Exclusive debut!

Can you ID this clay?That’s not hyperbole. My latest treat from General Motors was a set of 22 pictures that were just approved for release by GM Design, for use on this website.

GM is understandably cautious about what behind-the-scenes information is made public. At first I got the sense that I wouldn’t be able to obtain any images of recent styling clays or sketches. I made some requests anyway. After some time passed without any fruit, I figured there was no hope.

A few weeks later, my contact at GM sent me a set of image proof sheets. It seems he’d been working with GM Design all along to secure their release. The proofs included 22 low-resolution pictures of clays, for three very recent GM vehicles (two of which are still in production).

From the list, I was asked to select the ones I wanted. Which do you think I wanted? Here’s a hint: my unwritten policy with him and anyone sharing media is, I’ll take whatever you are willing to share. The end result? I will be publishing–for the first time–22 virtually unseen pictures from behind GM’s sky-scraping walls.

Can you ID this clay?

One car, the one pictured in the two images above, makes up half of those pictures in three subsequent iterations. These photos are of what’s called a half model and were taken on July 17, 2003. It represents the earliest model, of those provided this round by GM Design for this car. These blurred teasers come from high-resolution images that are more than 4,000 pixels wide!

Stay tuned for that full posting with all the pictures. Just a head’s up though, my phenomenal contact at GM was unfortunately unable to arrange any interviews for me with people that might have been involved on the project. I will keep trying for the information but, until such time, there won’t be much data to go with the pictures.

To close, I’ll leave you with another question. Do you know what production car this clay ultimately morphed into? (Of course, the brand is probably obvious.)