When Automotive Imagination Runs Wild
Thinking Outside The Box

After far too long seeing Khyzyl Saleem’s CG images doing the rounds on social networks, I decided it was time to get in touch and ask whether he’d want to be the subject of an interview for Speedhunters. Khyzyl was ecstatic about the idea, and honestly, so was I. It doesn’t really matter where your interest in cars lie – it’s not hard to be impressed by his amazing skill at taking cool cars and injecting them with his very own distinct approach and recognisable style, all in the digital realm.

It’s obvious that Khyzyl’s passion transcends all cars and styles out there, and the results are always incredible.


So sit back and scroll through the first set of images Khyzyl sent over, while I quiz him with some of the questions I’ve been itching to ask…


DDC: Thanks for jumping on board and sharing your awesome library of work. With our readers being a varied group of car enthusiasts, there is much that can be enjoyed even by those that aren’t necessarily into CG.

KS: I’ve been following Speedhunters for as long as I can remember; it’s my absolute pleasure to be here – thanks for having me.


DDC: So, how did it all start for you?

KS: That’s a hard one for me to answer. When I was around 17 years old I discovered Adobe Photoshop. At that time I had no idea what it was or what it could be used for, so I started doing some research. I was blown away by what I found: artists creating stunning masterpieces through the use of a piece of digital software. Seeing their work, and especially the designs of an artist known as Danny LuVisi, inspired me to learn the tool myself. I started with basic things like cutting out cars and lowering them using tutorials I had found online; that was pretty much my entry into the design world. I spent a lot of time just experimenting with all the different tools I had at my disposal within Photoshop, and began to build on what I had learnt. It got incredibly frustrating at times, but I knew I had to keep on going to get my work to the level I wanted, and I’m still not there yet!


DDC: Were you into cars from early on or was it CG modelling that caught your interest first?

KS: I’ve always been into cars, as far back as I can remember. I always had a toy car in my hand, whether that was an RC car or a model, which I tended to end up breaking. Saying that, I still destroy cars even today! I always had an interest in trying to draw cars as well: huge spoilers, massive wheels, giant blowers…you know the kind!


DDC: What’s your day job?

KS: I’m a Concept Artist at two of EA’s studios, Ghost Games and Criterion Games, and recently finished working on the latest Need for Speed title. My work on NFS mainly consisted of conceptualising how the world and environment could look. I also got the opportunity to work on two to three vehicles in the game, one of which was the latest Mazda MX5 (ND) with a RWB-inspired kit. That was incredibly fun.


DDC: Is this something you thought would even be a possibility when you started? Were you working towards it?

KS: No, not at all. In college I was studying science; biology, chemistry etc. When I was younger, I wanted to be a mixture of things, ranging from an F1 driver (Now GT3 racer!), a pilot or a scientist. I left college very early to start working at a graphic design agency.


KS: In my own time I’d go home and try to work on my portfolio by teaching myself how to digital paint and draw all over again. This soon became very tedious and I lost interest, so I decided to shift my focus onto cars. I thought working on something I’m passionate about would challenge me and help me to learn new things. I started to quickly combine images of cars together in my lunch break and discovered how enjoyable I found it.

Turning An Idea Into Reality

DDC: So how far do you think you can go with this?

KS: I’m currently trying to venture away from 2D work and delve into the 3D world so I can eventually combine the two together. Ultimately, I’d love to design my own bodykits for cars, but also create my own futuristic machines and environments.


DDC: What’s your process?

KS: That’s a secret! No, I’m only messing… I don’t really have a specific process so to speak; it could be something as simple as getting inspiration from someone’s build on a Speedhunters article, to watching a film about space. Completely random I know, but I’ll imagine an idea and then try gathering the materials necessary to bring it to fruition. That can range from a rough sketch to a full-blown illustration.


DDC: But what is it that sets that spark of inspiration off in the first place?

