The contest, announced in January 2012, asked students to create bold vehicle designs around the EcoMotors OPOC architecture.
The OPOC (opposed piston, opposed cylinder) engine is a horizontally opposed unit. Inside each of its two or four cylinders, there are two pistons traveling in opposite directions.
This resulting package is roughly half the size and weight, per horsepower, of a conventional internal combustion engine and has a very low, short and wide shape. This allows to build vehicles with a very different layout. Below we report a list of the winning entries and a number of reference links for knowing more.
1st place: C-Segment Sedan Concept by Brian Malczewski (CSS)
2nd place: 2020 Ford F-150 Pickup Concept by Bruno Gallardo (Art Center)
Third place: Mahindra Utility Vehicle by JJ Hwang (Art Center)
Honorable mention: 2020 Datsun Pickup by Alexander McGowen (CCS)
Honorable Mention: Full-size pickup truck by Eric Um (CCS)
Honorable mention: Toyota Sport Wagon by James Yamazaki (Art Center)
Each honoree received a scholarship award from EcoMotors. Scale models of the winners were on display at Art Center’s L.A. Auto Show exhibit.
Official Statements and Comments
The EcoMotors Design Challenge jury, led by chief judge Jack Telnack (former Ford design chief) included former General Motors and Chrysler design chiefs Wayne Cherry and Tom Gale, and also renowned collector and aficionado Jay Leno.
“Wayne, Tom, Jay, and I were handed the daunting task of selecting six winners out of a pool of nearly two dozen extraordinary student designs,” said Telnack.
“We were excited and very impressed by their talent, insight, creativity and enthusiastic response. Clearly the opoc® engine holds the promise of revolutionizing core architecture and appeal across a wide range of vehicles.”
“Reshaping the Future” has been a rewarding experience for all of us at Art Center,” said Stewart Reed, Chair of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design.
“The designs that the EcoMotors opoc® engine inspired are unlike anything we could have foreseen beforehand – truly groundbreaking work.”
Mark West, Paul and Helen Farago Chair of Transportation Design at the College for Creative Studies, added, “The EcoMotors Design Challenge afforded that most coveted assignment: a genuinely clean sheet of paper – on which to explore how an engine half the size and weight of conventional motors can revolutionize vehicle packaging and design.”
“We’re simply thrilled by the inspired concepts that the students at Art Center and CCS conceived and developed for the EcoMotors Design Challenge,” said Don Runkle, CEO of EcoMotors.
“In the ways they embraced the packaging opportunities of our game-changing opoc® engine, these young designers have shown how this compact, efficient, and lightweight propulsion source can, indeed, reshape the future of automotive design – to the delight of tomorrow’s car-buying consumers. Congratulations to not only our six winners, but also to all the students who participated.”
Established in early 2008 and based in Allen Park, Mich., EcoMotors is commercializing the unique opoc® engine for use in cars, light trucks, commercial vehicles, aerospace, marine, agriculture, auxiliary power units, generators, etc.
EcoMotors’ primary investors are Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates and Braemar Energy Ventures.