The Los Angeles Auto Show is about more than the latest showroom models. Each year, the Design Challenge increases in popularity, drawing some of the world's top automakers to try their hand at designing a future vehicle that meets a set criteria. Cadillac has been crowned as the 2010 winner with its Aera city car concept.
Now in its seventh year, the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge asked participants to sketch out a fuel-efficient four-passenger vehicle that weighs under 1000 pounds without sacrificing performance, comfort, style and integrity. Cadillac's Aera concept does just that, using a Pneumatic Drive System that contains a 10,000-psi composite air tank to travel 1000 miles before needing a refill.
While existing only in the virtual realm, the Cadillac Aera is designed with a mono-formed alloy frame designed to mimic naturally occurring structures in the environment. Pressurized NASA-inspired exterior air cells are used for safety, while the polymer skin is flexible, lightweight, and aerodynamic. An all-in-one wheel system handles suspension, steering, and propulsion in a single unit and the interior is constructed from recyclable polymer material while allowing seating for four people and luggage storage for two.
"The Cadillac Aera concept was designed to continue the forward-thinking imagination of Cadillac's 'art and science' philosophy," said lead project designer Jussi Timonen in a release. "It's designed as a small city urban vehicle, but we approached this 2+2 touring coupe very much from the brand's luxury perspective. Every detail o f the Aera was conceived to minimize the vehicle's environmental impact without sacrificing the style, comfort and attention to detail that are hallmarks of the Cadillac brand."
Catch up on all our 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage by clicking here.