November 03, 2010
My name is Andy Blackmore and I am Vehicle Styling Director for Need for Speed at the EA Blackbox studio. As many will know, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with 2010 Formula Drift Champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr, Need for Speed Creative Director, Rod Chong and Twins Turbo Motorsport on the ‘Team Need for Speed’ Mustang RTR-X. This one-off car was unveiled on Tuesday at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. I was lucky enough to attend and it was a special moment seeing this car launched. I will be bringing the Need for Speed audience up to date during the next few days. If you want to check out all my photos follow Need for Speed on Twitter and keep checking the Need for Speed Facebook page. I've already put up an album for the Ford Mustang RTR-X!
SEMA is a trade aftermarket show which takes place every year in Las Vegas. Think of it as the Automotive version of London Fashion Week! New trends and styles debut and mix and the key from our perspective is to understand and capture trends, almost before they happen, so we can make our video games relevant to car culture.
Which brings us to the RTR-X. The build is a one-of-a-kind, fully-functional Street\Drift machine. Balancing tire-shredding American horsepower with multi-cultural design influences, Vaughn has incorporated state-of-the-art technology into his vision for the 69’ Mustang’s timeless body. The RTR-X was designed and built from the ground up to be driven hard; the RTR-X is NOT a trailer queen. While Vaughn will be the only one thrashing it in real life, the entire world will be able to enjoy driving the RTR-X virtually in future Need for Speed video game releases.
When I was asked to come on board earlier this year, Vaughn already had a clear idea of the car, how it would be packaged and built. With the real "nuts and bolts" settled, it made for a easier project.
The inspiration for the RTR-X has come from a mixture of things we have grown to love from custom Japanese nostalgic car styling to classic race and muscle cars. It was vital we pushed the envelope and explored new avenues on this car.
The base for this car is a Reproduction Dynacorn bodyshelll of the 1969 Mustang Boss 302, mated with a Steen Chassis and an Art Morrission front end. Thanks to the strong Need for Speed brand, we were able to work with some of the best guys in the business.
Under the hood, we have a Ford Racing Boss 302R crate engine was sourced, providing 440hp stock and capable of around 8000RPM.
Time for a quick tour around the car. Starting at the front end, we cleaned up the form, bringing bumpers closer to the bodywork, headlamp covers and a carbon grille. The front spoiler was extended a little complete with Need for Speed branding. The hood is inspired by the Team Need for Speed graphics, but also the original 1969 Boss 302 hood. We have combined the two using a Sonic Green keyline and Satin paint work. BASF and Auto-Explosion did a great job in getting the Satin and Gloss lacquer to work together with a smooth edge. Centre piece of the hood are the Kaiser Intake throttle bodies which stick out of the hood.
One of the challenges of the project was to clean up the lines around the windows. Flush front and side windshields took a long time to perfect as did removing the drip rails.
The bespoke bolt-on fender flares and Green Work Meister wheels provoking lots of discussion on Speedhunters.com earlier this year, but we needed to push the boundaries of this project to make sure the RTR-X stood out but still retained the mantra, ‘Form follows function’. The fenders also emphasis how low this car is. Not full hella-flush, as we need this car to perform on drift demos, but still extremely low. On the subject of function, the new side air intakes are functional brake ducts.
At the rear, we have cleaned up the lines, added modern LED Lights and extended the rear deck. This took hours of fabrication work but it works very well.
Like many street drift car, it was decided early onto have a full interior up-front and everything behind the seats raw in paint. The centre console and transmission tunnel highlight the transition from front to rear where the leather ends to reveal the painted transmission tunnel between the Ford GT based seats. Stitchcraft did an amazing job on the interiors. Through the rear window, you can view the Maier Rear Suspension which is a work of art!
It was a great experience to be part of the team which brought RTR-X to life and a special day to see the car on the Ford stand, watching people pass by and comment.
You can follow more on the RTR-X including the build HERE on Speedhunters or check out our Facebook page for more images from today.
More from me tomorrow. I will also be posting images on our Twitter.com/NeedforSpeed account.