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2011 LA Design Challenge entries revealed

Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:00:00 -0700

As the Los Angeles Auto Show rapidly approaches, the 8th international Design Challenge has been announced. Inviting studios from across the globe to compete, previous years have seen concepts created for environmentally conscious briefs that called for sub-1000lb vehicles through to ‘Motorsport 2025' concepts that reinterpreted motor racing in the semi-distant future.

This year sees six design studios turning to the silver screen and creating the next ‘A-list automobile', those being: Honda Research and Development Americas, Inc; Hyundai Design North America; Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America inc. Advanced Design Center; Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Germany; Subaru Design Tokyo Studio and Mercedes-Benz Interior Design Studio, Germany.

We take a closer look at the plot lines and vehicles set to adorn the red carpet:

Honda Research & Development Americas Inc.
High Noon
Star of this futuristic action-adventure is the Honda Intelligent Horse, or IH for short. After a comet strikes earth, the star of the post-apocalyptic society is the IH. Said to be influenced by ‘the legend and material remains of an ancient creature called the horse' the IH symbolizes a breakthrough in terms of mobility and companionship for those left dwelling in an ‘inhumane, hot, dry and dangerous society'. Using A.I and Nano technologies, the IH is a strong, efficient and lightweight craft and it will need to be, for High Noon sees these IH crafts in a showdown for what fuel and other resources are left in the bleak society. As Honda claims, only the most creative will prevail...

Photo Gallery: Honda IH

Hyundai Design North America
Countess of Siberia
Hyundai presents a darker vision of transport in its proposal, based around the life of Countess Elena – daughter of vampire parents. Born in 1829 with the gift of superhuman senses and ‘unique abilities to travel after dark', she became a member of the Soviet spy network during the Second World War. After the war ended, she embarked on a global quest to diminish the effects of communism using a combination of two vehicles, the ‘Stratus Sprinter' MPV and the DB Atlant Airship. Gifts from her parents, she has maintained and upgraded the craft through her immortal life – the key feature of both being the ability to be invisible during daylight, only to reappear at night. Is this stealth ability enough to see her flourish in her on-going war against Communism?

Photo Gallery: Hyundai Stratus Sprinter & DB Atlant Airship

Mercedes-Benz Interior Design Studio, Germany
Cinderella and the Maybach Berline
Maybach play to their strength in presenting the opulent Berline concept. A virtual chauffeured, modern interpretation of the classic berline carriage, the concept is the epicenter of a reinterpretation of the classic Cinderella story. A helpless soul trapped working at her father's workshop whilst her stepmother and sisters party at the Billionaires Club, she is given a birthday gift of a night out in the Berline concept – the traditional love story ensues. Back to the berline itself: the large concept boasts oversized gullwing doors and privacy glass combined with retractable stairs for a lady to enter and exit with dignity. The ‘royal lounge' seating arrangement is complimented by a 3D laser projection system for unparalleled entertainment – all designed to give old Cindy ‘the Journey of a lifetime'.

Photo Gallery: Maybach Berline

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By John O'Brien