As part of the 100th anniversary of Ford's Model T — happening right no, this very year, the Dearborn automaker announced a design contest among university students to create a Model T for the new century. The mandate: Design a simple, lightweight, practical vehicle that would be priced under $7,000. Six universities were selected to participate, and the winners were Aachen University in Cologne, Germany and Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, each of whom receive $25,000 in scholarship money for their respective programs. More about the designs after the jump.
The Aachen University team entered their creatively named "2015 Model T" concept using a standardized chassis that, much like the original Tin Lizzie, could support a variety of body styles including a pickup, city car and sedan. The Model T2 from Deakin University seems to ignore the "simple" and "practical" elements of the competition, instead using a three-wheel layout powered by compressed air rotary hub motors. The contest results lead us to wonder why Ford expects us to embrace American designs when they're so clearly not prepared to do so themselves. After all, the four other participating schools were all US-based: the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif.; Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Mich.; University of Michigan-Dearborn, and West Philadelphia High School, Philadelphia, Pa. Yet Ford is telling us that an air-powered Australian tripod car most clearly embraces the spirit of the Model T? We're crying foul. [Carscoop]