Design
Where form meets function

Following his series of illustrated pop culture vehicles, Israeli illustrator Ido Yehimovitz sets his sights on the world of video games exclusively for Highsnobiety.

We continue our series of exclusive illustrations with another set done in collaboration with Ido Yehimovitz. Previously touching upon films such Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Kill Bill and Dumb & Dumber, the Israeli illustrator’s latest designs focus on some of the video game world’s most recognizable vehicles. The resulting images reflect the artist’s signature style while offering a charming take on vehicles that run the gamut from racetrack cars to killing machines.

Mario’s Go-Kart – Mario Kart

The titular vehicle from one of the most iconic racing games of all time, Mario Kart successfully merged the world of Mario with the increasingly popular racing game genre. Mario’s signature go-kart features the same color scheme worn by the plumber-turned-hero while adding a dash of Grand Prix flair. First appearing in Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo in 1992, Mario and his trusty vehicle’s latest incarnation appear in Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U.

Sweet Tooth’s Ice Cream Truck – Twisted Metal

Perhaps the most menacing of vehicles in the Twisted Metal franchise, Sweet Tooth’s Ice Cream Truck has evolved since its initial incarnation, in the process becoming the face of the series and growing progressively darker over the course of eight games. Real name Marcus “Needles” Kane, the fictional character’s flaming head appears as his combat car’s logo, causing other participants to keep an eye out as soon as Sweet Tooth’s maniacal laughter is heard.

Warthog – Halo

A ground vehicle of the United Nations Space Command (UNSC), the Warthog (technically the M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle), is one of Halo‘s most versatile vehicles thanks to its M12 base. Models fielded during the Insurrection and the Human-Covenant War featured a turret-mounted M41 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun, while post-war models are armed with an M46 Light Anti-Aircraft Gun. The rugged machine became well known during online campaigns when players could act ride shotgun or mount the turret while another teammate drove the Warthog around bumpy terrain. Illustrated by Ido Yehimovitz, however, the vehicle takes on a rounder, cuter form, undermining the issued M12’s military purpose.

Slicecycle – Dead Rising 2

The hack job to end all hack jobs, the Slicecycle from Dead Rising 2 is one of the game’s deadliest weapons. The hybrid vehicle/weapon can be assembled inside resident psychopath Leon Bell’s trailer once defeated. The two-wheel destructor lends itself to 1,000 uses provided you don’t crash. If you do end up in a wreck, however, that number is lowered.

The bike is given more backstory via Wallace Hertzog’s mechanic friend Carl. According to Carl, the Slicecycle used in the multiplayer experience Terror is Reality is a fully-modified IJIEK 772c Racing Bike (second-half 2004 model), reverse-engineered to incorporate a low center of gravity (LCG) muffler design, a sixteen-valve, 4-stroke, DOHC engine, and, of course, a twin pair of chainsaws and 4 radial blades, attached to a separate engine located within the front fairing. All of this has been carefully accounted for in Ido’s cartoonish illustration of the gruesome, zombie-eating machine.

Metal Slug – Metal Slug

One of the most nostalgic entrants in this roundup, the titular vehicle, officially known as the SV-001, from arcade staple Metal Slug is a welcome site to any arcade-goer’s mission through the game’s fictional war-torn universe. One of many variants, the original SV-001 comes equipped with one 127mm low-pressure rifled main gun and twin three-barreled 12.6mm caliber vulcan cannons. The “Super Vehicle” was initially developed by the Regular Army and can jump and crouch using special hydraulic systems. Thanks to the Metal Slug’s sheer size, infantry units don’t stand a chance in its path and the driver can perform a suicide attack by ejecting himself and letting the tank ram into and explode its target. By all means a deadlier vehicle than it appears upon first glance.

Max Damage’s Red Eagle – Carmageddon

As the most famous racer in the appropriately titled Carmageddon series, Max Damage’s Red Eagle has undergone a number of changes over the course of the franchise. While its design language has remained consistent throughout, the first iteration has become the most well known while at the same time coming to define the destruction derby. The literally red-headed character, meanwhile, is one of two drivers that players can choose from at the start of most versions (the other being Die Anna), and he is the only driver to appear in every single game and port. On top of that, the Red Eagle is one of two cars that players can select to drive at the start of the game. Once the game is beaten, the vehicle is offered in various colors, all of which bear the violent vehicle’s sinister saw.

Axel’s Taxi – Crazy Taxi

Who knew emulating a taxi driver could be so fun? With the simple goal of getting your customer to their destination as quickly as possible, extra money is earned by performing stunts as you make your way through town. Among the flagship titles for the defunct Sega Dreamcast, Crazy Taxi was first released in arcades before becoming one of the few Sega All Stars. While there are other cabs to choose from, Axel’s variant was the most rounded with acceptable acceleration and handling. Aged 21, Axel became a cabby simply for the reason of it being a stylish profession and an easy way to, quite literally, pick up ladies. His cab reflects that philosophy, too, with a cheesy checkered pattern on the side panels, tail fins and a plush red interior.

Trevor’s Canis Bodhi – Grand Theft Auto V

You’ be forgiven for thinking the Canis Bodhi is a direct port of the Kaiser Jeep M715. Like many Grand Theft Auto vehicles, the rugged two-door is based on a real-life model and even includes elements of the Land Rover Defender and Land Rover Wolf. As one of the game’s three protagonists, Trevor Philip’s version of the car features the savagely defiled stuffed teddy bear Mr. Raspberry Jam on the front grille. The story of how MRJ came to be in Trevor’s hand is more gruesome than you’d imagine and decidedly unfitting for such a toy. Without giving away any details, let’s just say bloodshed and strippers were involved.

Light Cycle – TRON

The light cycle from the TRON universe is perhaps the most advanced vehicle on this list next to Halo‘s Warthog. The two-wheeler has undergone a number of transformations over the franchise’s lifespan, although the first and most recognizable of the bunch comes from the hands of neofuturistic concept artist Syd Mead. Fittingly aerodynamic, light cycles were designed to be used mostly in a competition between humanoid computer programs. In the game, contestants are in constant motion on a playing field, creating a wall of light behind them as they move. If a player hits a wall, they are out of the game and the last player standing wins.

Scout Car – Half-Life 2

Last but certainly not least is the Scout Car aka the Buggy from Gabe Newell’s groundbreaking PC game Half-Life 2. Revolutionizing the first-person shooter genre for the second time in the franchise’s history, the Source game engine and realistic physics, animation, sound, graphics and narrative caused it to win 39 “Game of the Year” awards from various publications. The Scout Car is one of several drivable vehicles in the fictional world and was originally used on the Coast by the Resistance. Equipped with just one seat, the Scout Car is capable of a turbo boost and features a Tau Cannon attached to the hood making the four-wheeler one of the most devastating vehicles in Half-Life 2.

Illustrations by Ido Yehimovtiz for Highsnobiety.com

Director of Content Strategy

Brock Cardiner is Highsnobiety's Director of Content Strategy. He oversees Highsnobiety's editorial approach across platforms & mediums. Brock splits his time between Berlin, Los Angeles and New York.

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