POLL: The year is 2057, what are you driving?

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We've spent the entire day showing you all of the entrants for the 2007 Design Challenge, the official winner of which won't be announced until the 2007 LA Auto Show in mid-November. We don't have to wait that long to decide which automaker has the best vision of the future. Vote in the poll below for your favorite Design Challenge entrant you read about today. Your only guideline should be what vehicle you'd want to be driving 50 years from now, and feel free to tell us the reasons behind your choice in the comments.

Check out all the entrants after the jump to make an informed decision.

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Audi Virtue Quattro
GM OnStar Ant
Honda 124 Solar Hybrid
Mazda MotoNari RX
Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow
Nissan OneOne
Toyota Biomobile
Volkswagen SlipStream

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L.A. Auto Show Robocar: 2057 Volkswagen Slipstream

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Click the image above for more high-res pics of the Volkswagen Slipstream.

The Car: Volkswagen's people car ethos has a downside: everyone has a car - and it's even worse in 2057. In an effort to combat the unimaginably dense future, VW has taken a page out of Toyota's book and created an autonomous vehicle that houses one occupant in glorious, muscle-atrophying conveyance. The Volkswagen Slipstream, apparently designed in conjunction with the water-peddling folks at Aquafina (now a multi-quadrillion euro corp.) will stand upright when toddling around at low speeds, and once you've hopped on the motorway in one of the designated "Slipstream" lanes, you can roll along at over 250 mph lying down, with only a duo of wheels and set of rear fins preventing an untimely demise. The aerodynamic shape of the tapered top, partnered with the aforementioned fins, keeps rolling resistance at a minimum, with power provided by "hyper-efficient" solar panels.

The Future According to Volkswagen: Living off a diet of tofu curd and State-mandated, iron-rich Aquafina, the masses have become incredibly thin, and hence, lightweight. The combination of a new source of nourishment and the splicing of alien DNA into our being have negated the need for overblown crash standards that would otherwise increase the weight of our vehicles. Our bones are thicker, our muscles stronger and our brains have adapted to allow unprecedented levels of hand-eye coordination. A particularly good thing, since the licensing age for the Slipstream was just dropped down to four.

Weirdness Factor (1 - I can but that today, 10 - OMG WTF): 7

Gallery: 2007 LA Design Challenge: 2057 Volkswagen Slipstream

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Nissan releases details about "Around View Monitor"

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Spatially-challenged drivers rejoice! As previously reported, Nissan has developed a new parking assist system that employs four ultra-wide high-resolution cameras mounted in the front, rear and both sides of the vehicle to provide a bird's eye view of the vehicle's surroundings. All those images are processed and displayed in real-time on a dash-mounted screen, giving drivers a 360-degree view of what they don't want to hit.

Shifting the car into reverse or drive will alternate between a view of the front or rear, while drivers will be able to toggle the left, front and right views when performing a particularly tricky parallel parking maneuver.

The first application of Nissan's "Around View Monitor" in the U.S. will be in the Infiniti EX35, but we'd expect it to become a hot commodity on some of Nissan and Infiniti's more bloated SUV offerings soon.

Nissan's full press release, including a video, is posted after the jump.

[Source: Nissan]

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Et tu, Brute? Harley-Davidson introduces Europe to the XR 1200

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Harley-Davidson, that most quintessentially American Motor Company, has gone and released a bike in Europe before releasing it in America. What is the world coming to? The XR 1200, based on the Sportster model range, is a streetbike that's inspired by the XR750 dirt track racing bikes that Harley has been campaigning so successfully -- on racetracks in America. This is the first time that Harley-Davidson has ever released a bike first in any country other than America. In fact, the bike will be available in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, starting in the Spring of '08.

Here in the States, the best selling bikes are cruisers, and the XR 1200 is a bike that's being marketed towards the sporting standard crowd -- a popular one in Europe. We like the idea of a nice, solid handling bike with the classic "sit up and beg" riding position. If there is one brand that could make a positive impact on the slow-selling standard genre in America, though, it is likely Harley-Davidson. Here's hoping that the XR 1200 does not stay a European import forever.

[Source: Harley-Davidson, Motoblog]

Gallery: Harley Davidson XR 1200


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L.A. Auto Show Robocar: 2057 Toyota Biomobile

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click above image for more views of the 2057 Toyota Biomobile

The Car: The 2057 Toyota Biomobile is the ultimate solution for pollution. That's because it actually runs on the stuff. The Biomobile extracts pollution from the air to utilize as an energy source, though we're unclear as to what the byproduct of that process is - more pollution? Like many entrants for 2007 LA Auto Show Design Challenge, the Biomobile is also able to change form. It's maleable structure is able to contract and extend to create a low-slung performance car, upright urban commuter or even a living space. And check out those wheels, which Toyota says are made out of nano-lasers.

