Augustin Barbot, a 25-year-old student of the Vehicle Design degree course at London’s Royal College of Art, has won General Motors’ ‘Fast Forward 40 Years’ design competition.
The budding French car designer’s model, called the Opel Darwin 2049, was created in response to a task, set by GM and the Royal College of Art, to design an Opel for the year 2049.
Barbot’s proposal was chosen from a field of 18 candidates. It is envisioned to run not on wheels but on a magnetic ‘maglev’ system above the ground or under the sea, to be powered by three turbine engines, and be constructed from an aluminium frame covered not by conventional panels but by a semi-flexible clear resin.
As his prize, Augustin will spend three months working at General Motors European Design Centre in Rüsselsheim alongside GM's vice-president of design, Mark Adams, and its director of advanced design Anthony Lo, who both judged the competition.
“The standard of the students’ concepts was excellent,” said Lo. “Everything we saw was very forward thinking and really pushed the boundaries in anticipating both practical and emotional needs from mobility.