Smart 341 Parkour Named 2011 Design Challenge Winner at 2011 L.A. Auto Show


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smart 341 Parkour

Complete 2011 LA Auto Show Press Pass Coverage

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18, 2011 -- Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Germany wins the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge competition after the presentation of its Smart 341 Parkour vehicle, a futuristic vehicle that steals the screen in a fictional action adventure.

This year's Design Challenge focused on designing Hollywood's next hottest movie car. The entries ranged from vehicles acting as faithful companions to their human counterparts to strong protectors of freedom and justice.

In a city famous for its friendly people and beautiful weather, the Smart 341 Parkour helps reporter Annie Angle on the mission to write her first, potentially career-making, front page news article in a city notoriously known for a lack of parking spaces. On an early Sunday morning, an article in a newspaper catches Annie's eyes: "Smart Granny Robots Missing!" Using her Smart 341 Parkour and its three different modes €“a typical drive mode, a fly mode that allows the vehicle to hover far above the streets and a climb mode that allows the vehicle to run up the walls of skyscrapers €“Annie sets off on an investigation to discover the missing link for her journalistic masterpiece. The Smart 341 Parkour design tells the story of a more optimistic view of the future.

"This year's theme presented these designers with creative challenges like never before," said Chuck Pelly from Design LA. "Not only were studios tasked with designing a futuristic Hollywood vehicle, but also the complex plots within which they starred. The Smart 341 Parkour captured the essence of the Design Challenge by combining innovation and functionality with an adventurous plot."

Entries were judged by multi-discipline design professionals who selected the winner based upon how the vehicle reflects its brand attributes relative to the plot, how the vehicle relates to the brand or targeted audience, the level of imagination, the character development of the vehicle and the uniqueness of the combination of car, story and character.

The Design Challenge is a highly anticipated competition where automotive design studios from around the world battle against each other to flex their creativity. Designers enjoy participating in the challenge because it is a strong venue to showcase their talents and further explore new ideas in automotive design.

Participating design studios included:

  • Honda Research and Development Americas, Inc.
  • Hyundai Design North America
  • Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.: Advanced Design Center California
  • Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Germany
  • Mercedes-Benz Interior Design Studio, Germany
  • Subaru Design Tokyo Studio

About the Design Challenge

The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles automobile designers' conference that is held annually during the L.A. Auto Show Press Days, November 16-17, 2011. Each year, for the past eight years, a new Design Challenge theme is chosen and the major automotive design studios showcase their talents, competing against each other to flex their creativity and further explore new ideas in automotive design. The Design Los Angeles conference also gives designers access to design industry leaders and provides the opportunity to address common industry issues.

The Design Challenge has received rave reviews from journalists and extensive media exposure throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.

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