KS: It can be anything really. I’m heavily inspired by the automotive/motorsport world as a whole, but I find movies to be a great source of inspiration. Films like Elysium and Chappie for example; the art style Neil Blomkamp is incredibly inspiring to me too. Music also; sometimes it’s a specific song, tune or tone that can ignite an idea. Another way is seeing what other artists put out there; people like Aaron Beck, Ash Thorp, Walter Kim and Damon Moran to name a few. Those guys are very inspiring to me.


DDC: Do you see something and then you just have to start creating, or is it more of a gradual process?

KS: It can work both ways really. I can see something that influences an idea I’m already working on, and add it in later. I’ll try to work on quick montages over my lunch to just experiment and try new things.


DDC: Do you build the cars from scratch, or do you base your work on existing photos or other images?

KS: In all honesty, it depends on how I’m feeling. With the cars I make only being concepts, I’ll work on top of existing photos and images as it’s generally a quicker workflow. Being in the film/game industry, you are required to create concepts quickly, so I try to exercise this with the use of images. For my more detailed pieces, I’ll spend more time focusing on painting the cars and parts, making sure they all fit together and look like they exist in the same scene and space.


DDC: How about the backgrounds?

KS: The backgrounds are usually just as important as the cars (to me anyway). I usually build these by combining multiple images together to create a new environment, trying to make sure everything matches lighting-wise. I admit I don’t always get this spot on though.


DDC: Is there a certain ‘look’ that inspires you when you’re digitally restyling a car?

KS: I’d say one of my biggest influences is the Cyberpunk genre. Films like Blade Runner and comics like Akira; I find something fascinating about imagining a Cyberpunk world and trying to apply that rebel future-esque vibe to my vehicles. That being said, I’m a huge time attack fan, as builds of this nature provide a never-ending source of inspiration for me.

The JDM Twist Is Never Far Away

DDC: I see a lot of JDM details in your art; what inspires you the most from Japan?

KS: The Japanese have a very special thought process when it comes to making a car their own. The bosozoku style for example; it’s completely bonkers and impractical, yet they still do it.


KS: They really bring the whole ‘zero f**ks given’ stance to the next level. I have a slight obsession with Japan in general however; that probably explains some of it also.


DDC: How about other countries and other scenes?

KS: Car culture is so diverse on a global scale; each country has something adapted from elsewhere, sort of mashed and blended to create something new. The Swedes for example, Gatebil, you probably won’t find builds like those elsewhere in the world. I love the diversity that each country brings. From the UK with their front-wheel drive blitzed-out Corsas to the US’s drag strip monsters.


DDC: Is there is anything in particular that you love more than anything?

KS: Group C race cars – simple as. Mainly the Mazda 787B; the sounds, looks and engineering of these cars will always be fascinating to me. Not to mention, I find them incredibly inspiring to watch.


DDC: What car do you drive in the real world?

KS: I don’t actually have anything at the moment; I’ve not really had much need for one as I live a five-minute walk away from work. I am currently looking for something decent though, which I’m going to need for a bunch of motorway driving. Something I can fit into… Any suggestions? I’m currently thinking of a Golf GTD (don’t laugh!).


DDC: Okay, so what car do you aspire to drive?

KS: A 1993 Mazda RX7 FD3S – my dream car. In my eyes, it’s a timeless looking machine.


DDC: Would you customize it?

KS: I would; something subtle though. Or perhaps something of my own design, who knows. I do love a bit of RE Amemiya though, and have a very special idea in mind for one.


We’ll stop here for now, but a big thanks to Khyzyl for taking the time to answer these questions and allowing us to share his amazing work. But we aren’t quite done with him yet; I for one want to see more of his cool designs!

If you’d like to see a specific car given the Saleem-touch, or perhaps have some questions for Khyzyl, ask away in the comments section below.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I've been following the work of Khyzyl for a very long time now, and I must say that he make the most impressive and outrageous vehicle renders out there. He has inspired me to start some Photoshop work as well and its awesome to hear that he started the same time that I am going to be. Keep up the incredible work!


