The LA Design Challenge is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the LA Auto Show pitting different auto brands building their concept vehicles based on the set criteria for the event. This year’s theme focuses on society’s shift towards minimizing their dependence on natural resources by building a light-weight vehicle that focuses on efficiency without sacrificing the style of the vehicle.
Honda’s entry for the 2010 Design Challenge is the Air concept, a lightweight vehicle that uses alternative fuel, all while boasting an aggressive look inspired by, oddly enough, roller coasters and skydiving wing suits. So, we guess that’s why it’s called the Air concept.
In any case, the Air uses a compressed air and pneumatic regulator system that uses turbo vacuums and external air-flow to regenerate the tank’s pressure system, ensuring that the vehicle has extended range and increased boost to last an estimated 100 miles. Anytime you need to have your tanks and reserves refilled efficiently, a Honda generator and air compressor does the trick, either from the comforts of your own home or at a local station.
For safety, the Air concept uses vegetable-based polymer panels and fairings to ensure the safety and protection of its occupants.
The whole body of the Air concept resembles the look of a modern rollercoaster designed to optimize the open-air experience. Then there’s the chassis, which has a variety of purposes to eliminate the structure’s redundancy and reduce the vehicle’s overall weight, ensuring that it doesn’t exceed 1,000 lbs. Other weight-saving procedures done to the Air include the use of a hub-less wheel and drive system instead of the standard drive train system, glass reinforced seating panels, urethane tire composition, and skeletal sub-frame components, all of which contributed to the Air shedding off a significant amount of weight, rounding off to just about 800 lbs.
Press Release after the jump.
The Honda Air concept is a vision of the future of lightweight and alternative fuel performance vehicles; a coastal cruiser for the aggressive lifestyle. Inspired by the modern roller coaster as well as skydiving wing-suits, the Air is powered by a compressed air and pneumatic regulator system. It utilizes turbo vacuums and external air-flow to regenerate tank pressure for extended range and increased boost for an estimated 100 miles. The chassis doubles as the master tank and all components, including seating, are mounted to the central chassis/tank to eliminate redundant structure and reduce overall weight.
Vegetable based polymer panels and fairings protect occupants, maintaining the solid Honda method; safety for everyone. The Air’s cockpit and package maintain the aggressive human packaging of a modern roller coaster aimed at maximizing the open air experience. In order to reduce weight and increase dynamic performance, a hub-less wheel and drive system eliminates the use of heavy drive train components. Glass reinforced seating panels, urethane tire composition and skeletal sub-frame components combine for drastic weight savings. Using a Honda generator / air compressor at home or tire filler at your local filling station, the main tanks and reserves can be filled quickly and safely.
At just under 800 lbs., the powerful anthem of pneumatic propulsion and a character unlike any zero-emission vehicle exemplifies Honda’s concept of fun to drive. The pow[air] of dreams.