There’s a certain baffling quality about this story that somehow fits with the current state of Nissan, a certain heady mix of baffling drama and a line of cars that feels like it has been ignored for years. In this case, the setting is the Chicago Auto Show, and the car is a lovely blue GT-R, and the baffling part is a virtual, computer-generated GT-R. This is weird, but I’ll explain everything.
We were tipped off about what was going on from a reader named Darek Konopka, a gearhead and photographer who lives near Chicago. Darek went to the Chicago Auto Show because, duh, cars, and spotted the striking blue GT-R—a rare 50th Anniversary Edition— at the Nissan booth.
While at the booth, Darek took a few pictures of the GT-R, and was approached by a Nissan booth attendant, who asked if he’d like pictures of himself by the GT-R. Darek thought sure, why not, and let the Nissan guy take some pictures of him by the car, which he was told would be emailed to him.
True to their word, Nissan sent him the pics the next day, but they were a bit odd. Here, look:
For some, utterly baffling reason, Nissan replaced the car that was literally, actually right there next to him with a lousy CG version of the same car, only parked partially over some magic checkerboard disc that was, it seems, impervious to shadows.
Now, why would Nissan do this? I can see modifying the picture to include some Nissan branding and that little banner with Darek’s name on it and all that, but why replace the actual, real car that was actually, really there with a fake version of the same car?
This makes no sense at all. It’s like getting your hair done for a fancy portrait, and then the photographer puts a shitty Halloween wig on your head. Or, maybe more accurately, Photoshops a shitty CG Halloween wig on your head.
I mean, if the car wasn’t actually there, that’d be one thing; but it was right there. They didn’t have to paste over the actual image of the real car with a last-gen video game-looking version of the same car—they chose to.
Other people have posted their pics of the same thing, and sometimes with a comparison to their pics with the actual car, like with this cool kid here:
...that’s what Nissan sent him, and this
I’m not really seeing how the CG car is any better? I mean, it has aliased edges and no shadow!
This is just such a strange, strange decision to make. I can’t figure out any possible reason why they’d choose to do this, but, of course, I’m open to theories.
I guess when your ex-CEO travels by musical instrument case, all bets are off, sanity-wise.