While Michelin is actually a world renowned tire manufacturer, they also like to be trendsetters – and what better way of reaching that status than proposing the automotive designs of tomorrow?
The company thus embarks on occasions on design challenge contests that allow talented people to express themselves. The 2017 challenge is apparently so ahead of its time that it actually took place this year and was also pushing contestants to imagine the Le Mans racing car of the year 2030. This is not really far from now, but if you’re a fan of motorsports you know this is the cutting edge of the automotive industry and progress is measured here much faster than when it comes to developing road cars. Of course, as any design challenge with high self esteem, the Michelin one also has design chiefs from the world’s automakers as the jurors.
The winning design this year belongs to Tao Ni from Wuhu, China, who imagined the Infiniti racer for Le Mans in 2030, sitting at the edge of human to autonomous driving. As it’s imagined, all day long the humans will be in control – and come nightfall the machine would take over to keep the battle going. We also like the Bentley design that took second place – penned by Daniel Bacelar Pereira from Portugal. It has futuristic lines and also pays tribute to the Bentley heritage – but comes with a very high tech powertrain proposition. The Michelin tires are airless and the wheels have integrated batteries – which could be swapped in one take during the pitstop to make sure there’s no range anxiety.