Meet the Future Unsung Electric Hero of Car Ads: The Mill’s Blackbird

Car advertising, simplified

It shares its name with a song from the Beatles and a now-retired but nonetheless astonishing piece of aviation machinery (yes, I'm talking about the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird), but all this gizmo wants is to revolutionize automotive advertising.

Created by the peeps over at The Mill, the Blackbird is described as 'the first fully adjustable car rig that creates photoreal CG cars.' In other words, you don't need a real car anymore to shoot a commercial.

The Blackbird required two years to make the shift from development to finite product and was built by hand in the same hangar that was once the residence of the supersonic jet SR-71 Blackbird. So it basically has coolness embedded in its DNA.

So, what can it do?

Actually, a lot. For starters, it can adjust its chassis to replicate the exact length of almost any car you can think of. Secondly, the electric motor pushing it forward can be programmed to emulate acceleration curves and gear shifts.

Furthermore, it can capture quality video footage using a camera setup that includes a stabilization feature. Or, you can use it as such in the next Mad Max movie, where it can join the already-existing batch of freakish cars.

In the meantime, Top Gear got up close and personal with the Blackbird and had a better look at how this adjustable rig/electric vehicle/Mad Max-inspired four-wheeler works. The whole video is available here.

One of the things that caught our attention is the fact that once the Blackbird is equipped with the desired wheels, it can be driven hard basically around any environment one pleases, because "computers far too complicated for our tiny little minds render the car on top, even matching the reflections to the real-world surroundings."