• Oct 21st 2008 at 1:01PM
  • 26
Click above for high-res renderings of the 2015 Ford Model T concept

The original Model T was a game-changer. Its modular design allowed the Tin Lizzy to be mass produced on an assembly line and was the car that put America on wheels. So it might strike you as odd that the Blue Oval chose a design penned by a European university as the best modern interpretation of what a Model T would look like in 2015. For their efforts, the team of eight students and engineers earned the ika (Institute of Automotive Engineering Aachen) from Aachen University in Germany $25,000 in scholarship funds.

Any modern vehicle must take the environment and its emissions into account, and the new T concept is no exception. With three occupants -- the driver is front and center with a passenger on either side -- and a small pickup bed in back, the concept is definitely ready for work. Other body styles would be possible on the modular architecture. If produced, the University estimates it would cost $6,780 to build in base form and would let off 100 g/km of carbon emissions per kilometer, with hybrid and electric versions costing more and emitting less. It's a good design, but we could do without the upright, retro-style front grille.

[Source: Ford]



AACHEN, Germany, October, 2008 – A century after the Model T put the world on wheels, Ford Motor Company has announced the winners of a four-month competition that challenged five universities from around the world to create a revolutionary vehicle concept for the 21st century.

The only European university to take part – the ika (Institute of Automotive Engineering Aachen) from Aachen University, Germany – has won the challenge and $25,000 in scholarship funds for delivering an innovative concept that embodied the spirit of the Model T and best met the criteria of the challenge.

The core team at the ika, consisting of eight students and engineers, developed a concept which had to meet certain requirements set by Ford: the vehicle had to be simple, lightweight, practical, and durable, offering a range of at least 200 kilometers and be able to accommodate a minimum of two passengers. Perhaps the most challenging criterion was that the base target price should not exceed $7,000.

The result is a modular vehicle concept – the Model T for the year 2015 – with an estimated base price of $6,780.

The base model is a mini-size pick-up version of a three-seater, where the passengers are accommodated next to each other. With the driver's seat centrally located, there are no extra costs for right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive versions. Additional weight and costs can also be saved by making only the driver's seat adjustable.

The basic vehicle weighs just 800 kilograms when ready to run but without occupants. That weight would increase if the petrol engine is combined with an electric motor to become a full hybrid vehicle, or when it is converted into a pure battery electric driven car.
Whichever method of propulsion is specified for the vehicle, this will affect the cost. For example, an electric-only system will cost double that of the standard gasoline unit. The CO2 emissions also vary between 54 and 100 grams per kilometre depending on the chosen propulsion system.

The simple flexibility of the frame structure allows for new derivatives to be developed without high investment. Through this, the concept complies with the requirement to adapt easily to different market conditions and customer demands. The vehicle even incorporates elements of Ford's European 'kinetic design' form language.

"We are very proud, as the only European institute, to have been able to participate in this exciting competition. Then to top it off with winning is not only very satisfying, but also confirms that German engineers and students have the capability to compete successfully on the international stage," said Professor Stefan Gies, managing director of the ika.
Aachen University, as well as the ika, have worked in close co-operation with Ford of Europe for many decades. In particular, they are working very intensively with the Ford Research Centre in Aachen, which is the only Ford research facility of its type outside the US. Charles Wu, the Managing Director of the Ford Research Centre congratulated Aachen University and said: "The high quality of their concept impressed us deeply and confirms that Ford of Europe has made the right choice in co-operating with such a strong and capable academic partner."

The Ford jury also named the Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, as second winner.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      So we will all be driving golf carts with windows? ..I don't like this guys vision of 2015.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Dude", you're an idiot who probably thinks ACORN is committing voter fraud and that Bill Ayers plans on teaching bomb making in our public schools.

        Do us all a favor and DON'T VOTE on November 4th...you're clearly not fit to vote for anything more sophisticated than the newest color of M&Ms.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't either. That's why Nov. 4th matters.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i just threw up a little.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That thing has no appeal what so ever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't think 'appeal' was the point of the contest, halfwit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I;d rather take the must beat up, plywood floor rotten old Model T, than this new abortion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No offense to the people that designed this go kart, but does anyone else agree that if they named aaaaanything a model T it should at least be cool? Either that or just dont bring back old names. Call it the model E for eco friendly death trap
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow, did you take the stupid pills belonging to "Dude"?

        This was a design and engineering contest obviously intended to foster creative ideas for a FICTIONAL 21st century Model T. Ford wasn't actually trying to build anything that anyone came up with. And since the engineering part seemed to carry slightly more weight, there was an obvious focus upon functionality and NOT snazzy design.

        Go back to your comic books and your Red Vines.
        • 6 Years Ago
        UltimoDragon, not everybody on Autoblog who has an opinion different than yours is retarded. Please stop with the pretentious "Go back to your plebian interests" shtick.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's not black, so no...

      And it's very ugly, so really no...
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what happens when you let Engineers design cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      thats what happens when you let Engineers do design.
      Jon Russell
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL that school can't even compare to Art Center or CCS... what a joke
      • 6 Years Ago
      What the heck is that thing? Why does it have FORD on it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not really pal. My girlfriends 2008 Focus is actually a good looking car, it' fits her well. Thanks
        • 6 Years Ago
        I will though "give him an "A" for effort.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My G.F drives the Focus to work. I drive a 68 cougar to work and leave the truck at home. I don't see anything wrong withe US focus. My honey does not need 300 hp, it suits her just fine. I drive the car when we go out, its a perfectly well refined car. Sorry to hear you were happy to get out, I don't have the same sentiment. SYNC is awesome. Have you ever tried answering your phone going down the 405 FWY Interstate......w/sync...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Frank, why don't YOU drive the US Focus?

        The fact is, it's one of the better looking US cars. But there aren't many things that look worse than a 2 door sedan, maybe original Toyota Echo... Anyway, after driving the US Focus for 3 blocks and 2 traffic lights, getting out was the best thing I did that day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've seen prettier designs...
        • 6 Years Ago
        i've seen prettier turds
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