LA Auto Show Design Challenge entries

Audi Nero

The LA Auto Show has released sketches of all the entries for its Design Challenge, the theme of which this year is "An LA Adventure". Entries come from design studios located in LA run by such manufacturers as VW/Audi, Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota. The entries will be judged on how well they interpret the theme and the winner will be announced at the show on January 5th.

These are some crazy designs, folks. We've got a drifting Kia, a Mercedes fit for the Mad Max crowd, a Maybach for wine and cheese aficionados, a super svelte Audi (shown above), a hydrogen fuel cell dragster from Kia and more. Honda seriously needs to give its designers some R&R, as their wacky entries include a pedal-powered Human Hybrid van and a sportscar with a hot tub called the Jacarzzi, which doesn't even make sense. We think the potent combo of California sun and smog is finally getting to them.

Check out all of the entrants with official descriptions and pics after the jump.

[Source: LA Auto Show]

Audi Nero

Volkswagen/Audi Design Center California
Designers: Jess Harder, Raul Cenan

The Audi Nero (Latin for black) concept is an evolution of the 1930s streamlined record-breaking Auto Union racers. The aerodynamic surfaces, covered wheels and low ground clearance create a stealthy modern interpretation of its inspirational ancestors. The carbon black color reflects the LA mood, while its strong silhouette is punctuated with compelling technical details. The aggressive front end is followed by a translucent hood that showcases its powerful engine. The Nero super coupe is an expression of pure power, speed and style that turns any LA night into an adventure.

Audi Nero
Audi Nero


GM West Coast Advanced Design Studio
Designers: Steve Anderson, Senon B. Franco III, Jay Bernard, Phil Tanioka, Sidney Levy, Brian Horton, Alessandro Zezza, Christine Ebner, Frank Saucedo

Why commute? Adapt. That's the thinking behind the GMC PAD, which offers an innovative look at an urban loft with mobility. It's a home ownership concept that enables cultural and geographic freedom for the modern city dweller. The GMC PAD features a diesel-electric hybrid system for propulsion while in DriveMode, and serves as a generator for the onboard power grid for LifeMode. The media rich environment is unlike any other, and comes with an endless variety of entertainment, information and security options. With the GMC PAD, home is where you want it. And commuting is what other people do.


Honda LA Rolling Film Festival

Honda Research & Development
Designers: Honda Research & Development

The Movies! That's one common worldwide attribute of LA. So the designers of Honda, in honor of LA's movie persona, created vignettes of vehicles and lifestyles for several of the cultures, lifestyles and images of LA. And they designed them with the imaginative consideration of the second most important characteristic of LA - living on roadways. For the fitness crowd there's "The Running Bus," an ingenious human-powered hybrid that features 10 stationary runners inside the bus for power; or the "Jacarzzi," which is a sleek sports car that doubles as a hot tub. And, the vehicles are presented in the best language of Los Angeles - the Movie Poster.

Honda LA Rolling Film FestivalHonda LA Rolling Film Festival

Hyundai Greenspeed Gator

Hyundai Kia America Design Center
Designer: Eric M. Stoddard

What happens when drag racing moves beyond internal combustion and nitrous oxide? The Hyundai Greenspeed Gator, which pushes the boundaries of design and fuel cell performance. Inspired by the top fuel racers of the '60s, this alien shape is rooted in pure function. The overall design consists of a main fuselage with integrated roll protection and "seat sling" that hangs underneath, tied together by a center spine chassis with integral fuel cells. The giant hood blisters house the hydrogen storage tanks, and the rear wheels house gargantuan electric motors.

Hyundai Greenspeed GatorHyundai Greenspeed GatorHyundai Greenspeed Gator

Kia Sidewinder

Hyundai Kia America Design Center
Designer: Marc Mainville

This Kia is a two-seat, lean, mean, drifting machine! The Sidewinder's power comes from a compressed natural gas turbine, which feeds electricity to a series of in-wheel, high torque, electric motors. This environmentally-responsible vehicle would surely grab the most attention while carving lines sideways through the race course. Kia chose drift racing as its theme for the "LA Adventure," because Los Angeles was the scene of the first officially-sanctioned American drifting event.

Kia Sidewinder
Kia SidewinderKia Sidewinder

Maybach California Gourmet Tourer

Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America
Designer: Andre Frey

The Maybach California Gourmet Tourer is the ultimate machine to enjoy a culinary adventure. Fully automated, the Maybach is safely chauffeured by software using GPS guidance. Offering panorama style windows to enjoy the scenery, it comes fully equipped with every onboard feature imaginable to store and prepare food and wine. It features refrigeration, espresso machine, microwave, wine rack, food preparation area, recycler, foldout tables and other accessories to make any picnic an unforgettable adventure.

Maybach California Gourmet TourerMaybach California Gourmet TourerMaybach California Gourmet Tourer

Mercedes-Benz Mojave Runner

Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America
Designer: John Gill

The gas-electric hybrid Mojave Runner is designed to thrive in extreme heat, rough terrain or unpredictable weather. It features night vision, sandstorm radar and GPS sensors and is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell generator to provide electrical power for tools and rescue equipment. The strong, lightweight exoskeleton frame is a combination of carbon-fiber and pressurized aluminum tubing that stores air for pneumatic power tools. Its off- and on-road capability is optimized by intelligent adaptive tires that automatically changes tread depth for top performance.

Mercedes-Benz Mojave RunnerMercedes-Benz Mojave RunnerMercedes-Benz Mojave Runner

Mitsubishi Roadster Konzept

Mitsubishi Research & Design of North America
Designer: Mark Kim

The Mitsubishi Roadster Konzept (MRK) is a sporty hybrid compact that combines LA's hip stylish image with a sophisticated look. Environmentally-responsible, all four wheels are equipped with Mitsubishi's AWD in-wheel electric motor technology. The 280 hp provided by the in-wheel motors combined with the 80 hp rear-mounted engine brings an impressive 360 hp to zip around congested freeways. The MRK has two front sport seats, plus rear rumble seats, which allows for two rear passengers or extra cargo space for Southern California adventures.

Mitsubishi Roadster KonzeptMitsubishi Roadster KonzeptMitsubishi Roadster Konzept

Scion Exile

Calty Design Research
Designer: Matt Sperling

The Scion Exile is designed to whisk its individualistic occupants to the snowy slopes, sandy beaches and hip nightlife all in the same day. To appeal to the upscale/sport crowd, the cab-forward Exile is proportioned similar to that of more expensive and impractical exotic sports cars, yet with a go anywhere attitude. A clever trunk doubles as a moveable cargo pod that can be extended, lowered and wheeled as a portable mobile storage locker. With so many activities to choose from in a single day, the Scion Exile accommodates all LA has to offer.

Scion ExileScion Exile

Smart Rescue Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America
Designer: Hubert Lee

From Smart comes the ideal cruiser for crowded Southern California beaches. The Smart Rescue Vehicle is designed for the adventures and tasks that a lifeguard endures on a daily basis, such as first aid, beach patrol, safety and water rescues. The driver sits high in a personal water craft-styled seating position, and can accommodate four passengers. Its mid-engined 800cc turbo Smart engine sits between the front and rear foam seats and can do double duty by powering the jet pump when in amphibious mode.

Smart Rescue VehicleSmart Rescue VehicleSmart Rescue Vehicle

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