Automotive

Auto designers compete to create 1,000-pound car

Auto designers compete to crea...
The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept
View 49 Images
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Toyota NORI concept
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The Toyota NORI concept
The Smart 454 concept
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The Smart 454 concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
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The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Mazda MX-0 concept
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The Mazda MX-0 concept
The MAYBACH DRS concept
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The MAYBACH DRS concept
The Honda Air concept
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The Honda Air concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept
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The Cadillac Aera concept
The Honda Air concept
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The Honda Air concept
The Honda Air concept
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The Honda Air concept
The Honda Air concept
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The Honda Air concept
The Honda Air concept
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The Honda Air concept
The Honda Air concept
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The Honda Air concept
Maybach electric powered rickshaw
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Maybach electric powered rickshaw
Maybach electric powered rickshaw
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Maybach electric powered rickshaw
The Mazda MX-0 concept
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The Mazda MX-0 concept
The Mazda MX-0 concept
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The Mazda MX-0 concept
The Mazda MX-0 concept
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The Mazda MX-0 concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
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The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
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The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
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The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
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The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
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The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept
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The Nissan iV concept
The Smart 454 concept
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The Smart 454 concept
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The Toyota NORI concept
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The Toyota NORI concept
The Toyota NORI concept
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The Toyota NORI concept
The Toyota NORI concept
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The Toyota NORI concept
The Toyota NORI concept
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The Toyota NORI concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept
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The Volvo Air Motion concept
View gallery - 49 images

For the past six years, the Los Angeles Auto Show has invited automobile designers to participate in its Design Challenges. The challenge for this year’s show was to come up with a design for “a 1,000lb [453.6kg], four-passenger vehicle that is both comfortable and safe, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the styling consumers’ demand.” Entries are being judged not only for meeting the weight constraint (no more than 1,500 pounds/680 kg with passengers), but also for artistic beauty, comfort, uniqueness of design, roadworthiness, sustainability, performance and user-friendliness. The winner will be announced at the show, on Nov. 18. Here’s a look at some of the higher-profile entries...

General Motors Advanced Design California – Cadillac Aera

The Cadillac Aera concept
The Cadillac Aera concept

This 2+2 coupe features a polyhedral, 3D lattice, mono-formed frame with a flexible pressurized polymer skin, which optimizes light weight, aerodynamics and safety. It would have a range of 1,000 miles (1,609 km), running on alternative fuel.

Honda Advanced Design Studio, Pasadena, CA – Honda Air

The Honda Air concept
The Honda Air concept

Inspired by roller coasters and skydiving wing suits, this sub-800lb (363kg) vehicle would be powered by a compressed air and pneumatic regulator system.

Mercedes-Benz Research and Development Japan: Advanced Design Center Japan –MAYBACH DRS

The MAYBACH DRS concept
The MAYBACH DRS concept

DRS stands for “Den-Riki-Sha”, which is Japanese for “electric powered rickshaw.” This car(?) would be powered by a self balancing electric drive unit and controlled by an onboard computer plugged into a city’s transport infrastructure.

MAZDA Design Americas – MX-0

The Mazda MX-0 concept
The Mazda MX-0 concept

Each component of this automobile has been designed to carry out the functions of several components on the existing Mazda MX-5, resulting in fewer total parts and thus lower weight. It would be powered by high-torque electric motors, delivering “impossible acceleration and instant cornering.”

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.: Advanced Design Center California – Mercedes-Benz Biome

The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept
The Mercedes-Benz Biome concept

The Biome would be grown in an ecologically sustainable nursery from two seeds (no we are not making this up). One would create the interior of the car from Mercedes-Benz DNA, while the other would create the exterior. Both seeds would be genetically engineered, as per the customer’s specifications. Don’t expect to see this one on the roads any time soon!

Nissan Design America – Nissan iV

The Nissan iV concept
The Nissan iV concept

Not unlike the Biome, parts of the iV would be produced through “organic synthetics,” in which “automotive parts are cultivated like agriculture.” Its ultra-light yet robust frame would be made from an ivy/spider silk biopolymer.

Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Germany – Smart 454

The Smart 454 concept
The Smart 454 concept

The Tridion-frame chassis of this vehicle would be knit by “Smart Granny Robots” (known as SGRs, naturally). They would weave carbon fiber into complex shapes, optimized for strength and low weight.

Volvo Car Corporation: Monitoring and Concept Center VMCC – Volvo Air Motion Concept

The Volvo Air Motion concept
The Volvo Air Motion concept

The Air Motion would require thousands fewer components than traditional cars, due to its use of powerful yet simple compressed air motors.

Calty Design Research, Inc. – NORI

The Toyota NORI concept
The Toyota NORI concept

Sushi eaters will know that nori is seaweed, and that’s just what would be combined with carbon fiber in the creation of this car. Its body and frame would be combined in one homogeneous pod, which would reduce weight and parts, while capturing and generating energy.

LA Auto Show Design Challenge website.

View gallery - 49 images
32 comments
TogetherinParis
These imbeciles could not find a practical 1000 lb car with both hands.
The big car companies should fire the science fiction fantasy artists, and hire a bicycle or better, a velomobile mechanic, then an aerodynamics engineer. We just had the automotive X-Prize awarded to Edison2, why isn\'t their very light car among those on display?
Tomáš Kapler
how do you know it is
Bugatti
A 1923 Amilcar 4 seater sounds ideal on all accounts.
Facebook User
I like innovation- I think it spurs creative thinking out of the box, which is the purpose of this contest I\'m sure. Some of these designs are thoroughly impossible or impractical, but some I would have right away.
Facebook User
Wow, I can\'t wait for one of these concept cars... They\'ll run on zero point energy, clean the air, are edible, have no moving parts and when you buy them from new they start as a seed you plant in your backyard that grows into a full car over night. Amazing... :P
Peder_y2k
I concur with TogetherinParis, if we look back in recent history, Lotus designed and built an 1100lb. car in the late 1960-early 1970 period called the \'Elite\" and today\'s Mazda Miata is styled from it, granted it is grossely overweight as it is almost twice that of the Elite. With modern materials like carbon fiber and nano structures the new graphene, it should be relatively simple, albeit expensive at first, to build a lightweight.
-Pete, in Tacoma WA
voluntaryist
I agree with Pete & TogetherinParis. The styling and engineering is not the problem. The will or should I say the \"foresight\" is lacking. Even if they started with an ICE it would be a much needed innovation if some company would build an ultralight, aerodynamic 2 seat. The demand has been around for 40 years but goes unrecognized.
thoughtfufellr
with 80000lb trucks on the road i don\'t think so. maybe i could send the robot out for bread and milk!!!!!!!!!
Rolf Hawkins
Why do you ALWAYS start your slideshows either at the end or in the middle??? Pretty f\'in annoying.
Nick Thompson
Whats funny is they say \"artistic\" ... Since when are the cars we drive artistic? They are utilitarian. Id drive a school bus if it got 50mpg and was safe. I dont care what my car looks like, it gets me from point A to point B. I want something thats safe for my family, and saves me money. Why do I care if my car goes 180mph when the legal limit in the US is 65, or 75 in most places? So long as I can accelerate upto highway speeds on an on ramp, im good to go. Give me a rollerskate if its gonna be safe and benefit me where it matters most, my wallet.