The Phoenix was just one of the entries in the 2009 Michelin Challenge Design, an annual competition that encourages vehicle designers to push the boundaries and think outside the square – especially where the rubber hits the road.
The Phoenix concept car features an orbital omni-directional four-wheel-drive system which allows for several types of motion - apart from moving forwards and backwards, it can rotate around its own axis and move sideways.
The Michelin Challenge Design, now in its ninth year, has a different theme each year. The 2009 theme was 'Brave + Bold - America's Next Iconic Vehicle'.
The Phoenix's designers say the concept car was inspired by a combination of the American muscle car and the American's favorite vehicle: the pick-up truck. Despite this, the concept would aim for some level of environmentally friendliness, being powered by a mid-mounted flexi-fuel V8 engine.
The two-seater design also features body panels made from bio-composite materials that are easily recycled and roll bars and a safety cell constructed from reinforced bio-polymers.
Those wishing to take part in the 2010 challenge must create concepts that could dramatically improve energy efficiency, minimize environmental impact and satisfy consumer demand for an attractive and usable vehicle design.
A jury of transportation industry professionals will review the work and decide on the winning designs, with additional consideration will be given to entries that include a separate rendering of the tire and wheel component assembly.
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