Vehicle weights have been going up for years as consumers demand more features, the government pushes stricter safety regulations and designers seek stiffer vehicle structures.
So for this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, organizers asked design studios to envision a 1,000-pound, four-passenger car. It had to be comfortable, be capable of meeting government safety regulations and have satisfactory driving performance and styling to meet consumers’ demand.
It’s a daunting challenge. The government wants ever-improving safety and buyers want everything from more features to better handling, meaning stiffer and heavier chassis.
Previously, the award was focused on the Southern California design community. But this year, Mercedes-Benz studios in Germany and Japan contributed to give the competition to add an international perspective.