2012 LA Auto Show Challenges Car Designers to Envision the Patrol Vehicle of 2025

Mike Lowery, the character Will Smith plays in Bad Boys I and II, is probably the action-movie cop that drives the best cars. One can hardly argue that a Porsche 911 Turbo and a Ferrari 575 M sharing scenes with director Michael Bay’s personal 550 Maranello, beats a Crown Vic Interceptor or what-have-you any given day and twice on Sundays as a means of transportation for law enforcement officers. Granted, this is a fictional character and the aforementioned cars are his own, rather than standard-issue patrol cars. Moreover, Don Johnson predated him with his Ferrari Daytona Spyder and subsequently, the Testarossa in Miami Vice. Perhaps more credible is the Audi RSQ Smith drove in the 2004 science fiction movie I, Robot, that was based on a Isaac Asimov short story and supposedly took place in 2035. The Los Angeles Auto Show has been running a design challenge for car manufacturers since 2003. This year’s subject is designing a future highway patrol vehicle that must incorporate features such as advanced powertrains and alternative fuels, as befits a car that’s supposed to be in service in 2025. So far, the design studios of Bentley, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Subaru have accepted the challenge (Audi still hasn’t, but it might have moved aside to make room for “sister” Bentley). Criteria include consideration for advanced technology that will be available in the future, speed and agility on future freeway systems, creativity and environmental “sensitivity”, i.e. maintenance and recyclability. “One of the most difficult yet important tasks in design is looking into the future and create the trends and tools that haven’t been imagined,” said director of Design Los Angeles and Design Academy partner Chuck Pelly. “The element of law enforcement to this year’s competition creates another layer of importance that makes a challenge equal to the level of our participants.” The winning design will be announced on November 29 during the second press day of the show, which will be open to the public from November 30 to December 9 hosting more than 20 world premieres. By Andrew Tsaousis