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Blake Noble

Meet The Malibu Coupe and Other GM Cars We Were Cheated Out Of

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The internet is a vast and interesting place, a new frontier in and of itself with plenty of dark and obscure corners begging to be explored. Some take some digging to reach, others can be stumbled upon simply by running a Google search for whatever trivial topic pops into your mind. The following sketches of a few interesting GM cars and concepts were found using the latter method.

These designs were all done by industrial designer Jess Bailie, who was the lead designer for the Buick Verano at GM. He also played a major role in influencing the design of the upcoming Buick Encore/Opel Mokka, as well as the Cadillac XTS and Hummer HX concept vehicles. The following images didn't require any stealth hacking of GM's computer network to obtain – in fact, they were actually posted to his portfolio at Coroflot. Speaking of his portfolio by the way, it's nothing short of the finest automotive design porn on the internet. If you have any sort of affinity for automotive design, it's worth checking out.

So, of course, I won't post everything on his profile here. Instead, I'll just highlight some of the more interesting bits and pieces – namely vehicles that we wound up getting cheated out of because of money issues, beancouting, and other myriad GM hang-ups, as well as a few proposals for some vehicles we did wind up with.

* * *

Remember all of the rumors circulating not too long ago about a two-door version of the new Malibu? Well, the following image would've likely wound up being it, if you discard the "SS" branded garb. While the design is by no means retro, it does have a particular flavor that's not terribly distant from the 1968 to 1969 Chevelle-based Malibu coupes.

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The sketch below is what influenced the final design of the subcompact Buick Encore and Opel Mokka soft-roaders. Pretty neat.

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Remember the Hummer HX? Well, if you didn't the following design should help to get you re-acquainted and start lamenting. Who votes on recycling the HX as a new Blazer? I know I do.

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Below is one of Bailie's proposals for the Cadillac XTS. Personally, I much prefer this to what reality gave us in the end. This design seems much more crisp and upscale. Sure, the band of chrome flanking the leading edge of the car's quarter panels and beltline is a little too Lincoln, but who cares? This just seems more stately, and more like a Cadillac.

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The following is what would've been the next-generation Cobalt coupe. Why, exactly, we didn't get this car I'll never fully understand. It's also interesting to note the front-end treatement isn't terribly different from the Tru140S concept car.

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Bailie labels the following sketch as an "HHR replacement" on his portfolio page. Notice, however, the Pontiac branding. If Pontiac didn't go the way of the dodo, would have GM replaced the HHR and Vibe with one vehicle? I guess we'll never know.

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This sketch is, obviously, of the Buick Verano. However, I think I personally like how the headlamps flow into the front quarter panels in the front three-quarter sketch in the lower left hand corner a little better than the real thing.

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The last set of sketches were done for the upcoming 2014 GMC Sierra. Fairly interesting, to say the least.

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Edited by black-knight

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If those were the initial sketches we really got ripped off on the XTS considering what the production version looks like. Not a bad looking car at all but certainly nowhere near as good as this.

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Thank you Black-Knight for posting this.. I wasted about a half-hour going through this..

Will say the Verano is the best of the bunch.

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I love all of it except for the Impala proposal. The Cobalt 2-door hatches are really neat, and the Cadillac succeeds because of its RWD proportions v. the production car. That Malibu coupe is like surprise buttsecks, too too sweet. As far as the Pontiac Box sketches, I actually prefer the oddly-proportioned one to the mid-left, with the surf board leaning vertically near it. They're all just great. I love this kind of stuff, even if some of it is heartbreaking to know it did not reach production.

Edited by ocnblu

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145451_y2IrzODDqGWsQ4hvogqfJ7sr4.jpg

Now that Impala sketch catches my eye, moreso than the 2014 production model.

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Future Delta-based next generation GMC Terrain?

I wonder if any of that GMC Sierra sketch will be production??

Edited by GMTruckGuy74

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In reality, I think the XTS on the street looks better than that old Continental looking Cadillac above...but I may be in the minority.

Otherwise, cool stuff, especially the Malibu coupe and small Chevy coupe, plus the GMC Sierra I hope looks as good, and not just that grille on an old body.

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Here's what's really upsetting about the XTS proposal: it looks as if it were designed around the perameters of a front-wheel drive platform. The way the front fenders are pulled slightly behind the front windshield's touchdown point and firewall in addition to the chrome accent running the length of the car mask the fact you're looking at a front-wheel drive car. Also the roofline is lower and sleeker and flows better into the rear decklid. In all honesty, it reminds me of an old bustleback Seville (including that chrome strip), minus the bustleback.

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Now that Impala sketch catches my eye, moreso than the 2014 production model.

While it's a clean design and certainly handsome, I do have to tip my hat to the 2014 Impala here. The production car is slightly more organic and is evocative of the late '60s Impalas.

I wonder if any of that GMC Sierra sketch will be production??

I'm going to place a bet here and say say the front fascia and quarter panels are good indicators of what we'll see on the real truck. Some small details will change, but the essence will be pretty much the same.

Edited by black-knight

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the Cadillac succeeds because of its RWD proportions v. the production car.

100% agreed. Financial considerations aside (which tie deeply into the XTS being the workhorse vehicle for Cadiilac in the livery/limo business going forward), was it so much worse to have rebodied the Statesman/Caprice into this design? :/

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I'm with b-k, I prefer the actual 2014 Impala to that design proposal. It has so much more presence and I just love the 60's throwback styling cues without actually being retro.

  • Upvote 1

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I'm with b-k, I prefer the actual 2014 Impala to that design proposal. It has so much more presence and I just love the 60's throwback styling cues without actually being retro.

:yes:

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That Impala proposal is all wrong, imo. It looks like it could be a sister car to the Kizashi. It's... stunted.

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That Impala proposal is all wrong, imo. It looks like it could be a sister car to the Kizashi. It's... stunted.

And that's why it isn't the new Impala. While I'm beginning to see undertones of the late '60s Impalas in the glasshouse design, it's way too close to the Malibu overall.

Edited by black-knight

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It looks like this here... pretty darn sexy, imo:  

  • Upvote 2

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