January 2, 2007 The Peugeot design competition looks set to become one of the most important such competitions in the world. Now in it’s fourth year, the latest competition is now in the voting phase, with internet users being asked to vote on the thirty selected projects prior to January 23 to determine the 10 finalists. As with previous winners such as the Moonster (2001 winner), 4002 (2003) and the incredibly popular Moovie which won the 2005 competition, Peugeot will reward the winner by building a full size version of the car to be shown at the Frankfurt 2007 Motor Show and everyone will be able to drive the car virtually as it will be incorporated into an XBox 360 game. For example, here's the story that the Moovie had won the competition, and here's the story and image gallery of the finished working model. This year the theme for the contest was “P.L.E.A.S.E. Innovate” with the acronym standing for Pleasurable (to drive), Lively, Efficient, Accessible, Simple and Ecological. With the internet being used to make the entry into the competition more accessible, a record 4,000 entries from 113 countries were received this year, pushing the standard of the final 30 to a new high. We won’t bias the judging by saying what we voted for, but we’ve picked our top ten and they are all interesting an inspiring in their own right. The contest is well worth a look for motoring aficionados.
After the ten finalists are announced on 24 January, the winner will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and a full scale model of the winning design will be created for the Frankfurt Motor Show later in 2007.
Our top ten – we’ve edited the designer’s comments in each case for brevity and conciseness and to overcome language vagaries – if you would like to see the untouched originator’s description of their project, go to the relevant voting pages and click on “descriptive file.”
Peugeot ALLSCAPE HD
The ALLSCAPE HD is designed for a new generation of sports car enthusiasts looking for extreme power yet demanding ecological responsibility in a product on a wholistic level. The ALLSCAPE HD has a natural gas powered two litre, twin turbo V4 engine, plus four in-wheel 30kw electric motors. Lots more detail is available in the description written by Venezuelan designer Gustavo Ferrero and be sure to check out the magnificent detail in the renderings.
Based on the idea of an entertainment ride on wheels, Korean designer Kim Minchul’s Coaster has an active body and represents an entirely new way of thinking about automotive transport.
Iranian designer Amin Dahresobh’s Cougar concept uyses transparent materials for the majority of body parts so that the driver and passengers can see more of the road surface and surroundings when inside the car. There’s also an X BOX built-in to the car which has a flexible seating arrangement so the passengers can watch movies and play games, and there’s also provision for a built-in camera on the roof of the car so the scenery can be captured digitally. The Cougar has a four cylinder conventional engine and two electrical motors inside the rear wheels.
Czech designer Jan Hrbek’s Erectus concept is his take on the next major step in the evolution of the automobile in that it changes its orientation based on the task at hand. The two seat vehicle’s cabin tilts upright in parking mode and flattens out to offer a near-horizontal position in driving mode. The angle of the cabin depends on the speed. Instead of wheels and tyres, the car uses an eliptical belt system with electric motors in each "wheel." This eliptic system has some pluses and minuses compared to normal wheels, but the main plus is more grip for more stable driving and a variable geometry. There are two versions of Erectus, the first being a three-wheel version with a shorter trip-range which is slower but lighter, smaller and cheaper. The four-wheel HSX version uses a Hydrogen Fuel-Cell system with a more powerful electric motors for longer trips and higher speeds. Hrbek believes the concept also has further development as an amphibious vehicle through the addition of a water-jet drive. The Erectus has a user-friendly, drive-by-wire joystick.
Peugeot Hi Tech
As can be expected of a car named Hi-Tech, Slovakian designer Gabriel Gunis has extensively used modern technologies and materials from a glass with changeable transparency, a 3D scanner on the top of the car that provides night vision functionality and automatic recognition and notification of road signs.
Peugeot Honey B
Romanian designer Manda Ciprian’s Honey B is very different and shows much original thought. Taking inspiration from some previous Peugeot concepts, such as the Hoggar and Quark, Manda divided the car body in two, with the lower body housing the hydrogen fuel cell and electronic components, and the upper body containing the passenger seats, structure and the envelope. The four in-wheel electric motors are separated from the body, simplifying the internal structure. The number of ideas incorporated into the vehicle is extraordinary and includes a low frontal area and excellent aerodynamic characteristics, better views for passangers and a feeling of safety and security, hydraulically-operated retractable seating, computer- assisted driving and two touchpads which replace the steering wheel, accelerator and brakes.
Combining car and motorcycle design, the Liion (even the name combines several elements, being its power source of Lithium Ion batteries and the Peugeot Lion), leans into corners to offer the trill of riding a bike with the stability and safety of a car. The latest materials are used such as carbon composites for lightness and strength and electrochromic glass to control the amount of light inside the cockpit. The Liion uses a lot of video game technologies and not surprisingly, the steering wheel looks like an Xbox controller. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Liion is the electromagnetic suspension system, which is envisaged to be used with an advanced force feedback system. Lots of detail in the comments of Romanian designer, Cristian Sano,.
Canadian designer Iliya Bridan’s Peugeot Moodif is very different to anything we’ve seen before. Its main design element is the large rubber tube-like center shaft which can both steer the vehicle and change the wheelbase (by a whopping 88 cm) so it can be parked easily in town, yet have stability on the open road.
Korean designer Hyung_Sub Shin has incorporated the design elements of an open wheel race car with futuristic aerodynamics and suspension to create the Ridon - a single-seat electric roadster designed to be driven fast. The four wheels are connected to the body through four rotating axles which allow the car to bank and adapt to differing road conditions. There’s also a completely new and computer- game inspired user-interface. The vehicle accelerates when the steering lever is pulled and it stops if the lever is pushed forwards. To make turns just tilt the lever to the direction you want to steer.
Georgian designer Vladimer Kobakhidze started the Zippy project with a “chair shape, in which humans will feel comfortable and free”. After this he accorded aerodynamic form to the form of the chair. Interesting, simple and ecologically sound, Vladimer envisages the Zippy will be powered by a motorcycle engine.