LA Auto Show's Design Challenge Asks Studios to Transform the Future of Driving Into an Environmental Experience Designers Envision Recyclable Components and Body Panels That Clean the Air

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Home to one of the world's
 greatest concentrations of automobile manufacturer design studios, Los
 Angeles is consistently ahead of the next trend, spawning ideas to help
 solve tomorrow's challenges today. This century's more eco-friendly
 vehicles are only the beginning of transforming the future of driving into
 an environmental experience.
     For the third consecutive year, the Design Challenge has Los Angeles
 design studios shaping their vision of the future by creating a vehicle
 that is environmentally aware of its global footprint. Nine participating
 studios are exploring this new futuristic frontier by imagining a time when
 all vehicles have technology allowing the public to enjoy the distinctive
 Southern California lifestyle and unique environment without harming it.
                          Environmental Sustainability
     These multi-purpose, environmentally sustainable design entries are as
 diverse as the beach, mountains and deserts that represent the geographic
 diversity of LA. They include such design visions as the vehicle with
 interchangeable, fully recyclable body coverings, another which runs on
 pedal power and a vehicle with algae-filled panels that transform harmful
 CO2 into pure oxygen.
     Designers thrive on participating in the Design Challenge because it
 enables them to explore far-reaching, creative ideas in automotive design
 without any restrictions on them.
     Entries in this year's Design Challenge are:
     *  Acura FCX 2020 Le Mans -- Acura Design Center
     *  Audi Dynamic Space Frame -- Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California
     *  Honda Extreme -- Honda Research & Development
     *  Hummer O2 -- General Motors Advanced Design, California
     *  Kia Sandstorm -- Hyundai Kia America Design Center
     *  Mercedes-Benz RECY -- Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America
     *  Mini BioMoke -- BMW Group DesignworksUSA
     *  Toyota RLV -- CALTY Design Research
     *  Volkswagen Nanospyder -- Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California
     The two-dimensional renderings will be judged by a panel consisting of
 multi-discipline design professionals who will select a winner based upon
 the following criteria: originality of creative concept, contribution to
 the environment, degree of safety and reflection of a unique, spirited
 Southern California "green" lifestyle.
     Judging the entries this year are Bill Van Amburg of Calstart, Tom
 Matano of San Francisco's Academy of Art University, Imre Molner of
 Detroit's College for Creative Studies and Stewart Reed of Pasadena's Art
 Center College of Design.
     "The environmental theme is very appropriate in creating awareness with
 consumers on automotive issues that are prevalent today," says Chuck Pelly,
 director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc. "We
 are happy to see that the LA-area studios are using design as the tool to
 communicate unique and innovative approaches to this challenge."
     The upcoming Design Challenge entries will be revealed in early October
 when media packs and CD-ROMs featuring the vehicles are released. The
 winner will be announced on November 30 at the LA Auto Show.
     About the LA Auto Show
     The Los Angeles Auto Show's theme "A New Beginning" marks a time when
 the world's automobile companies have stepped forward with a record number
 of production and concept vehicle world debuts in the show's history. The
 new earlier dates of the LA Auto Show include press days on Nov. 29 and 30,
 2006, followed by public days from Dec. 1-10, 2006. More information is
 available at


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