Michelin loves pushing the envelope when it comes to future automotive design. The tire company often holds design challenge contests that give gifted folks a topic and let them loose. For the 2017 challenge, which is so futuristic that it's taking place in 2016, the contestants were asked to imagine a Le Mans racing car in the year 2030.
That's only 14 years from now, but racing evolution happens far more quickly than it does with road cars. Thus it's not crazy to see some of the ideas imagined by the contestants.
Adding prestige to the contest is the fact that it is judged by design chiefs from the world's automakers.
Infiniti Le Mans 2030 is the winning entry in the 2017 Michelin Design Challenge
This year's winning design was penned by Tao Ni from Wuhu, China. The car is an Infiniti entry for Le Mans in 2030, and it treads the line between man and autonomous driving. During the day portion of Le Mans, a human would be in control. Once night falls, it would be up to the machine to keep the battle going.
A Bentley design won the second-place spot. It's certainly futuristic in appearance but also has that big beautiful body that you'd expect to find on a Bentley. This exceptional creation comes from the mind of Portugal's Daniel Bacelar Pereira. He imagines airless Michelin tires and integrated battery components in the wheels that would, in turn (hehe), provide electric power back to the car. During a pitstop, the wheels and tires would be swapped out, thus putting fresh batteries in place and eliminating any range anxiety.
To see more of this year's incredible entries, watch the video and then head over to the Challenge Design portal. There, you can also find winners from past contests. Don't be surprised if you find yourself lingering on the site longer than expected.
Bentley 9 Plus Michelin Battery Slick is the 2nd place entry in the 2017 Michelin Design Challenge