2006 L. A. Auto Show Design Challenge

October 23, 2006

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2006 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge

2006 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge

For the third time, theLos Angeles auto show is throwing down a challenge to the design departments of the major automakers. And this year, eight automakers are taking up that challenge — this year, to design a new vehicle that meets the environmental challenges of living in L.A.


A winner will be announced at the L.A. auto show in late November, but the eight entrants are on display now at TheCarConnection.com — from a fuel-cell-powered Acura Le Mans car to a Volkswagen Nanospyder built at the microscopic level. Click the name of the concept to see all the sketches of the concept, and stay tuned for more from the L.A. Auto Show.



Bush Cheney

Bush Cheney

The Acura FCX 2020 Le Mans is the perfect test bed for new material development and clean energy that is ready to perform under the most extreme conditions.


By utilizing molecular nanotechnology, a compact fuel cell can be made possible, thereby making vehicle packaging efficient. New strong, lightweight materials derive from various sources and are 100 percent recyclable. The hydrogen fuel cell power plant tests its performance in the most grueling endurance race in the world — the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


The FCX is a notion of Acura’s commitment to a cleaner environment.


Honda Research & Development

Designers: Leon Paz

Joe De Natale

David Cheng








Looking far into the future, the Audi Dynamic Space Frame is an aerodynamic, stealth-like speedster that’s environmentally responsible and forward-thinking. The rapid prototyping manufacturing process of the Audi is streamlined by integrating parts and processes that are typically separate.


The Dynamic Space Frame integrates all fluid and electrical channels within the frame, a hydraulic fluid drive in place of a traditional driveshaft and suspension/body components filled with fluid that responds to electrical current to control the ride. A new level of individualization is achieved by its dynamic space frame made of an “all-inclusive” single material used for both the interior and exterior.

To offset the resources used for this concept, Audi purchased domestic wind power from Renewable Energy Choice and planted trees through Trees for the Future’s Global Cooling Program.


Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California

Designers: Hans Chou, Toby Gilles, Tony Liu, Sabine Lapine, Jae Min, Heather Shaw and Mattijs van Tuijl






Saab Viggen

Saab Viggen

With Southern California being home to extreme sports, it’s easy to see why the Honda Extreme concept, with its recyclable sustainability, can appeal to each individual owner’s different life stages. The sporty two-passenger vehicle, featuring a pod-like cabin, consists of a honeycomb chassis made of polycarbonate that can accommodate various body styles. This allows the owner the ability to change the body panels easily and can be further modified at local Honda Sustainability Centers. At the end of the fifth year, the chassis can be recycled.


The Honda Extreme is a vehicle that “grows” with the owner.


Honda Research & Development

Designers: Nicholas David

Daniel Talbert

David Cheng







The Hummer O2 epitomizes the ethos of the true Southern California outdoors enthusiast with rugged capability and construction methods that promote safety, accessibility and post-consumer re-use. It’s a Hummer that provides an environmental net gain.


Powered by a fuel cell, this Hummer “breathes” through a revolutionary phototropic body shell that produces pure oxygen throughout the lifespan of the vehicle. The algae-filled body panels transform harmful CO2 into pure oxygen that is subsequently released back into the environment. The Hummer’s construction consists of 100 percent post consumer materials: aluminum (frame) and VOC-free finishes (seats).


The HUMMER O2 represents the first time a vehicle has been designed to give back to the environment.


General Motors Advanced Design, California

Designers: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Frank Saucedo

Steve Anderson

Jussi Timonen

Jose Paris

Loren Kulesus








Beach bums can go from zero to sunny with this biodiesel electric plug-in hybrid with an NiMH, fully recyclable battery that is so environmentally friendly that you might ask it to pass the SPF. With barbecue-friendly storage, a solar-powered cooling feature and built-in detachable recycling bins, green living has never been so easy for this go-anywhere Kia.


Eco-fashionistas can easily recycle the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE) panels for a new look. When the sun has set, the next adventure is California ’s commuter lanes. Whether traveling at 10, 20, or 55 mph, occupants are in a securely enclosed hydroformed aluminum safety cage.


Kia Sandstorm drivers feel the renewable energy – their own.


Hyundai Kia America Design Center

Designer: Marc Mainville






Wood, alloys, glass, and rubber combine unexpectedly to create the ultimate recyclable California roadster of the future. Powered by a four-cylinder Blu-Tec bio-diesel motor, the RÇCY’s open-air design helps take advantage of Los Angeles ’ weather and lifestyle.


Constantly “recycling itself,” this high-strength frame and laminated wood shell allows owners to easily replace damaged panels. The RÇCY is 100 percent recyclable and after five years can be taken to a recycling center to be reduced to its elemental materials.


Fast, fun and fully recyclable, the RÇCY from Mercedes-Benz is for the ecologically minded consumer who demands a smart, elegant alternative to the traditional roadster.


Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America

Designers: Andre Frey

Gorden Wagener

Nick Garfias

Jeffrey Aneiros

Christopher Rhoades








REDUCE: The Mini BioMoke’s optimistic, minimalist approach to travel has go-anywhere capabilities and an open-air cockpit allowing its occupants to enjoy Southern California ’s temperate climate.


REUSE: From the hot-rodding culture to the resurgence of pre-fabricated homes, So. Cal ’s influence encourages the BioMoke kit-car format, promoting interactivity with customizable body panels, alternative fuel powertrains, and the reuse of mechanical components from previous vehicles.


RECYCLE: The BioMoke's body is constructed from a single sheet of biodegradable sandwich paneling impregnated with palm tree seeds. As the BioMoke ends its five-year lifecycle, its body composts to promote tree growth and clean the air.


BMW Group DesignworksUSA

Designer: Gary Shiu – ACCD Intern Designer




Cadillac lmaj

Cadillac lmaj

Pedal power is the solution to heavily congested LA traffic for Toyota 's Renewable Lifestyle Vehicle concept. This lightweight, aluminum bodied, two-seat tandem vehicle features an innovative collapsible track system and a split powertrain solution that identifies with LA’s most-used speeds — 5 or 75 mph.


The manual/pedal mode used in heavy, stop-and-go traffic is also suitable for boardwalk, sidewalk, and beach producing zero emissions while promoting LA's fitness lifestyle. The automatic/electric mode is used at higher speeds with the track widening for more stability via a unique telescopic axle.


The Toyota RLV is a specialized vehicle solution improving the quality of life, while preserving the environment.


CALTY Design Research

Designer: Kevin J. Chun






Chevy SSR

Chevy SSR

Volkswagen designers have fast forwarded into the future with its space-age-looking Nanospyder concept, which is also on the cutting edge of recyclability. The Nanospyder uses nanotechnology, creating a vehicle capable of being assembled, disassembled, and reassembled on a microscopic level. Billions of tiny nano-machines, no larger than a half a millimeter in diameter, attach to one another in a large assembly tank. This method creates vehicles that are optimized for strength, weight, and safety to an unprecedented degree.


The ability to vary the density of the frame allows designers to engineer safety “crumple zones.” Using sensor data, the nano-machines are able to sense impending collisions and strengthen or weaken their connection to each other to ensure the survival of its passengers.


Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California

Designers: Patrick Faulwetter

Daniel Simon

Ian Hilton

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