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2025 Honda The Great Race concept. Image by Honda.

2008 LA Design Challenge. Image by Mitsubishi.


2008 LA Design Challenge

A major part of the LA Auto Show is the Design Challenge. We rate this year's entrants.

2008 LA Design Challenge

 General Motors



  Audi R25 concept (6)
BMW Hydrogen Salt Flat Racer concept (8)
GM Chaparral Volt concept (8)
Honda The Great Race concept (9)
Mazda Kaan concept (8)
Mercedes-Benz Formula Zero concept (4)
Mitsubishi MMR25 concept (11)
Toyota Le Mans Racer concept (8)
VW Bio Runner concept (8)
2025 Honda The Great Race concept. Image by Honda.

2025 VW Bio Runner concept. Image by VW.

2025 Toyota Le Mans Racer concept. Image by Toyota.

2025 Mitsubishi MMR25 concept. Image by Mitsubishi.


Motorshows homepage -> 2008 LA Design Challenge

2008 LA Design Challenge - Mark Nichol

Start your... err... hypothetical utopian future propulsion systems. The fifth annual LA Design Show Challenge is upon us, and this year the theme is 'motor sports 2025', allowing us a unique glimpse into a racing world free from the shackles of Middle Eastern oil dependency, Bernie Ecclestone and, seemingly, the laws of physics.

Nine manufacturers have unveiled their entries, each with a different insight into how motor sport might look in 17 year's time. Unsurprisingly, not many of them involve internal combustion linked to four wheels, but all of them show some deference to the environment.

There are no corporate design languages to adhere to, no drag co-efficient targets, no safety regulations (very obviously so) and no minimum cup holder requirements. Fantasy races range from a full-scale trip around the globe to a short blast through one solitary tank of fuel. No terrain is off limits either, with one race series navigating land, air and sea across three continents.

Entries will be judged by a panel of five prominent creative industry types, but before that we'll be putting the qualifiers on the starting grid in order of preference. See if you agree as we look at each madcap entry:

1st place: Honda Great Race 2025

Honda lives up to its 'Power of Dreams' mantra by presenting a dazzling concept that can compete across land, sea and air in a race stretching three continents.

2nd place: VW Bio Runner

Volkswagen combines eco-friendliness and pulsating action with the Bio Runner concept - a dual-turbine engine racer that runs on bio-fuel and spins at 500,000rpm.

3rd place: Toyota Lemans Racer

The only thing unimaginative about the Lemans Racer is its name, as the concept changes form depending on whether you're cornering or on a straight... and never needs to refuel.

4th place: Mazda Kaan

Innovative Kaan gets emissions-free power directly through the tyres from the road, thanks to roads surfaced with an electro-conductive layer. It looks half decent, too.

5th place: Mitsubishi MMR25

Madcap Mitsubishi concept gets '8x4 wheel drive' that allows it to sprint across any kind of terrain with ease. Spare a thought for the owner's local Kwik-Fit fitter, though, as the MMR25 has 32 tyres.

6th place: GM Chaparral Volt

Not one to miss a marketing trick, GM unveils the latest Volt, which is able to generate its own energy from earth, wind and fire. Surely that makes it the cheapest way to get to Boogie Wonderland ever?

7th place: Audi R25

The familiar-looking R25 can race upside down and get power from wireless electricity charging points. Race spectators can enjoy a first person view of the car in action, too.

8th place: Mercedes-Benz Formula Zero

Mercedes claims the electric Formula Zero combines luxury with Formula One racing, though there's not a heated leather seat in sight... or a door, for that matter. Luxury comes via a giant fin set above the driver's head.

9th place: BMW Hydrogen Salt Flat Racer

As explained in the name, the BMW concept is powered by hydrogen. Surprisingly, the goldfish co-pilot all racers are required to carry isn't mentioned, nor the barbeque lid wheels. A very strange effort.


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