The Design Challenge is a part of the Design Los Angeles automobile designers’ conference that has evolved into an integral element of the Los Angeles Auto Show. Each year for the past eight years, the Design Challenge theme is chosen by the Design Los Angeles Board of Directors. The board is made up of a dozen design studio executives. Automotive design studios from around the world are invited to participate and this year, studios from Germany, Japan and the U.S. competed to design ‘Hollywood’s Hottest New Movie Car.’
Entries are judged based on various factors including: how the vehicle reflects its brand attributes relative to the movie plot; how the vehicle relates to the targeted audience or brand; the level of imagination; the character development of the vehicle; and the uniqueness of the combination of story, car and character.
Subaru Design Tokyo Studio
Vehicle: Subaru HORIZON
Project leader: Takashi Hagino
Exterior design: Yoshifumi Tomita, Yoshiaki Sakaguchi, Tomoyuki Kato
Interior design: Yohei Noshiro
Character design: Masashi Kaneda
Digital Modeling: Takamitsu Watanabe
After 200 years since the rotation of the Earth has stopped, the Earth was split into two, distinctly different hemispheres, the Daysphere and the Nightsphere. Humans have been living in a highly developed civilization in the Nightsphere, away from the sun’s harmful electromagnetic waves. There is no sunlight, but they had electricity sourced from an innovative energy plant that powered the megacity. It seemed the technology driven human civilization was flourishing as always, but there was a threat slowly casting a shadow down upon them. The fuel of the power generation system, a rare crystallized mineral, was running out of energy.
The mineral is known to be found only in the pole of the Daysphere, a place from which no human has ever come back alive.
A team of four, Alcyone- the driver, Maia- the navigator, Merope- the mechanic, and Pleiades- their magical cat, has been formed to venture to the other end of the world, tasked to bring back the crucial mineral. The Ultra Subaru HORIZON has been specially developed to take them on their journey. It is to withstand the strong electromagnetic field, chemical imbalances, scorching heat, and raging storms of the Daysphere. The skilled team is off to save their world in this action packed adventure!
Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Germany
Vehicle: Smart 341 Parkour
Movie: Annie get the Grannies!
Design Team: Sylvain Wehnert, Emiel Burki, Phillipp Haban
In a world of continuous change, in Cantpark City, reporter Annie Angle is beginning a new chapter in her life. Cantpark City is famous for its friendly people, the beautiful weather, but notoriously known for a lack of parking spaces. On an early Sunday morning, an article in a newspaper catches Annie’s eyes… ‘Smart Granny Robots missing!!!’
Annie sets off on a journey to solve the mystery of the missing Grannies and to earn her first, potentially career-making, front page news article. Her Smart 341 Parkour vehicle plays a key role in this private investigation, providing both effective transportation and favourable sleuthing capabilities.
Several features enable her to take pictures from the best possible locations. The large greenhouse gives Annie 360 degrees of visibility while travelling through the inner city. The wheels are retractable and contain impulse pads and vacuum cups. The hexagon skin around the wheelhouse is adjustable to release the wheels. The Smart has different modes: a typical drive mode, a fly mode that allows the vehicle to hover far above the streets and a climb mode that allows the vehicle to run up the walls of skyscrapers.
Follow Annie’s investigative search in Smart’s Annie get the Grannies! this November.
Honda Research and Development Americas, Inc.
Vehicle: Honda IH (intelligent horse)
Movie: High Noon
Design Team: Wojtek Bachleda, Taryn Dyle, Raj Rihal
Honda takes us hundreds of years into the future to a world disrupted by the impact of a gigantic comet. The resulting heat and drought have wiped out technology, infrastructure and life as we know it, making it imperative for the few remaining survivors to recover faster than any human generation before. The few scientists have created a vehicle that serves as a companion and protector in the inhospitable and lonely environment. Their inspiration – the legend and material remains of an ancient creature called the horse.
A masterpiece of technology, the Honda IH symbolizes a breakthrough in terms of mobility and companionship in an inhumane, hot, dry and dangerous environment. The vehicle takes advantage of three key elements which will emerge in the near future: local production, artificial intelligence and additive technology. The vehicle uses the efficient, lightweight, strong, and functional characteristics of bones for its inspiration. A.I. technology and nanotechnology gives everybody the power to produce material resources and parts for the vehicle locally. Additive technology is a revolutionary attempt to produce very small or especially very large parts in a more efficient way to save weight and resources while improving the strength and flexibility of the product. The IH vehicle combines both the character and simplicity of a horse with the latest structural, safety and technological innovation.
