Top vehicle designers from automakers Subaru, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Maybach and Hyundai have come up with futuristic concepts for the eighth annual Design Challenge at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with the theme: Hollywood’s Hottest New Movie Car. One of the members of the judging panel for this competition is Jay Shuster, who is the art director for Pixar Animation Studios and was a member of the team behind well-renowned movies Cars and Cars 2.
Subaru developed the cat-friendly Horizon -- a practical, four-seater vehicle that can seem to withstand whatever a future dystopia has to throw at it. Mercedes introduced the F1-inspired Silver Arrow, which is a bit more traditional in terms of design, but boasts of what its developers dubbed as "a diagonally configured, hub-less roller track for 'Omni-Directional' manoeuvring."
This vehicle takes inspiration from the company's F1 race heritage including the Mercedes-Benz W125 series, the Uhlenhaut SLR from the 1950s and a Silberpfeil racecar of the late 1930s. As for Maybach, the company introduced the remotely operated Berline, which is a reinterpretation of the historic Berline Carriage. This Maybach concept is inspired from the Cinderella fairy tale, and is based on a GL-class footprint, which features fuel-cell or electric propulsion.
It is also operated remotely through a satellite by the Maybach Virtual Chauffeur Centre. People riding this concept will be seated facing each other, with a "Royal Lounge" on one side and two single seats on the other. The exterior and interior are made from sustainable materials such as wood. Huge gullwing doors with oversized privacy glass can be opened wide for entry through retractable stairs.
Meanwhile, Smart revealed a 341 Parkour that can fly and climb the walls of skyscrapers-- ideal when parking is at a premium. It has a massive greenhouse that provides 360 degrees of visibility. The wheels are retractable, and are equipped with vacuum cups and impulse pads. This Smart concept has modes -- a typical drive mode, a climb mode and a fly mode that enables the automobile to hover far above the roads.
Hyundai, on the other hand, has its Stratus Sprinter MPV, which can travel any road, thanks to its high ground clearance. It has also light combat capabilities. Moreover, this Hyundai concept can be rendered invisible in daylight.
It is also used in combination with an airship known as the DB Atlant. The wackiest of all though is the equine-inspired Honda IH (Intelligent Horse). Designers state that this concept integrates the character and simplicity of a horse and the latest structural, safety and technological innovations.