+ Khyzel Saleem I asume you live in the states so how about the new civic for a car???
Speaking of which you dont have a render of one and have NO DOUBT you could murder the design (in a good way ;D)
Also you could use this as an excuse to bring your concept to reality on a new car (*coughSEMAcough*)


Thanks for sharing. 

I'd like to see what could be done with an old Volvo 240 sedan/wagon... an old hot rod maybe... I wouldn't even mind seeing something of the two-wheeled variety either.


And then I found this...


Rothmans Porsche = new desktop wallpaper. Thank you Khyzyl and Dino!


gavincone23 he lives in the uk


please put your spin on a Mercedes w124 wagon and or a w210. I'm currently modifying both and your work has inspired design cues. It would be great to gain perspective from the master, himself.


I definitely want to see my JZA70 Supra done!  I can send pictures!



I would like to see what you can do to a Land Rover Defender 90.


I want to see a DC2 ITR given the Balde Runner treatment.


@DrivenWheels That's an idea!


Ben Chandler Thank you!


please make body kits, move to japan and apprentice with rocket bunny....


I want to know what was your inspiration for the BRZ kit in image 19 (Dream Series).

I would love to see that kit in person... on my own FRS.

Colin N Davis

Khyzyl I love your work, you could try doing a monster truck, I think that could give you a challenge.


Thank you very much dino! Thank you all the readers also! 

You can check out my Portfolio here, you might find something you like!



I'm a big fan. All my desktop backgrounds are Khyzyl artwork! 
I'd love to see my Triumph TR7 be given a kind of kyusha look. Over fenders, exposed oil cooler, etc. I reckon that'd be cool!

Nickay Kitsune

Maybe a Porsche 550? I thought that would look amazing with the cyberpunk aesthetic


its cool to see Khyzyl getting some rpess here. Ive been following on Instagram and have watched his videos. Killer work. Id love to see what he could do with my 65 Comet...


Looking through your portfolio, I feel like I've died and gone to heaven. Amazing skills combined with a brilliant imagination. I could only see 1 pic of your (and mine) dream car though - have you got any more FD drawings?


@chris chabre Seems he can do no wrong!

Colin N Davis

Your should do a 2005 ford ranger


Its cool seeing  Khyzyl getting some press here...Ive been following his Instagram and have watched his videos...Id love to see what he could do with my 65 Comet.....


I hit delete by mistake..haha sorry man


KhyzylSaleem dino Do you sell tech drawings for body parts that someone could by and have made? I want to 3d print canards!  Or have local motors print a whole body kit...


I would love to see a couple more designs for the FD3S, as it is my favorite car too.
Amazing art Khyzyl, been following you know for some time on FB :)


Love these! And yes the backgrounds are very important, they definitely add to the whole image quite a bit.
Amazing work.


I lived off chopping cars with Photoshop for a few magazines for a couple of years and turned out decent work, so I know exactly how these are made, and I have to say there is nothing, I tell you nothing like the work this guy does, and I'm not only talking about how absolutely outrageous the cars and the backgrounds are, but his "light matching" is almost always spot on, which is by far the most difficult thing to achieve in order for the render to be believable. not only are you seeing an amazing vision here, you're also contemplating amazing skills to bring it all to fruition. 

Salutes, you're inspiring. In this media, it has been forever since I found someone/something that makes me miss those years.


I for one would like to see Khyzyl drop some talent on a Studebaker Hawk


I always look forward to seeing your work Khyzyl! Keep killing it dude! :)


PLEASE do a FR-S i own one and it would be so cool to have one for my desktop wallpaper ! A black FR-S in a 2560x1080 would be awsome !!


Oh, huh. So this is what a de-winged Super GT R35 GT500 looks like more or less.
Now please do a road-going HSV-010.


Absolutely stunning work.


My Desktop is nothing but Khyzyl...get it? lol


would love to see a Rolls Royce silver shadow close to this 240z with the brown and side pipe and riveted over fenders but obviously different


A Karmann Ghia in any guise you see fit seems like a good base to work from. Also an RS Clio 197 cause there aren't many renders about and I drive one.


