Like bell-bottom jeans, tie-dyed shirts and shoulder-length hair - on men - some things capture the style of an era. It's easy to look back and see what defined the hippie culture, or the beatniks or even the mods, rockers and punks of the '80s. But looking forward is an altogether different task. So Audi has enlisted the help of the evolution-based game SPORE to fuel its competition for an Audi design from 2025.

The core thesis of SPORE is to create a microcosm of one's own design, and then guide it through five stages of evolution, from cell, to creature, to tribal to civilization and finally to space. This five-step process mirrors Audi's own design process, which starts at the concept phase, becomes a sketch, then a model, then gets color and trim and finally is realized as an actual car.

Audi is applying SPORE's model to generate a range of concepts of what its cars might look like in 15 years' time, using today's cars as the seed. Using the SPORE software, designers will reach a final product, and then upload a single picture of it to Audi's servers. Audi will then choose the winner based on what best represents the future of Audi design.

Grand prize winners will get an all-expense paid trip for 2 to the Audi Design studios in Ingolstadt, VIP treatment at the five-star Arlberg Hospiz Hotel and gourmet meals. Second place gets a high-end gaming computer with a SPORE design theme, while third place will have 20 winners, each getting a competition T-shirt.

Unfortunately for U.S. citizens and Audiphiles elsewhere, the competition appears to be limited to German participants.