DESIGN AND INSPIRATION
Having completed the exterior 3D model of the Tesla GT Muscle car, it occured to me that the shape could easily be transformed into an elegant convertible.
This meant that the model would require an interior, so I started to work on both the exterior and interior together after exploring the design possibilities with a sketch model.
I didn’t do much 2D sketching because I had no idea what kind of volume I was dealing with until it was modeled so the result was about 98% direct 3D design. This was my first attempt at modelling a car interior in 3D, luckily Tesla interiors are extremely minimalist.
My choice to replace side mirrors with cameras on the exterior meant that I needed to integrate rear view screens visible to the driver on the interior. Another challenge was the closely spaced seating arrangement which left barely any space for an armrest and centre console.
The design I came up with was the simplest most elegant that I tried, inspired by exisitng Tesla interiors but with a different flavour.
A flat glossy T shape integrates the 2 rear view screens at each side and the main user interface screen in the middle, the latter supports a ‘bridge’ that integrates cup holders, a small storage compartment and an arm rest, this connects to the rear storage platform behind and between the seats.
The seats are articulated bucket seats with a glossy composite structure at the rear and base. The seats feature the same design language as the exterior. They are very high so I created a gap below the headrest to visually reduce the mass.
The Door panels are minimalist, with a faceted armrest ‘medallion’ that enables colour customisation. It creates a door grab handle where it overlaps the door pocket opening. A lever is hidden out of sight to open the door manually, otherwise an electronic door button is included on the arm rest control panel that also controls the electric windows.
The top of the door is part of the volume that surrounds the whole interior, it houses an air conditioning diffuser above the main dashboard and integrates a head up display screen in front of the driver.
The steering wheel is 6 sided with thumb controls for the various screens mounted in the structure. The airbag cover, and grips all have the potential to be colour coordinated with other sections of the interior.
The main dashboard is very minimalist with hidden openings, a dark matt finish is recommended to avoid any windscreen reflections and provides an attractive contrast to the glossy central T section.
Without a roof, the convertible’s exterior doesn’t have the same dynamic stance as the coupe, Instead, it’s perceived length is greater giving it a more elegant and glamorous character.
The roll over hoops are mildly reminiscent of Shelby Cobras from certain angles and the extended rear deck was inspired by open top sports cars from between 1955-1965, the period with some of the most elegant looking cars ever produced in my opinion.
The convertible’s 9 spoke wheels are less aggressive looking than the GT coupe’s 6 spokes and the extra spokes hide more of the brakes giving a more premium character.
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