.3 never kept one beneath its hood. Instead multiple variations of a 4-cylinder engine were used, with the Lion being the most powerful one, a 1.7-litre block rated at 133-horsepower. This led to many disgruntled Rioter fans mockingly calling the car “Rioter Cub”, as they felt the performance was undeserving of the Lion name.

But those disgruntled fans had to deal with an even bigger change; front-wheel-drive. The Mk.3 moved to the so-called “wrong-wheel-drive”, a bid by Hugi to match the sofistication displayed by small European coupes and hot hatches. While many criticized the move, which strayed far from the car’s muscle car roots, a whole new fanbase appeared, impressed with the Lion’s combination of sharp handling, low weight and sub-$9000 price.

Against all odds, the Mk.3 was a sales success. Cheap to run, cheap to maintain, and no longer an outdated sledgehammer; it was European feel matched with American ingenuity. The Lion in particular ended up becoming a very popular rally car in European championships, winning several local events and serving as a cheap beginner’s tool (which led to drivers nicknaming it the “Lion Tamer” as a result).

Until 1980, the Mk.3 did the most important thing of all; it kept the Rioter name alive, regardless of the sacrifices it made to get there. The claws were smaller, the body was less agressive. But the bite, in its own way, was still as rebellious as the old Rioters were…


1982 FRTX: The Stalwart Spaceship

After the end of the Mark 3 Rioter, Hugi Motors kept its gap unfilled for the good part of three years. Many feared that the long-standing sports nameplate was gone for good, but sometimes the biggest of silences has some sort of noticeable noise at one point. That noise appeared in 1982, in the form of the 2-door FRTX coupe.

FRTX? Few knew what the acronym stood for, let alone the existence of such a bold concept car in Hugi’s ranks. The car lived a reclusive life in the company’s most secret quarters, engineered by an elite team made from former Rioter engineers. When this two-tone coupe made its appearance in Detroit, jaws dropped, both from journalists and sports car fans.

The FRTX packed enough tech to make a sci-fi robot jealous; its front indicators were linked together by a red light strip, presumably there to indicate the speeds via various degrees of blinking. Were the headlights missing? No, they were covered by a thin layer of Kevlar designed to protect them, a layer which could be retracted through a button on the car’s futuristic digital dash. And the mirrors were not mirrors, but rather cameras which could be controlled to help park the car in tight spaces.

Of course many of these technologies were merely marketing stunts, for most future Hugi cars hardly featured such advanced driver safety. But there was one stunt which was never quite clarified as being such; the engine. Beneath the FRTX’s fibreglass body and surrounded by its spaceframe chassis lied a 6.5-litre, naturally-aspirated V12. Yes, naturally-aspirated; even in concept form, Hugi downright refused to stick turbos to his creations.

The specs were as mouth-watering as they were unbelievable; an estimated top speed of 322 km/h, with a 0-100 time of 5.3 seconds. Tied to a close-ratio 5-speed gearbox, all 572 of the FRTX’s horses were boosted by a 24-valve, double-overhead-cam aluminium head. In fact, all of the FRTX’s engine was made in aluminium, a proof that lightweight was being strongly considered for sportier applications. But since the car was never driven in anger, many felt the engine was merely a non-functioning scale model, designed solely to attract keen eyes.

Marketing stunt or not, it worked at full sing. Countless articles were made about the car, one of the main highlights of the 1982 Detroit Motor Show. Its spaceage feel and presence led to its nickname; the Stalwart Spaceship.
In the end, the FRTX was as experimental as they came. But even after its dramatic first appearance, there was still one last bit of secrecy unrevealed. A small area within the B-pillar was covered in cloth, which was not taken off even after the car’s full unveiling. After countless guesses as to what said cloth was covering, chairman Hugi Aleixo invited all journalists to Hugi’s stand.
Amongst flashing cameras and doubts about the car’s tech, Hugi finally revealed the secret behind the covered blue area, as he approached the piece of cloth;

"We at Hugi are very proud of the FRTX. The 1980s are the biggest, most promising era where a sports car can be born in. New, lightweight materials, refined fuels… Obviously this was just a tour-de-force, but one that shouldn’t go unnoticed. The FRTX embodies the American freedom, coupled with the passion and elegance of European sportiness. But above all else, this mark is here because we feel it represents our feelings about this car. It’s simply

…a riot."

To Be Continued!



I can see a bit of Knight Rider in the FRTX - and its performance would have made it even further ahead of its time to boot!

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Well, that wasn’t entirely unintentional. After all, while this car doesn’t talk back and lacks a Turbo Boost button, the sheer engine power more than makes up for those absences!

And apparently, if I ever decided to put such an uncompromising vehicle on Automation roads…
It would be the greatest fast thing on wheels? Not bad for an unreliable glass cannon, haha!

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Maybe it’s the colour combo, but it has hints of the Subaru Vortex / Alcyone to it to…


That… actually didn’t cross my mind until you mentioned it, haha. The color scheme is eerily similar to the old Alcyone XT’s, which wasn’t helped by my choice of white for the car’s underside;

Although besides the 2-door layout and wedge shape, there isn’t much else tying the madness of the FRTX and the Alcyone’s appointed elegance together…