Though the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show is still a couple of months away, one of the highlights of the show, the annual Design Challenge, has been announced, and this year the aim is to come up with the design for the police car of the future. The acclaimed design contents pits independent and official automotive design houses from around the world against each other in an attempt to generate the most exciting designs of the future.

Last year’s theme was “Hollywood’s Hottest New Movie Car” and was won by designers from Smart. The year before that saw two winners take home the top prize, design teams from Cadillac and Smart, with the theme being the “1,000-Pound Car.”

For this year’s theme, “Highway Patrol Vehicle – 2025,” designers will be faced with an entirely new set of considerations, including advanced powertrains, alternative fuels, telematics and new sizes to effectively navigate dynamic future urban environments.

So far, design studios from Bentley, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Subaru have accepted the challenge, though we suspect more contenders will be announced soon.

As always, judging criteria will be based upon various factors including: consideration of future needs for advanced technology, speed and agility on future freeway systems; creativity of the solution; meeting a specific region's emission standards; and environmental sensitivity, including maintenance and recyclability.

The winning design will be announced on November 29, the second press day of the 2012 L.A. Auto Show. You can access our full coverage of the event via our dedicated show page.


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