Cars that can shrink into tight parking spaces, are wind-powered, and can even do a u-turn on the spot are among the 29 vehicles that have made the shortlist for the Peugeot Design Contest 2008. The list even includes a car that can bend in the middle to allow the driver a better view of the road ahead, and a two-wheeler that is operated by a joystick rather than a steering wheel. Participants in the event were told to concentrate on environmental awareness, social harmony, interactive mobility and economic efficiency, while retaining the Peugeot style. Ying Hui Choo, a participant from Singapore, said that his Peugeot Blade is designed for “pure driving enjoyment”.
“The Peugeot Blade is the first car of its kind to harness a resource most cars are designed to evade – air itself. It makes use of the air moving across its body to turn a wind turbine designed to generate electricity. The faster the car goes, the faster the windmill turns, the more electricity it will create to feed the electric motor, hence lengthening the electric car’s range and efficiency,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying. Turkish designer Emre Yazici has designed a two-wheel, lightweight electric car for a single passenger, which needs just a third of the parking space used by a typical saloon car. Another quality of his car is that it can do a u-turn on the spot.
The flexible windshield also operates as a door by rolling back into the drum at the back of the car. “Say goodbye to the clumsy and unsafe steering wheel, and also to the pedals. The driver employs a joystick to perform the manoeuvres, and to control the speed simultaneously,” he said. Two French designers – Woo-Ram Lee and Argentine Esteban Peisci – have created cars that run on three spheres rather than traditional wheels. People can vote for their favourite design on the Peugeot website, and the winning design will be picked by Peugeot from 10 finalists and will be announced on October 2 at the Paris Motor Show.