A few weeks after analyzing the fictional cars of Grand Theft Auto V, automotive designer Frank Stephenson has turned his critical eye to the vehicles of Cyberpunk 2077. And while the man who penned the McLaren P1 doesn’t find most of examples conventionally beautiful — it’s hard to imagine anyone would argue they are — he nevertheless comes away intrigued.
“These cars are actually ’80s cars or even ’70s cars. They’re what we’d call almost an ’80s interpretation of the future,” Stephenson says, before launching into a critique of the game’s hero car, the Quadra Turbo-R V-Tech. He describes it as “Detroit’s attempt” at the Ferrari Testarossa, particularly in light of the side strakes, but calls it a “mess” from a design point of view thanks to surfaces that draw the eyes in conflicting directions.
The Chevillon Thrax 388 Jefferson — a monolithic Lincoln-looking brick that our own Jason Torchinsky complimented for its asymmetrical front end — draws Stephenson’s attention for the same reason.
“The grille on this car is magnificent,” Stephenson says, calling it evocative of the Parthenon or Acropolis. “What’s interesting [about the grille] is they’ve actually taken it and made it asymmetrical, so it’s down the middle and off to one side. Who’s ever thought of that?”
Stephenson picks apart a number of other vehicles, including the wedge-shaped, Honda City-looking Makigai Mai Mai (he calls it “tough to love”), the absurdly long and opulent Rayfield Aerondight S9 Guinevere (he loves it), and the Akira-inspired Yaiba Kusanagi CT-3X motorcycle, which ultimately draws the most praise. “I wish I could have had a bike in my resume, in my CV, but I regretfully don’t — but again, this is the kind of vehicle I would definitely love to choose for Cyberpunk 2077.”
Interestingly, the game does feature a few real vehicles — namely, a 930 Porsche 911 Turbo, which is driven by Keanu Reeves’ character in the game, as well as a bike from Arch Motorcycle, a company co-founded by Reeves. Stephenson remarks they fit very well into the Night City environment, while staying true to their actual designs.
Stephenson perhaps doesn’t go as deeply here in analyzing and comparing the virtual cars to real-world vehicles as he did in the Grand Theft Auto video. But overall, it’s still worth watching simply to hear an accomplished design veteran’s thoughts on some of the most daring and polarizing fictional cars gaming has ever seen.