If you aren't an ardent consumer of car design, you might have missed Consumer, Joey Ruiter's newest and most aggressive mechanical concept. The designer and artist has previously directed his extreme gaze to bikes, mopeds, snowmobiles, and dune buggies, and more, so the odd minimalism of the Consumer Car should come as no surprise.
Except it does, because it's bonkers. This "commuter" car is a car in only the loose motor-plus-four-wheels sense. It's an open topped block, wrapped with trapezoidal darkness and enough flat black paint to hide it from spy drones. It looks like what you might get if you handed an alien a blank for a pinewood derby car. It's a Tron vehicle from the darkest possible timeline.
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Beyond the blockfullness, the most notable feature is the enormous two-way mirror grill That covers the three enormously bright (54,000 lumens??) LED panels. It's tipped to avoid blinding other cars, and wrapped around by the air intake. The whole car is low, boxy, ominous and just sort of… impossible looking.
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Talking with Motor1, Ruiter noted that the Consumer's design, "consumes everything, light darkness, air and space." And where most car design starts with the four wheels and moves around, he aimed to obliterate even those steadying visual cues. So the project, aimed at stripping auto commuting down to its core, is more than a refutation of contemporary car culture. It's a pointed divergence from most of the visual and mechanical assumptions made about the essential traits of cars.
I'll admit I didn't cover the Consumer when it first dropped last December, probably because I was feeling a bit unenthusiastic about totalitarian futurism at the time. But I've had some time to consider the dark side of technological advancement and decided that it's better to look Darth Maul design straight in the face. This thing challenges almost all assumptions about car design without straying into the literally impossible, and if that isn't sneakily optimistic I don't know what is.