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Los Angeles Show Gets Stylish Page 2

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Honda’s R&D department turns in its Challenge quiz in the form of a “rolling film festival” — a series of vehicles designed around typical L.A.life scenes. There’s a car that doubles as a Jacuzzi; a “running bus” uses the power generated by ten human runners on treadmills as its motive force.

 

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2002 Infiniti Q45

2002 Infiniti Q45

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Hyundai Greenspeed Gator

 

A drag-racer from Hyundai? Yes, and it’s a fuel-cell-powered one at that. Hyundai’s Gator, drawn by Eric Stoddard, sports an alien body shape with the white-hot performance of a Top Fuel dragster and something ominously tagged a “seat sling.” Giant hood blisters store hydrogen for rocketlike acceleration, while the rear wheelhouses hold electric motors that spin the Gator into orbit.

 

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2001 Infiniti G20

2001 Infiniti G20

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Kia Sidewinder

 

Korea’s other car company steps up to the Challenge with the Sidewinder, a gas-turbine-driven two-seater meant entirely for drifting. Power in designer Marc Mainville’s concept vehicle gets shuttled into electric motors at the wheels. Kia’s shooting for green-friendly performance here, while giving props to the first sanctioned American drifting event, which was held in the L.A.area.

 

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2000 Hyundai Tiburon

2000 Hyundai Tiburon

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Maybach CaliforniaGourmet Tourer

 

It’s all over but the degustation, when it comes to the Maybach Challenge concept tourer. Automated through its GPS links to the sky, the Gourmet Tourer is outfitted with all imaginable devices to store and serve food and wine — and panoramic glass areas that allow full enjoyment of the passing scenery. What other brand would give you a refrigerator, espresso maker, wine racks, and a microwave? Yep, you guessed right. It’s Kitchen Aid. Thanks and requests for reservations go to designer Andre Frey.

 

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1999 Hyundai Santa Fe

1999 Hyundai Santa Fe

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Mercedes-Benz Mojave Runner

 

Slightly more doable than the Maybach concept, the Benz Mojave Runner sounds ready for duty in Fallujah. The carbon-fiber and aluminum exterior frame are twinned with night vision, sandstorm radar, GPS, and a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain with power ports for tools and rescue gear, giving the Mojave Runner the ability to thrive in all kinds of weather conditions. Neater yet: designer John Gill’s newest edition has adaptive tires with changeable tread depth.

 

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990726_outbacksed

Mitsubishi Roadster Konzept

 

Spelling aside, Mark Kim’s roadster idea car sounds right-on, with its trendy hybrid powertrain coupled with all-wheel drive. A total of 360 hp gets pushed through the AWD system via in-wheel motors in the inevitable marriage of Evo-style performance and Prius-style frugality. Kitschy detail: rear rumble seats that double as extra cargo space.

 

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2000 Honda Prelude

2000 Honda Prelude

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Scion Exile

 

Toyota’s youthful Matt Sperling put pen to paper for the Exile, envisioning trips from ski country to beachfront and club-hopping all in the same day. Sportscar proportions soften the Exile’s functionality — its clever rear end acts like a movable cargo pod and detaches for use as a rolling locker.

 

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1999 Honda Odyssey

1999 Honda Odyssey

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Smart Rescue Vehicle

 

Hubert Lee goes all Baywatch on the Challenge on behalf of not-quite-here-yet Smart. His Rescue Vehicle is drawn out for lifeguards on the California coast to help with patrolling, rescues, and applying sunscreen to chesty co-workers. With boat-style seating (up high and waterproof) the turbocharged, 800-cc Smart engine rides between the seats and also spins the jet pump when the Rescue Vehicle does its fabulous impression of an Amphicar.

 

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