Amazing work!


Khyzyl.always admire his work , also Yasid Design and https://www.facebook.com/HugosilvaDesigns/?fref=nfs


Gave me Goose Bumps!


New wallpaper!!!!!!

Maximum atttack

I didnt want the article to end.


Maximum atttack You're too kind!


koko san Thank you!


@Dude Very true! Ghias are awesome!


AccordingtoHonda Interesting idea!!


StefanGajie Haha, thank you!


Jagdroach Thank you very much!


UWerqxTeam_MJ It is yes, I was curious haha.


Covarrubias Thank you Daniel! :)


BlueMX5 Thank could be awesome!


@Cano Wow, thank you very much the kind words Cano! You made my day.


i23sonny Thank you! Glad you agree :)


Davids Kruze Photography Haha yes! I've been saving them up for a big reveal so to speak haha. Thank you for the kind words!


@chris chabre Thanks Chris! Badass Comet!


@Nickay Kitsune Yes! Now thats an idea!


I love your work! As love prototype cars as well... I'd love to see a heavily pimped LMP1 racer with over-extreme exhausts and spoilers... can you do that? :-)




Dude your work is simply amazing.
Could you possibly give the Dodge Dart the Saleem-touch?
The Dart doesnt get enough love haha


Love your work man, been following it for quite a while and I was wondering if you could do a Toyota RA28 Liftback with the full 'bosozuku' styling? That would look mint I think, considering you've already done a TA22 like mine so I thought why not the other one?


What bout Yasid Design? He too comes up gr8 stuff. Yet not sure why rally cars too low and run slicks off road. But give it a shot SPHT.


I've been modifying cars since 2005 and I find his style very unique, very few have that mad scientist touch like him, the only digital tuner I know that could compare is Roobi or maybe Jonsibal.

Keep it up Khyzyl.


Thank you! Bought it when I was 15. I'm planning the next rebuild now actually though it's a ways off. The plan is to put it on my chassis table and build a full chassis for it. It'll be a mixture of design, most from the mid to late 60s with my touches added to it. Should be pretty badass.. currently has a 14 to 1 compression 289 in it.

Jordan Kneebone

Boso Volvo 245 wagon could be interesting


All these cars are ruined! They should be returned to stock or tastefully modded but without cutting into the sheet metal and many of these tires are not street legal.... terrible.


milkplus you do know they are edited pictures, right?


milkplus I don't expect everyone to like or enjoy what I do to these vehicles, at the end of the day I do it in my spare time to exercise my curiosity haha. 

It's a lot of fun also!


KhyzylSaleem What about something like this Stadium Super Truck...? 

I also noticed the human renderings that you have in your gallery. What about rendering a human controlling something like the XO-1 radio-controlled car? 

Anyway, I digress.


Excuse me while I lift my jaw off the floor and find a fresh pair of underpants.


milkplus obvious troll is obvious.


The I8 is something else. That needs to be an actual thing. I love the way the wing goes around and over the rear arch. Tasty.


The Aasbo RCF is an absolute thing of beauty.


I have a question
Do you have Instagram?


SplatterBlaster What were the regulations for Procar, again? Looks doable for today.


Wallpapers for the rest of the year...awesome stuff...Love the Rothmans and JPS Porsche !


That DeLorean though... so hawt.


KhyzylSaleem milkplus Actually, I'm a huge fan... #sarcasmfail


LouisYio  it's a Pantera


KhyzylSaleem i23sonny  Khyzyl! Awesome work for sure!! I've been wondering how to get a hold of you for a while really, I saw your stuff long ago! I've been itching to ask you if you could do a rendition of a late 80's 944 turbo, with a rocket bunny kit similar to the 180sx from the rear, front or both :D. It's something I've thought about on my 944 for a while now. I know you had done a 928 and that's what got me thinking; it rocks! You should try your hand at the front end of the 928 too! it's such an awkward one to augment, but I bet it would look bad ass!! Keep up the awesome work; you got skillz!


