The future cars for tomorrow start with the student designs from today. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles selected its winners for this year's Drive For Design contest. Maximillian Cooper of Miami; Mason Ross of Burien, Washington; and Vincent Piaskowski of Birmingham, Michigan; submitted winning designs.
FCA brought in the country's top automotive designers, and special guest Josh Welton of Brown Dog Welding, to judge the submissions. Drive For Design challenged high school students to design the ultimate status vehicle from any of the FCA brands. The winners hail from two of the automaker's Italian brands.
Cooper, the first place winner, tackled the Alfa Romeo brand with his take on a futuristic sports car of sorts. The design seems to indicate a mid-engine layout with futuristic nods that would look right at home on tomorrow's Alfa Romeo. The headlights are sweeping, but retain their jagged appearance, while the traditional Alfa grille remains front and center. The rear takes simple round taillights and pairs them with an elegant rear fascia.
FCA Drive For Design contest winner by Mason Ross
Second place winner Ross also tackled the Alfa Romeo division with what we'd call a sports car. The side profile comes to an angular pinch before the style flares out to make room for massive wheels. At the front, there's a slimmer interpretation of Alfa Romeo's traditional fascia, though it does recall some of the brand's 1990s design, which we appreciate.
FCA Drive For Design contest winner by Vincent Piaskowski
Finally, third place Piaskowski made his creation a Maserati. The radical vehicle, which looks like a future Hot Wheels design, takes inspiration from a shark. The student even showed how a shark's basic shape transformed into the final Maserati vehicle sketch. We totally dig the tailfins that wouldn't look out of place on an American car from the early 1960s.
With their hard work recognized, each of the three winners will receive an behind-the-scenes tour of FCA's design studio in Auburn Hills, Michigan. There, they'll also receive one-on-one time with some of FCA's top designers. Perhaps the biggest boon to their budding automotive design careers is the scholarship each will receive to the Precollege Summer Experience Transportation Design program at College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Look for the young designers to all debut as junior judges at the EyesOn Design Car Show in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, in June.