An inside look at how secret test cars are camouflaged
Behind the scenes as technicians camouflage a BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
The murky world of car camouflage is a curious one, often emerging when new cars require testing in the real world prior to their designs being signed off by the so-called ‘powers that be’.
Most recently comprehensive car camouflage has been seen on the upcoming Holden Commodore — as previewed by Driven late last month.
Plenty have slammed the look of the new Commodore, but it's difficult to see exactly what merits they were drawing upon when you take a long hard look at the test mules that were photographed. Just about every inch of the Holden's body was padded with additional cladding, with a design for the world car still obviously under wraps.
So how do they do it? Well, here's a video from YouTube that fills in quite a few of the blanks.
It follows a group of engineers as they design and fit panels of camouflage to a BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. The elements are all whipped together on computers using a CAD program, then literally screwed directly into the car's existing panels.
Further stickers are then printed and stuck on top of places like the fuel filler cap and wing mirrors, and a custom-made foam insert is layered onto the dash board and transmission tunnel.
The camouflage even extends to bolting on a huge extension to the tail end of the car's roof line to disguise its silhouette, and minute stickers for the door handles — the latter done to potentially conceal any minor parts that carry over from other BMWs.
The whole process is one that we rarely ever see in the flesh, and one that remains integral to the new-car game.