The fu­ture looks comic

More than 2000 young de­sign­ers put their spin on what the Peu­geot of the fu­ture will look like, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Classifieds -

THEY may look like flights of fancy, but you could be driv­ing th­ese comic-book cars in the near fu­ture. French car­maker Peu­geot has been cul­ti­vat­ing young tal­ent for five years with a de­sign com­pe­ti­tion that looks at what we’ll be driv­ing in the fu­ture.

This year’s event was launched at the Bei­jing Mo­tor Show in April.

Judges have worked their way through 2500 en­trants from 95 na­tions to present a semi­fi­nal­ist list of 30 de­signs.

Ten fi­nal­ists will be cho­sen ahead of next week’s Paris Mo­tor Show.

As with pre­vi­ous years, Peu­geot in­vited young de­sign­ers to imag­ine a Peu­geot in the cities of to­mor­row.

They must in­cor­po­rate four cri­te­ria — en­vi­ron­men­tal friend­li­ness, so­cial har­mony, in­ter­ac­tive mo­bil­ity and eco­nomic ef­fi­ciency.

The 30 semi-fi­nal­ists re­flect the de­sign­ers’ take on dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

From the sim­plic­ity of the In­dian Globe project to the com­plex­ity of the Ger­man Rugir and the prac­ti­cal­ity of the Chi­nese Oxo (far right), the cars fit their in­tended pur­pose.

The next step is to nar­row the field of 30 down to 10 at the Paris show.

Peu­geot di­rec­tor-gen­eral Jean-Philippe Collin will present a tro­phy to the winning de­signer.

Many of the cars fol­low a sim­i­lar theme us­ing elec­tric, so­lar power or hy­brid tech­nol­ogy.

Mick­ael Soubabere, from France, uses so­lar power for his two-seater, called the Please.

The so­lar en­ergy is sup­ple­mented by a plug- in elec­tric hy­brid, which sup­plies power to a se­quen­tial au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The Please’s doors open au­to­mat­i­cally and fold back on them­selves in tight park­ing spots.

Onur Gu­venic, of Ger­many, also took the two-seater ap­proach with his car, called the Rugir.

Cu­ri­ously, the en­gine in Gu­venic’s con­cept car mim­ics a lion’s roar. The lion, which is the sym­bol of Peu­geot, is used else­where on the car. The Sty­light (left), by Ognyan Bozhilov of Bul­garia, is a small three­seater pow­ered by a 1.6-litre HDi hy­brid en­gine.

In his de­sign the en­gine is placed above the rear driv­ing wheels, turn­ing it into a mid-en­gine car.

The Sty­light has a cen­tral driv­ing po­si­tion with a big wind­screen.

An­other in­no­va­tion is the tyre rims that con­sist of two parts, the fixed outer 10-spoke rims and a ro­tat­ing in­ner sec­tion that dis­plays the Peu­geot logo in neon.

In­dian en­trant Varun Gopinath’s Globe bat­tery-op­er­ated car looks con­ven­tional, but its cabin ro­tates 180 de­grees.

The Globe uses voice and touch-op­er­ated con­trols. An­other fea­ture is the press-but­ton gearshift mounted on the steer­ing.

The Globe is 3m long, 1.8m wide and 1.3m high.

Of all the con­cepts, the Peu­geot 1009, de­signed by Ed­min van der Mark of the Nether­lands, looks quite con­ven­tional.

It comes in two ver­sions — full elec­tric and a hy­brid, each with four-wheel steer­ing.

The 1009 has a low bel­tine and big glasshouse.

Two slid­ing back doors make it easy to get into and the seats slide back­wards for greater in­te­rior flex­i­bil­ity.

The two-seater Ale­gro, by Alexan­dre Raad of Brazil, is equipped with in-wheel elec­tric motors and elec­tric steer­ing, elec­tric brakes, sta­bil­ity con­trol, ac­tive sus­pen­sion, sen­sors for mon­i­tor­ing dis­tance and avoid­ing crashes.

Ale­gro is built with aero­nau­tic alu­minium al­loy, car­bon fi­bre and plas­tic.

The Mag­net, by Tolga Metin of the United States, looks like a gi­ant roller­skate and is in­spired by the mag­netic lev­i­tat­ing trains.

It is pow­ered by a so­phis­ti­cated elec­tric en­gine that uses mag­nets for power and ride­height con­trol. The brake sys­tem works with elec­tro­mag­netic force.

As the driver hits the brakes, a re­verse mag­netic field is ap­plied to all wheels.

The car’s canopy is made of high strength nano­ma­te­ri­als that change colour dur­ing the day to pro­tect oc­cu­pants from the sun.

Gus­tavo Her­nan­dez, of Colom­bia, chose a rugged off-roader style for his 50x. The 50x looks like an el­lipse sur­rounded by crys­tal, which, ac­cord­ing to Her­nan­dez, ‘‘al­lows the pas­sen­gers to con­tem­plate the land­scape, the mar­vel­lous mon­u­ments and build­ings of to­mor­row’s metropo­lis’’.

It’s pow­ered by four in-wheel elec­tric motors, whose en­ergy is taken from a hy­dro­gen fuel cell.

The chas­sis is made of one-piece high­strength car­bon fi­bre.

The two seats are part of the chas­sis and they come from the roof and de­scend.

The two gull-wing doors are made from poly­car­bon­ate.

Her­nan­dez says the main goal of this car is to em­u­late the achieve­ments of the old but trust­ful Peu­geot 206.

‘‘An ex­cel­lent ur­ban car that be­come a pop icon, and an ex­cel­lent rally car,’’ he says.

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