This year's LA Auto Show Design Challenge is going Hollywood

Hollywood and the automobile have had a long and storied relationship together. Iconic vehicles routinely appear on the silver screen, and end up earning a place in the hearts of millions of fans. When you see a highland green Mustang, you think McQueen and San Franciscio. A Delorean will push your throttle foot down until you're driving 88 miles per hour, while a black Audi S8 will remind you to know how to walk out of the place you're walking into.

The LA Design Challenge understands the link between car and star, and has decided to make this the main idea behind its theme for the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. Design studios from around the world will compete to bring us their vision of the next automotive icon that should appear on the big screen.

Entries will need to tell the judges how their design relates brand identity to the plot of a film, how it relates to the target audience, how imaginative the design is and how unique their entire project appears. A winner will be announced on November 17th, and we will share all the entries once they're released. Check out the complete press release after the break.
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Automotive Design Studios Go Hollywood

Design Studios from the U.S., Germany and Japan Participate in the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge: Make a Car the Star

LOS ANGELES, CA - August 17, 2011 - For decades, automobiles have played important roles in some of Hollywood's most popular films. The big screen has seen a steady parade of iconic autos that not only entertained as the emblematic rides of their famous drivers, but also actually stole the show and took leading roles themselves. Thanks to vehicles such as the 1968 Mustang GT that Steve McQueen raced through the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt, to the DeLorean featured in Back To The Future, automobiles are now firmly part of film lore.

In the quest to find the next A-list automobile, this year's edition of the LA Auto Show Design Challenge will focus on designing Hollywood's hottest new movie car. For the second year in a row, participating design studios from not only the U.S., but also Germany and Japan, will compete against one another to showcase their talents. Design studios from General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz Germany (Smart), Mercedes-Benz Japan (Maybach), and Mercedes-Benz U.S., will explore new ideas in automotive design as they contend for this top annual design honor.

"There is no more perfect theme for this year's competition held in Los Angeles, home to Hollywood and the film capital of the world," said Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc. "We have some amazing talents participating and can expect blockbuster design concepts that fuse design and technology in innovative ways."

The winning design will be announced Nov. 17 during the Design Los Angeles conference at the LA Auto Show. Judging criteria will be based upon various factors including: How the vehicle reflects its brand attributes relative to the plot; how the vehicle relates to the targeted audience or brand; level of imagination; character development of the vehicle; and uniqueness of the combination of story, car and character.

Entries will be judged by Tom Matano, director of Industrial Design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University; Imre Molnar, dean of Detroit's College for Creative Studies; and Stewart Reed, chairman, Transportation Design at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. There also will be a special guest judge with an expertise in movie cars from Pixar Animation Studios, famous for such animated films as "Cars," "Toy Story," "Finding Nemo" and many others.

The Design Challenge is sponsored by Faurecia, the world's sixth-largest automotive supplier specializing in automotive seating, emissions control technologies, interior systems and auto exteriors, as well as Yokohama Tire, which works closely with auto manufacturers in the U.S., Europe and Japan to develop tires for the latest concept vehicles. Other sponsors that make Design Los Angeles possible include, Dassault Systemes and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA).

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