Design Challenge Entries Reflect Los Angeles' Penchant for Adventure; LA-Area Design Studios' Entries Revealed

Nov 16, 2005, 00:00 ET from LA Auto Show

    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
 Jan. 6-15.
      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.