Los Angeles Show Gets Stylish

November 26, 2005

2000 Isuzu Rodeo

2000 Isuzu Rodeo

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Los Angeles’ annual car show has been a hit with shoppers from its inception. But in terms of international attention, media coverage, and manufacturer attendance, it’s in past years been overshadowed by the annual Detroit extravaganza that takes place shortly after it — even by the later Chicago and New York shows scattered throughout the spring.

 

But no more, organizers say. This coming year marks a break for the L.A. show, which will actually take place twice in the next calendar year. To reposition itself at the end of the auto-show season — and to recast its general theme in the direction of automotive design — the Los Angeles show is moving from January to November.

 

As a result, in 2006 there will be two Los Angeles auto shows, one to greet the New Year (from Jan. 6-15) and one just prior to the holiday season in ’06 (Dec. 1-10).

 

As it switches to a new date and a new focus, the show will once again spin off a Design Challenge competition. Inaugurated last year, the Challenge returns for the January show as an adjunct to the Design Los Angeles automobile designers’ conference also held during the show days. This year’s challenge will again help cast a spotlight on the L.A.area as a hotbed of auto design and trends, show officials say.

 

Too, the competition lets designers at the many West Coast studios established by automakers to break free from concepts that have future production vehicles in mind. “The Design Challenge is an exercise in free thinking and allows designers the chance to explore ideas without the restriction of production disciplines,” says Chuck Pelly, Design Los Angeles conference director and partner in The Design Academy, Inc.

 

This year’s Design Challenge pitted the West Coast studios in a competition to pen the best car for “An L.A. Adventure.” Included among them are commuter cars fashioned into urban-loft feel-alikes, a film festival on wheels, and a gourmet touring car that caters to drivers and passengers in at least two very different ways. And while none of the concepts are actually constructed in clay, fiberglass, or sheetmetal — it’s two-dimensional presentations only — this year’s designs are striking in their conceptualization nonetheless. The entries for the January 2006 Challenge include:

 

 

 

 

 

1999 Jaguar XK180

1999 Jaguar XK180

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Audi Nero

 

Audi’s Simi Valleystudio enters the Nero, a design penned by Jess Harder and Raul Cenan. The Nero evokes Audi’s Auto Union racing history of the 1930s, with aerodynamic surfaces and carbon-black body panels and a translucent hood that shows off the engine beneath it.

 

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2000 Jaguar S-Type

2000 Jaguar S-Type

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GMC PAD

 

An “urban loft with mobility,” the GMC PAD is easily the most fashionable way to live in your car yet conceived. The vehicle can operate in diesel-electric hybrid mode when on the go — but it can also generate power for its house features while parked. “Commuting is what other people do,” GMC offers up as the rationale for the radical concept, designed by a host of artists (Steve Anderson, Senon B. Franco III, Jay Bernard, Phil Tanioka, Sidney Levy, Brian Horton, Alessandro Zezza, Christine Ebner, and Frank Saucedo).

 

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1999 Isuzu Trooper

1999 Isuzu Trooper

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Honda L.A. Rolling Film Festival

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