“I wanted to make the sexiest, coolest vehicle you could possibly imagine,” says designer Darren Gilford of the Light Cycle, the sleek speeder that swirls trails of neon in Tron: Legacy. For the sequel, Gilford’s concept artists avoided alienating fans of the 1982 cult classic by drawing inspiration from the bike’s original design, a boxy pixilated vehicle that was severely hampered by 1980s technology. Three decades later, the Light Cycle has morphed into a glossy prowler, with hubless wheels and loops of light that blur where the bike ends and the body begins. “For engineering purposes, it’s next to impossible to actually make,” Gilford says. “But we’re no longer beholden to the limitations of engineering.”
— Austin Carr
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