Aficionadoo LouisYio That Pantera though... so hawt, haha!


LouisYio Aficionadoo Very Hawt!


These illistrations, artpieces i would call it, are awesome! I love these! Very cool, my skills just enable me to slap on maybe a overfender and lower the car on it. 
Very cool, you can just do anything you want to the car and see how it looks aresome! I don't want to know how many tie you put into these pictures! But in my opinion its wothr every second! 
Big Fan, i love it!


KhyzylSaleem Where to you find and get your source/donor images other than google?


When imagination runs wild? Cars that already exist, slammed, with cambered wheels and spoilers? Seriously? I guess you've never heard of Tom Daniel or Luigi Colani.

Not impressed.


At first I was like na, then I saw the passenger was smoking, then I was like cool.


phillipgullett  Your post doesnt impress.


Twisted Metal


It's great to see his works being featuring here. Khyzyl, I've been a fan of your work for some time now. First discovered you on DeviantArt some years ago and been hooked since then!

I love the style you gave to the Impreza cars. The EVO VI TME is my all time favorite car and I would love to see you doing one in the same rough/angry style as the Impreza.
Keep up the amazing and inspirational work, and I'll keep following it anywhere you go.


phillipgullett luigi colanis designs look like big silver chunks of poo


Its good to hear someone else is in love with fd's as much as me.


I remember when StanceWorks first featured some of Khyzyl Saleem’s work on their website. At the time I had just bought a new laptop and I always liked to have interesting wallpapers, so when I saw Khyzl's art it was a perfect fit. I went straight to his website and down loaded every single piece I could and now every time I open my laptop I am greeted with pure and unrefined automotive insanity.




Khyzyl, My dream car has always been the Nissan Kenmeri. I would love it if you could preform some of your incredible photoshop wizardry on it. Thank you :)


Khyzyl, If you do a modern Porsche Cayman I will love you forever.


Aficionadoo LouisYio How did you pick up on that lol. I just glanced over the pic and assumed it was a delorean but looking back now it's defo a pantera. Good eyes


UWerqxTeam_MJ SplatterBlaster lol not sure the intercoolers are necessary for the mini cooper engine in the back


ScottBrady That's not an RC F BTW.....That's the new LC 500


phillipgullett although I "liked" your comment, I think you'received a little off base. Tom Daniel literally did the same thing you're complaining about with Khyzyl-Saleem except with a off worldly hotrod/60s styling influence although it could be argued he STARTED that look.

And Luigi Colonial is more of a "futurist/industrial designer". His cars are fairly repetitive and blobby, but Hot Damn, are his airplanes, trains, and other heavy industry design themes inspiring. Almost post futurist, if such a thing exist.


Man, I feel like all of these cars need to be in a cyberpunk themed movie or something. Just gorgeous!


HUE HUE HUE. You know damn right. Dream car RX-7!


That BTTF one - OMG.


you know what I just thought about?

A cyberpunk Fast n Furious animated series - using this guys vehicles

if I could just win the lotto - I'd fund it


i would love to see a 944 turbo design, like the rx7 a timeless beautiful car, but a little revamp art wise wouldnt go amiss


some of the grossest photoshop/design works I have ever seen. Good that it's just useless 2d flatwork.


@MrLogic is 'gross' slang for astonishing?


Khyzyl, This stuff is CRAZY awesome... I love it. 

Being young, inexperienced, and have yet to be told that I really can't do something, I was wondering if you could conceptualize an e28 with the front end idea of this m6, (without the light cover preferably) and a combination of this 240z and m6 on back.

I LOVE the lack-there-of front quarter panels... and this whole off-road, apocolyptic feel of the z and the duck-tail spoiler of the M6, I think this would just look killer! 

I'd really, really, like to make it into a reality.. Thanks Khyzyl..

Jory Conrad.


that back to the future one is siiick


that Delorean!!!!!!!


To hone logic, supported with open minds and a lot to learn. For logic that is already extensive, balance it with humility


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It's a Pantera, dood.