Presumably it’s Ian Callum’s local connection that led to this iPace model being on display at the V & A in Dundee, Scotland.
The model is shows the structure of a clay model, from the basic armature (high and medium density foam) though to clay and on to the Di-Noc vinyl coating. The vinyl coating is there to assist designers and modellers in to be able to see the highlights on the surface. The clay itself has the qualities of being able to take very finely detailed sculpting and is easily worked. It is not, however, all that reflective. The kind of small deviations from the ideal reflections are not easily seen.
To workaround this the shiny metal-effect vinyl is put over the clay and the surface examined under the strip lights of the studio. Then one can see the fine detail required to assess surface quality.
Even that is an impressive feat because good as Di-Noc vinyl is for simulating a painted surface, it is not realistic enough to capture the effect of real paint on a surface. Paint has a lot more depth to it, in part because of the clear coat and part because ultimately the physical structure of paint is not replicated in Di-Noc.
You can see something of the difference between clay and metal in this photo.
There is small promotional film on YouTube you might be interested in watching. Some of it seems obviously staged after the fact but the imagery of the clay milling and sculpting is informative. There’s also a review of the 2018 iPace by Doug deMuro (who likes it).
As if the simulation of the daylight impression of the shape is not hard enough, there’s the need to make it look good for photos. Having seen the car in the metal, and seen it as a clay and in photos, I can say the only version that looks good is the real thing. That ought to close the matter but it doesn’t because for many people the first time they see the car will be in a photo and the “reverse McBurger” effect can come into play.
The McBurger effect is when you invited to buy a succulent, glossy, deeply-coloured hamburger as shown in the menu images but get, and accept, a damp wad of patty and shredded lettuce, and don’t notice. That’s because the menu image displaces your actual visual impression of the car. The reverse McBurger effect is when a less-than-impressive photo of a thing stops you from appreciating how good it looks in reality. I wonder if the way the iPace appears in print is misleading buyers.
The iPace is a handsome and distinctly futuristic vehicle in the metal, more so than Teslas. The photos just don’t do it justice.
I got to 8 minutes 30 seconds of deMuro’s review and liked what I saw. The bit that made me shout involved the HVAC controls. DeMuro approves of the rotary dials that require a toggle change to choose between temperature, flow rate and channel (feet, middle, face etc). In many ways the iPace is an impressive machine and at the same time, like all modern cars, burdened with a HVAC interface no ergonomist would ever choose for themselves.