What if: 2011 Subaru Impreza
May 20, 2010, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Image Manipulation, Redesigns

On March 22, Subaru announced the successor to the 2010 Impreza WRX. The car would undergo a considerable refresh after the timidly received previous year model failed to capture consumer’s hearts. Personally, I felt like the car revealed was a huge letdown. It failed to carry on traditional Impreza design traits and language.  It seemed to have forgotten its world rally racing heritage. And yet it didn’t seem to be taking this route to incorporate current market trends either. In my view, it just plain didn’t work. So, I took it to myself to modify Subaru’s press photos into the car I would have wanted to see. Having never photoshoped a car before, at worst it would prove to be an interesting exercise.

Looking closely at Subaru’s press images the first thing I noticed was how many errors they had. These images are a mix of 3D rendering, Photoshop and vector graphics, and my guess is whoever worked on them never saw the actual car in person or some of these errors wouldn’t be present. This is what I’m talking about (click link for bigger image):

So I went about fixing all of those and adding my touch to the car. Below is a comparison of the original press image and my modified version, which you can also see in full size here.

It goes beyond saying that this is all highly subjective and I have no real justifications for the changes I made.  For the most part I just went with what I felt made sense and worked, catering to no one but myself. It was supposed to be a fun exercise, remember?

The headlights were modified to follow the line set by the grill; the fog lamps were replaced by bigger ones resembling those on the Imprezas of years past, a feature I consider was distinctive and iconic for the car; finally the vehicle’s side was streamlined. The 2011 Impreza WRX is a wide-body version of the regular Impreza, which is accomplished on the actual car by widened wheel arches that flare considerably. The add-on look of this widening does not sit well with me, especially on the front, so I cleaned the sides up to look more like a car that was designed from the start to be that wide. In order for the front to better match the back, the car’s rear end was made higher to make the car’s seemingly wider stance consistent.

This isn’t perfect by any chance. I’m quite surprised at how much one can get away with when working with reflections when the viewer has no way of knowing what is being reflected. And I find the ease with which one can lie in these images highly amusing. Structurally, one would be hard-pressed to model either of these cars physically, with all the artistic-license taken on these images. Also, the original image I began working with was a highly compressed mess full of jpg artifacts. So I only took the cleaning up and modifying as far as was reasonable.

This was, after all, just an exercise.


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