The Future According to Toyota:
The Committee to Create Interesting Cars, established by Toyota in 2007, was so wildly successful that the Japanese automaker's cars are now considered even more attractive than Italian exotics of the mid- to late-21st century. The Biomobile is the latest creation of TCCC, and its true innovation is not the set of run-flat nano-laser wheels it wears, but rather the car's amazing ability to convert pollution into energy that it uses for power, the only by product of which is a type of home-brew Sake that's stored onboard in a chilled decanter. Being that humans became immune to the effects of alcohol due to overconsumption, the driver's Sake exhaust energy drink can be enjoyed while you slice up the road in Toyota's latest interesting car created by a committee.

Weirdness Factor: (1 - I could buy that today, 10 - OMG WTF) : 8

Gallery: 2007 LA Design Challenge: 2057 Toyota Biomobile

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L.A. Auto Show Robocar: 2057 Nissan OneOne

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click above image for more views of the 2057 Nissan OneOne

The Car: The 2057 Nissan OneOne is billed by the Japanese automaker as a "family pet". Like Fido goes and fetches the paper, the OneOne can go off and ferry the kids to soccer practice, pick up the groceries and do other chores without the owner's supervision. It moves around by flexing synthetic muscles in its leg to create a skating motion much like rollerblading. When traveling fast the OneOne hunkers down low to the ground, but can raise itself for better maneuverability in congested areas.

The Future According to Nissan:
Natural selection has chosen the Aibo to survive and thrive at the expense of numerous robot pets that were introduced at the turn of the century. Nissan, known for its love of dogs, has seen that the Aibo evolve into an autonomous robot it can sell as a family pet. Named the OneOne (code for Aibo v11.0), this new human companion comes with synthetic muscles that will scurry it along roadways guided by GPS with your most precious cargo aboard. Kids and adults both love the OneOne because it doesn't shed or spring a leak on the carpet, it comes when you call and, well... domestic canines went extinct in 2018 from a botched recall of accidentally poisoned Kibbles 'N Bits, so this is all we've got.

Weirdness Factor (1 - I could buy that today, 10 - OMG WTF): 6

Gallery: 2007 LA Design Challenge: 2057 Nissan OneOne

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Ford GT gets the Geiger-treatment, 0-60 drops to 3.5s

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Click the image above for over 20 more pics.

Germany's GeigerCars is responsible for some ungainly creations, normally turning up the wick on vehicles that have no business being fast in the first place. But when the firm directs its resources towards exotic American muscle, it's the automotive equivalent of Henry Kissinger - absolute power corrupting absolutely.

By ditching the stock supercharger and installing an upgraded unit, the Geiger crew was able to increase boost pressure from 0.8-bar (11.6 psi) to 1.25-bar (18 psi). After installing new throttle valves, replacing the air filter, equipping the GT with a new exhaust and remapping the ECU, they were able to bring power levels up to 701 HP and 617 lb.-ft. of torque. 60 now comes up in a scant 3.5 seconds and top speed eclipses the double-century mark by 11 mph.

Keeping the GT from pirouetting at speed is an adjustable suspension that drops the supercar by 60mm over 20-inch wheels wrapped in 245mm tires up front, with 21-inchers swathed in 325s out back. Aside from the new ride height, GiegerCars left the rest of the body unscathed, save the rear bumper that houses new four-inch exhaust tips.

GeigerCars' full press release is after the jump.

[Source: World Car Fans]

Gallery: GeigerCars Ford GT

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L.A. Auto Show Robocar: 2057 Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow

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click above image for more views of the 2057 Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow

The Car: The 2057 Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow is the most traditional shape we've seen so far of the 2007 Design Challenge entrants. It looks like a futuristic car with a super sleek designed inspired by Merc racers of yore. The designers, however, didn't leave their imaginations at the door, having crafted the SilverArrow from micro-metallic particles that can be arranged by magnetic fields into pre-selected forms kept on the car's key fob. For easy storage, the entire car can melt into a puddle of metallic goop, only to be reassembled by the power of magnets when you're ready to drive again.

The Future According to Mercedes-Benz: After the market was flooded with cheap carbon fiber from China in the early 2020s, Mercedes-Benz engineers went on the hunt for a new material that would be exclusive enough for automobiles crowned with the silver star. They found their ingredient when downloading the classic film Terminator 2: Judgment Day into their brains via the NetFlix neural delivery service. Inspired by the T-1000 character's liquid metal form, Benz engineers went about reverse engineering the technology that came back from 2029 to 1991. Because of their efforts, the world was blessed with liquid metal a few years before it was supposed to be developed by Skynet. Take that future computer overlord!

Weirdness Factor (1 - I can buy that today, 10 - OMG WTF): 4

Gallery: 2007 LA Design Challenge: 2057 Mercedes-Benz SilverFlow

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