Peugeot has announced the winners of its 2008 Design Competition with RD, a morphing three-wheeler from 25 year old Columbian designer Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar claiming the top prize in what has once again proved to be an invigorating platform for futuristic automotive design. Now in its fifth year, the theme set down for this year's contest was to "imagine the Peugeot in the worldwide megopolis of tomorrow", a challenge the winning entry meets with a small footprint that gives it the scope to navigate narrow roads combined with the ability to shorten itself by folding upwards at a central hinge point in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Along with the €10,000 prize, the designer will see his vision produced in full-scale model form for the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show.

Filling out the podium places was Ego, a lightweight, one-seat EV from Emre Yazici of Turkey and OXO by Lou Ke of China, another electric vehicle made up of two pods that can be pulled closer together to meet the space constraints of modern cities.

Other noteworthy designs to make the shortlist for the award included the "Peugeot 888", which has four wheels but shares the same shrinking footprint as the winner, the water-drop like "P.R.O.", Shinji Nukumi's "Vision" and the MoVille, a radical (even in this company) three-wheeled, single-person design that envisions electromagnetic spherical wheels and tilting cabin for aerodynamic efficiency when the city gridlock eases.

The 2008 contest attracted 2500 designs from around 100 countries nationalities and more than 132,000 votes from the public were received before the judges met to pick the winners earlier this month.

When dealing with design, the old adage " a picture tells a thousand words" hits the mark - check out he gallery.

Noel McKeegan

Source: Peugeot.