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2013 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge Opens

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The Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge has seen some truly unusual vehicles emerge in the past, from a re-imagined highway patrol Subaru to a wall-climbing Smart.

This year, twelve concepts have been submitted from auto design studios all around the world--including China, for the first time in the competition's history. Now in its tenth year, designers were tasked with the theme "Biomimicry & Mobility 2025 - Nature's Answer to Human Challenges". As well as taking inspiration from nature, each car had to address some of today's most pressing automotive issues--with congestion, pollution, sustainability and safety all at the top of the list.

Among the Chinese entries was Qoros, soon to launch its cars into highly-competitive western markets. Its 'Silk Road System' concept combines dedicated vehicles in a sustainable and grid-connected transport system. Fellow Chinese entrant Changfeng Motor Corporation came up with the 'La Brea - Los Angeles Bio Research Project', its semi-rigid torsion reed construction allowing the vehicle to run, jump, climb and more--inspired by grasshoppers. SAIC, Chinese owners of the British MG marque, came up with the 'Mobiliant'--a single-seat urban public transit vehicle.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA, based in the U.S, submitted two entries. 'L.A. Subways' is MINI-badged, inspired by swarms and the power network of cells, using waterways as an alternative Los Angeles commuting network. The other design, 'Sustainable Efficient Exploratory Device' or 'SEED', uses the maple seed as inspiration, with a multifunction rotating tail--capturing solar, wind energy and more.

Mazda Design Americas' 'Auto Adapt' entry is based on insect adaption to environment, and can adapt from autonomous to manual control. Mazda is very much playing the enthusiast angle with its entry, and hope for those worried by the onset of autonomous-only vehicles. JAC Motors in Japan has come up with 'HEFEI' (Harmonious Eco-Friendly Efficient Infrastructure), a system promoting symbiosis of vehicles and infrastructure--with idle vehicles powering moving ones, and automated traffic regulation.

CALTY Design Research, Toyota Design Network has created 'e-grus'--an electric hyper-commuter vehicle inspired by the crane bird, with a small footprint and upright profile for slipping through city traffic. Subaru's Global Design Team had a different approach with the amusingly named SUBA-ROO--the wearable machine mimics the jumping motions of kangaroos...

A top panel of automotive and industrial design judges will assess each entry before choosing a winner, the results of which are revealed on Thursday, November 21. Final concepts will be displayed at the LA Auto Show's new Design Gallery--ready for the show's first press day on November 19.

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