The future that never was.

Using AI to imagine Australian made cars in 2022.

The Australian car industry wrapped up in 2017 with the closure of Holden. Actually, that's not true - there are still a number of smaller, boutique car manufacturers like Brabham, but mass-produced cars are gone.

Australia is known for GM Holden, but at points in our history we also had Ford, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Chrysler, Leyland and Volkswagen factories -  the former 3 right up intil the 2010s.

I've always wondered what the next Ford Falcon or Holden Torana might have looked like. And with the help of AI generated imagery we can do just that.

So, here's a dip into the future of the Australian car industry that never will be.

"2022 Holden Torana"

AI generated 2022 Holden Torana

The Torana was a small, light but powerful muscle car produced from '67 to '80 to take on Ford in motorsport. The AI has done a good job of getting the proportions right, along with the sporty bonnet bulge and front lip and you can definetly see the GM influence. Just ignore the wonky front wheels.


"2022 Holden Camira"

AI generated 2022 Holden Camira

One of the lesser-known Holdens, the Camira was a small 4 cylinder family car produced in the '80s. It was... average. Here we can see the AI seems to have taken inspiration from modern 'average' cars like the Camry and Accord. I feel there is an Opel/Japanese styling influence.

"2022 Ford Falcon XB Hardtop"

AI generated 2022 Ford Falcon XB Hardtop

The XB Falcon Hardtop was, of course, made famous in the Mad Max franchise, but only had a relatively short production run in the '70s. Here we see a version that has taken recent Ford's huge grill theme to heart. But I don't think I'm mistaken in saying there may be a little Toyota GT86 in there.

"2022 Holden Monaro"

AI generated 2022 Holden Monaro

The Monaro from the '60s and '70s had a short revival in the 2000s and was even exported to the US as the Pontiac GTO. The generated image does look sleek, but I can't help but feel there's a little too much 2023 Acura Integra happening here.

"2022 Ford Falcon XR6"

AI generated 2022 Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo

How do you improve Ford's already fantastic 4lt inline 6 Barra engine? Add a turbo. Which is what Ford did with the XR6 Turbo from 2002 to 2016. The AI's done a great job here, with the hood vents, body kit and undeniable Ford Europe (Focus RS) style, which the final iteration of the Falcon adopted in 2014. Pity about the number plate though.

"2022 Purvis Eureka"

AI generated 2022 Purvis Eureka

The Purvis Eureka as a both a production and kit car based off the Sterling/Nova kit. In this version we see the AI has chosen to go down the track-car route, perhaps a homage to Purvis' low production sports-car past. There's a bit of KTM X-Bow and maybe a tiny bit of Radical DNA. Whatever it is it doesn't look comfortable.

"2022 Holden Sandman Panelvan"

AI generated 2022 Holden Sandman

I'll be honest, the only thing that bears any read resemblance to the 1970's panelvan popular with the surfer scene is the brown two-tone. The Sandman has been transformed from a sexy, sporty shaggin-wagon into something you'd expect your new washing machine to be delivered in. Seems to be a fair bit of Chevrolet influence here, which is at least on the right GM path.

"2022 Ford Falcon ute"

AI generated 2022 Ford Falcon Ute

I love that when I entered the word 'ute' into the AI image generator we got a typical Australian bush background. The AI hasn't done an entirely bad job here, though I see way more Ford Ranger than Ford Falcon. And Rangers aren't really 'utes'. Utes are supposed to a front half that wouldn't look out of place on a regular sedan, and this just isn't cutting it for me.

"2022 Lightburn Zeta"

AI generated 2022 Lightburn Zeta

The Zeta of the 60's was an awful car. It was small, didn't have an opening rear hatch and had a smoky two stroke engine. This 2022 rendition is a vast improvement. It seems 21st centurey Lightburn may have taken notice of Toyota or maybe even modern Chinese MG. Hell, there's even a Lexus hourglass grill there. Not quite sure about the NACA style side intakes though - perhaps a reference to the original Zeta's hood scoop? 


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