The Michelin stand at this week’s Detroit Auto Show revealed the strangest looking and most diverse range of concepts of the entire show. The Challenge is to celebrate, promote, publicize and give visibility to original creative thinking and innovation in vehicle design and to help give young designers a spot in the auto industry limelight.

Some of the entrants included a 14 year-old high school student from British Columbia and a $1.9 billion dollar U.S. corporation. Designs were judged by a jury that comprised of Michelin personnel and even Renault senior vice president of corporate design Patrick le Quément and GM advanced design studio director Frank Saucedo.

Some of the standouts included Volvo’s 3CC Safety Car. A vehicle with an electric powertrain that can reach speeds of over 85mph and completes the 0-62mph dash in approximately ten seconds with zero emissions.



Another was the Michelin H_Ster (Hydraulic_roadster) concept designed by 24 year-old Hungarian Zsolt Tarnok. As the name shows, the car is powered and controlled by hydraulics: the drivetrain consists of a hydraulic pump, that pumps oil to all the wheels where it is injected into the built-in wheel-turbines which drive the vehicle, and then the oil is channeled back to the reservoir.

Finally, we have the Gecko Safety Coupe designed by 14 year-old Evan Roche from Canada. Created with safety in mind, the Gecko features new technologies such as using electromagnetic energy to soften the impact of accidents. Also, it uses springs to move the cockpit away from other parts of the car during a crash, enabling it to move with the force of the crash. Finally, the hood has its own external airbag system.

Some elements from these concepts, as well as the other 19 designs, are sure to make it into the production cars of the future. Follow the jump to see detailed information plus high-res images of all the entrants at the Michelin website.