Augustin Barbot’s Opel D49 wins him three months at GME design
6 May 2009

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.

“Augustin really did interpret the brief from an Opel/Vauxhall perspective, building on our commitment to electric vehicles and anticipating tomorrow’s mobility needs”.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK