Report Card - This Car "Fits" Well with the Environment -

Report Card – This Car “Fits” Well with the Environment

Takahiko Suginoshita, a student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI, designed this Land Rover concept vehicle (see cover) to be an environmentally friendly SUV.

Suginoshita’s design, developed for the Aluminum Association Design Challenge, was inspired by Japanese wood architecture, which does not use nails or glue in the joints. “The materials themselves are designed to fit each other,” Suginoshita said. “My vehicle mainly uses the most basic structure – the box joint.”

Suginoshita said using box joints in the vehicle design reduces the number of rivets needed, as well as weight of the vehicle. “Box joints add an interesting graphic break-out throughout the body,” he explained. “The wavy side profile is inspired by the roof shape of the Japanese temple design. And the roof frame functions as the roof rail to protect passengers from roll-over.”

Suginoshita also noted that the vehicle would have a thicker frame support and strong alloys for safety. “The frame components around the passenger’s space are made out of a hard alloy and the frame components in the front and the rear are made out of softer alloys, designed to absorb maximum energy during a crash,” he said.

About The Challenge
The “2003 Auto Aluminum Design Challenge” between the country’s most prestigious automotive design schools – Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design – offers students the opportunity to create new vehicle concepts making the fullest use of the performance advantages of automotive aluminum in all of its product forms. The Challenge is sponsored by the Aluminum Association and will be judged in several categories by a panel of leading automotive designers and reporters.

The winning student teams will receive scholarship money from the Aluminum Association.

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