A completely new vehicle category
May 17, 2006 Each year at the North American International Auto Show (aka NAIAS or the Detroit Motor Show), the Michelin Challenge Design offers a global platform for students and designers to share their visions of design for automotive industries in the 21st Century. This year, 22 vehicles made it to the show in full-sized form and all of them represent original thought in the automotive design process and a trip to the design web site will provide hours of fascination for any mechanical engineering enthusiast. Two designs that really interested us this year were from young German designers Tilmann Schlootz and Oliver Keller who collaborated to produce the Baal and Hyanide designs pictured here and inside. They represent an entirely new vehicle concept using a bendable rubber track that offers much more traction than its closest relative, the motorcycle, as well as freely changeable directions.
The Baal and Hyanide are steered by both hands and feet and though the display models use a 500cc ATV Motor, the designers believe the construction could allow the use of different engine concepts including fuel cell systems.
The Baal is seen by the designers as having significant off road advantages due to its greater theoretical traction and could take part in desert rallies the Dakar or Baja 1000.
Addendum - we posted this story and within minutes had stumbled on it again at our mate Red's site, so in order not to contravene the old boy's act, it's here too.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.
All articles by Mike Hanlon
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