There will be plenty of competition at this month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, most of it a subtle battle between upcoming production cars. But this year’s L.A. Auto Show Design Challenge will feature a competition of outlandishly designed movie cars.
The L.A. Auto Show Design Challenge has run for the past eight years, and brings together entries from major design houses and global brands, who compete against each other to dazzle twelve design studio executives and walk away with a year’s worth of bragging rights.
This year’s theme calls for designers to craft Hollywood’s hottest movie car of the future. Each entry includes a fully designed concept, along with a movie plot and/or character to accompany it. The entire package of vehicle and contextual story will be evaluated by a panel of judges for the level of imagination and innovation.
Honda proposes a movie centered on a future hinged on rebuilding our worlds after a massive drought – or, as we see it, an inverted Waterworld. The Honda IH — for Intelligent Horse — and features futuristic technology like artificial intelligence. It’s also easy to make locally, which is key in a world where global automotive manufacturing isn’t up to its present speed.
But what if the world were to suddenly stop revolving? Call Subaru: it created the Horizon concept car, which is designed to withstand strong electromagnetic fields and scorching heat, and seats four. Subaru’s Horizon is designed for a movie world in which the world has stopped turning, and half of the world–nicknamed the Daysphere–is being baked by non-stop sunlight, while the other half of the world is living in darkness and must produce its own energy. The Horizon has space for a driver, a navigator, a mechanic, and “Pleiades the magical cat,” all of whom must venture to the Daysphere to get a precious energy-generating material.
Mercedes-Benz’s design team entered three designs in the Challenge. The Maybach name was affixed to the lavish Berline concept, an autonomous carriage that blends the opulence of an old-fashioned horse-drawn coach with modern electric and fuel-cell propulsion. It’s was allegedly created for Cindy, the protagonist of Maybach’s movie, whose father lends her the Berline one evening for her to go on a magnificent adventure — all of which is presided over by a virtual chauffeur.
Mercedes’ Smart brand was thinking a bit more mischievous when it designed the Smart 341 Parkour. The Parkour is more than a car, because its wheels can retract and it features vacuum cups to climb the sides of buildings–hence the name Parkour. It has a 360-degree swiveling seat with complete 360-degree visibility, and might even be able to hover or fly. Designers say it was designed for movie reporter Annie Angle, who uses the Parkour to investigate her first big story working for a big city newspaper.
But the most classic concept is the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow, which was described as “a low-slung sculpture on wheels” and is supposedly designed to look like a late 1930’s W125 racecar. It sits on four hoop-like wheels, each apparently independently powered. The car is the hero car for a movie in which two crash test dummies, Hans05 and Franz02, break out of the clutches of crash testing and fight Dr. Crash-Barrier, an evil villain who reigns over his domain with “terror and mayhem.” We think that with wraparound-taillamps and a super-sleek design, the Silver Arrow might be the best way to outrun evil.
In the meantime, Hyundai imagines a future where cars can fight communism–yes, communism–with its Stratus Sprinter multi-purpose vehicle. The car is driven by Countess Elena, who uses the car’s off-road prowess and go-anywhere capability to put herself in dangerous situations and “protect freedom and justice.” The car can disappear in daylight and reappears after dark, which is good, because Countess Elena only travels by night.
The winner of Design LA’s challenge should be known by the end of the L.A. Auto Show.
Source: LA Auto Show