Smart wins the Los Angeles Design Challenge

Smart Can't Sell Cars But it Does Win Los Angeles Design Challenge Again

The Los Angeles Design Challenge has been won with a car that most Americans have learned to ignore: the smart, which is made by Mercedes-Benz. This is the second year in a row designers for smart have won the competition.

The design challenge has become an important part of the Los Angeles Auto Show among automotive designers with a win considered a feather in the designers' caps. Teams from Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and Subaru competed in addition to smart (obviously Mercedes puts a lot of faith in this contest with three of the competing teams having ties to Stuttgart).

The theme of this year's design challenge was "the most spectacular new film car for Hollywood." It's important to note that these design exercises are just that: exercises. They are not focused on building real-world vehicles – at least nothing that is going to be built in the next decade.

This year's Los Angeles Design Challenge was not just about developing the Hollywood car of the future, but also about inventing a story worthy of Hollywood. "With the 341 Parkour smart hit the nail on the head: the design combines innovation and functionality with an exciting film plot" is how the jury consisting of multi-discipline design professionals justified their decision.

It is judged by four leading design experts: Mark West, Transportation Chair of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies; Tom Matano, Director, Industrial Design, Academy of Art University; Stewart Reed, Chair, Transportation Design, Art Center College of Design; and Jay Shuster, Art Director, Pixar Animation Studios.

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