At High Noon the dangerous environment is apparent when there is a showdown between IH’s competing for fuel and other resources. The most creative will prevail.
Mercedes Interior Design Studio, Germany
Vehicle: Maybach Berline
Designers: Christopher Ottersbach, Philipp Haban
Design Manager: Jan Kaul
Berline Carriage Engineer, her Stepmother, a retired Actress, and her Stepmother’s spoiled daughter who spent her days partying at the Billionares Club while Cindy spent all day working at her father’s workshop.
On the night of her birthday, Cindy’s father surprises her with a beautiful dress and allows her to take a new Maybach prototype out on the town – a reinterpretation of the historic Berline Carriage. Based on the dimensions of a Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, the Maybach Berline Carriage is an E-Cell or F-Cell vehicle and features autonomous driving that allows Cindy to have an amazing night out, where she meets a handsome stranger.
The Carriage is teleoperated via a satellite link to a Maybach Virtual Chauffeur Center. This leaves maximum interior space for the passengers and also allows maximum privacy. The passengers are seated in a vis-à-vis seating layout with a ‘Royal Lounge’ on one side and two single seats on the other. A large glass screen with 3D laser projection is suspended from the ceiling and can display the Virtual Chauffeur or a variety of media and entertainment. The interior and exterior come together seamlessly and are comprised of sustainable materials like wood. Large divided gullwing doors with oversized privacy glass open wide for entry with retractable stairs for convenient entrance (inspired by business jets).
Moviegoers will awe in the romance and new technology as Cindy goes on the journey of a lifetime.
Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.: Advanced Design Center California
Vehicle: Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow
Movie: Silver Lightning
Design Director: Hubert Lee
Designers: Jackson Luttig, Yasu Sato, Alan Barrington
In homage to 125 years of automotive innovation and design excellence, Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America features a story with two techno characters that have achieved a unique harmony between safety and style; the iconic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow racecar, and the underappreciated ‘Crash test dummy’.
In a futuristic society of increased artificial intelligence, two enlightened crash test mannequins, Hans05 and Franz02, show that they’re no dummies when it comes to recognizing a potential catastrophe and decide to take matters into their own hands. As the evil battering ram Dr. Crash-Barrier seeks to continue his reign of terror and mayhem, the two heroes take action to save their beloved Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow. They lead the relentless ‘Dr. Barrier’ on an action packed thrill ride through the past and future of transportation.
A long-slung, sculpture on wheels – actually on ‘Hoops’ – the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow has proportions reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz W125 series, a Silberpfeil racecar of the late 1930’s and the Uhlenhaut SLR from the 50’s. The overall shape follows distinguished Mercedes-Benz design traditions and is born from a dominant Formula 1 racing legacy. It also features a diagonally configured, hub-less roller track for ‘Omni-Directional’ maneuvering.
Brought to you by the creators of ‘Biome, a car grown from trees’, this epic adventure has it all, including a surprise ending that will have audiences cheering as our reluctant heroes save the day with a little old- school subterfuge and help from the great tradition of the Mercedes-Benz automobiles.
Hyundai Design North America
Vehicle: Hyundai Stratus Sprinter, DB Atlant (Airship)
Movie: Countess of Siberia
Design Team: Tony Chen and Woo Tak Kim
Born in Moscow in 1829 of vampire parents, Countess Elena, with her super human senses and unique abilities to travel after dark, became a member of the Soviet spy network during the Second World War. After the war, she set out on a mission to stop the negative effects of communism around the globe. Traveling to the most dangerous places in the world, the Countess knows she cannot be seen by anyone in her fight to protect freedom and justice.
The Countess uses two vehicles, the Hyundai Stratus Sprinter multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) and the DB Atlant Airship that serves as her home base and MPV carrier. Passed down from her parents, she has been upgrading and modifying features throughout her immortal life. The MPV can travel any road due to its high ground clearance and has light combat capabilities. The Airship stays afloat and hidden high in the sky to avoid detection. Both vehicles have a magical stealth force that renders them invisible during daylight, only to reappear after dark.
Follow the Countess on her fight in the on-going war of Communism in Hyundai Design North America’s action thriller Countess of Siberia.