The indie rock band The Flaming Lips has a compilation album called Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid, and if ever there was a collection of automotive concept car designers about which we could say the same thing, it's the folks who designed the race cars in the 5th Annual LA Auto Show Design Challenge.
Part Speed Racer, part podracers, part just crazy and at least a little eco-minded, these cars (if you can call them that) would make me want to watch racing in 2025, the year the designers were trying to imagine. I mean, look at the wheels on the Mitsubishi's MMR25 (above). The idea is that this vehicle could be driven forward no matter what direction it's pointing. The full line-up includes:
The all-electric MAZDA KAAN, the energy-generating GM Chaparral Volt, the hyperaerodynamic Audi R25, the BMW Hydrogen Powered Salt Flat Racer, Honda's The Great Race 2025, Mitsubishi's MMR25, Mercedes-Benz's Formula Zero Racer, the hydrogen-powered Toyota Le Mans Racer "that never needs to stop," and VW's Bio Runner.
There is more information on each racer after the jump, and we'll find out which concept wins the Design Challenge when we get to LA in a few week's time. For now, I've put all 64 images of these fanciful concepts in the gallery below, but if you want to see a vehicle in particular, click on the linked name above. Enjoy, and whew.