2010 LA Auto Show Design Challenge: 1,000-pound car concepts revealed

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 22, 2010

Design studios that are participating in the 7th annual Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge have the daunting task of envisioning a “1,000 lb (454 kg) four-passenger vehicle that is both comfortable and safe, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the styling consumers demand."

But the various concepts that the designers have come up with are nothing short of spectacular. Because the Cadillac Aera (Aero + Era) is equipped with alternative fuel, this futuristic 2+2 coupe boasts a 1,000 mile range. This coupe has an advanced body structure that "utilizes a polyhedral, 3D lattice, mono-formed frame with a flexible pressurized polymer skin for body panels and glass."

Compared to this, Honda Air’s entry is simpler with a design that’s inspired by a roller coaster and that’s equipped with a compressed air engine. Mazda's MX-0 is built using MX-5 components but several parts were replaced with “fewer, simplified ones, using innovative lightweight materials." Meanwhile, the Nissan iV features a biopolymer frame that is made of fast-growing ivy and a spider silk composite.

The NORI by Calty Design Research has combined seaweed and carbon fiber to make a singular PODULAR form. Volvo has the VMCC that features a compressed air motor, an open cockpit, and an exclusive front to back seating arrangement.

Mercedes has three entries, namely: the Smart 454, the Biome, and the Maybach DRS. Mercedes said that the Smart 454 was designed by "incredibly high tech robots that look as friendly and cuddly as our grandmothers."

The designers of the Biome imagined a world where “each vehicle is grown from two seeds. One seed, the front star, grows the interior of the vehicle from Mercedes-Benz DNA, while the seed capsule creates the vehicles exterior."

The Maybach DRS is an entry from its Japanese studio and has the appearance of an egg on wheels. The announcement of the winner will be made on November 18.

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