Recently, Ford Motor Company sponsored a contest with the goal of modernizing the iconic Model T, a car which revolutionized motorized transportation the world over. The winner of the competition, a 24-year-old junior at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit named Dong Trang, came up with an electric crossover of sorts. That's fitting, according to Peter Horbury, head of design for Ford in the Americas, because Henry Ford's original Model T sat high off the ground and had a modular design, capable of hauling people and their stuff at the same time.
What the modern-day designs don't share with their forebear is retro looks. Each of the modern T adaptations features fairly sleek styling and alternative power that goes along with our modern-day energy and emissions problems.
Trang's design is rather unique, featuring solar panels on the vehicle along with an energy-capturing suspension design that would help recharge the on-board batteries. Those batteries are also removable to provide power outside the vehicle. The seating arrangement is modular, allowing for up to four occupants or offering increased storage capacity. The rear hatch is also capable of folding away to offer a small pickup bed. Click past the break for some videos of Trang talking about his design.
[Source: Detroit Free Press, Autoweek]