LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles, a city known largely for
entertainment and sandy beaches, is the epicenter of automotive styling in
North America and home to 14 automobile design studios. In a city where the
latest trends in movies, fashion and lifestyle hold court, it is only natural
that a prized and distinguished automotive design competition would take place
within its city limits -- at the LA Auto Show.
The Design Challenge is a competition that challenges designers from
automotive manufacturer design centers to create an automobile according to
the parameters of a given theme. This year's theme is "An LA Adventure,"
which is a reflection of the multitude of lifestyle, sporting and cultural
activities that are customary for Southern California and its residents.
For the past several months, design studios have been discussing, and
sometimes debating, what their entry should be. As one would expect, the
results are stylish, innovative and thought-provoking. These entries are:
* Audi Nero: The supreme expression of Los Angeles nightlife, the Audi
Nero is a modern interpretation of the streamlined record-breaking
automobiles developed by Auto Union racers in the 1930s.
(Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California)
* GMC PAD: Priced out of the housing market? The PAD is an urban loft
with unlimited mobility and was developed for the modern city dweller
living in the ever-changing cultural landscape of Southern California.
It has a media rich environment unlike anything ever seen.
(General Motors West Coast Advanced Design Studio)
* Honda LA Rolling Film Festival: "Movie-style" vignettes represent the
diverse cultural backdrop of this ever-evolving city that includes
everything from The Running Bus, a human-powered hybrid vehicle, to the
Jacarzzi, a sleek sports car that doubles as a hot tub.
(Honda Research & Development)
* Hyundai Greenspeed Gator: The Gator pushes the boundaries of design
and fuel cell performance. Harking back to the top fuel racers of the
'60s, this sling shot is powered by hydrogen and in-wheel electric
motors. (Hyundai Kia America Design Center)
* Kia Sidewinder: This Kia is a two-seat lean, mean drifting machine. It
combines the emerging sport of drifting with a vehicle that is equipped
with a turbine powered by Compressed Natural Gas for environmental
soundness. (Hyundai Kia America Design Center)
* Maybach California Gourmet Tourer: As the name implies this vehicle is
the ultimate machine to enjoy a culinary adventure. Featuring an
espresso machine, microwave, wine rack, food preparation area and other
essentials, occupants can simply be chauffeured by allowing the GPS
guidance system take over. (Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North
* Mercedes-Benz Mojave-Runner: This Mercedes-Benz is powered by gas-
electric hybrid engine and can handle anything that gets in its way,
including extreme heat, rough terrain and unpredictable weather.
(Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America)
* Mitsubishi Roadster Konzept (MRK): The MRK is Mitsubishi's take on a
future compact roadster for the California lifestyle. The
two-passenger coupe can instantly become a four-passenger car thanks to
a unique rumble seat that also doubles for added cargo space.
(Mitsubishi Research & Design of North America)
* Scion Exile: For those who desire the freedom and flexibility to jump
in their car and see what journeys lay ahead, the Scion Exile will take
them there in style -- with proportions similar to that of an expensive
exotic mid-engine sports car. (CALTY Design Research)
* Smart Rescue Vehicle: Designed for the adventures and responsibilities
Southern California lifeguards encounter daily, including beach patrol
and water rescues, the Smart is equipped with a jet pump for amphibious
mode. (Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America)
"The Design Challenge gives local automobile designers an open arena for
them to craft designs that replicate their interpretation of the Los Angeles
landscape -- with all of the freedom and excess that they chose to incorporate
into their entries," said Chuck Pelly, conference director for Design Los
The winning entry will be based upon how well the design interprets the
theme, its appropriateness to Southern California and its unique design
characteristics. The studio whose concept best exhibits the characteristics
of "An LA Adventure" will be named the winner on Jan. 5, 2006 at the Design
Los Angeles conference.
Judging the entries are three highly regarded leaders in the design and
transportation education fields: Imre Molnar, College for Creative Studies
(Detroit); Tom Matano, Academy of Art University (San Francisco); and Stewart
Reed, Art Center College of Design (Pasadena).
The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles automobile
designers' conference. Design Los Angeles is a forum where auto designers are
able to participate in workshops, listen to speakers in their field and given
the opportunity to address common issues. The conference takes place
Jan. 5, 2006 on the second of two media days at the LA Auto Show.
During media days, automotive executives will be present to conduct more
than two dozen World and North American car and truck debuts before attending
journalists. The LA Auto Show will open its doors to the public from
This January's LA Auto Show is the last one to be held in January, before
permanently moving its dates to November. Media days for the 2007 LA Auto
Show will be Nov. 29 and 30, 2006, and public days will be Dec. 1-10, 2006.
The move to earlier dates addresses a longstanding desire from the automotive
industry to have the LA Auto Show in its own time period away from other large
shows and the winter holidays.
SOURCE LA Auto Show