Automaker Future "Youthmobile" Concepts Are Wacky

The 6th Annual Design Challenge winner will be announced at the LA Auto Show, picked from this selection of six radical concepts designed for sale in thirty years to appeal to the cell phone, internet and Guitar Hero generation.

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Most of the concepts have pretty regular wacky shapes and smart grid communications features the futurists are always in love with, of course they're all "green" and electric, but one in particular made us shake our heads. Whoever came up with the "GM Car Hero" needs a very stern talking to.

Southern California Automotive Design Studios Envision the Ultimate Youthmobile in Year 2030
The winner of the 6th Annual Design Challenge will be announced Dec. 3rd at the LA Auto Show

LOS ANGELES - Nov. 4, 2009 /PRNewswire/ - As timeless as hanging out at the mall, automobiles have played an important role in young people's social lives, have acted as a means of self-expression and more importantly a necessary tool for interacting with friends. Today, communication technology is changing how we connect and perhaps even the role the car plays in young people's lives.

Southern California design studios will envision what a new generation of drivers, raised with cell phones, online communities and webcams will demand from their vehicles in the year 2030.

The design studios for Audi, GM, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota reached 21 years into the future and designed their interpretation of Youthmobile 2030. Designs range from vehicles that incorporate human DNA allowing changes in the shape, color and materials to vehicles that link into a mass transit system where drivers not only share the commute but trade music and compare class schedules.

Entries will be judged by Tom Matano, Director of Industrial Design at San Francisco's Academy of Art University; Imre Molner, Dean of Detroit's College for Creative Studies; Stewart Reed, Chair, Transportation Design, Pasadena's Art Center College of Design and Jason Hill, Principal of Eleven, LLC and Designer of the Aptera electric and plug-in hybrid/electric vehicle.

"Automotive designers have always been fascinated with the next generation of drivers and this year's Design Challenge has provided them with the opportunity to use their creative talents to revisit the concept of 'the car' with new eyes, using the hottest technologies to both explore and fulfill the needs of young people," said Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc.

About the Design Challenge:

The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles automobile designers' conference that is held every year during the Los Angeles Auto Show press days, Dec. 2 & 3, 2009. For the last six years a new Design Challenge theme is chosen and the major Southern California Automotive Design Studios battle against each other to showcase their talents and further explore new ideas in automotive design. The Design Los Angeles Conference also gives designers access to design industry leaders and provides the opportunity to address common industry issues.