Original thinkers can be difficult people to track down, but this month Autocar is looking for some.

The closing date for our Next Generation Award is about to pass, and in the hope of drumming up a late surge of submissions, I thought I’d make one last appeal to the forum faithful to enter. Do you have ideas that could change the car industry? Then tell us about them.

Have you got what it takes to change the car industry? Click here for for full details on how to enter the competition

The award itself is designed to challenge those lucky enough to be considering, particularly studying for, a career in the car industry. It’s open, therefore, only to students in tertiary education. But for those students, I reckon it offers the chance of winning a pretty good route into the industry, not to mention £6000 in cash; read more about here.

Necessity being the mother of you-know-what, I’d expect the best entries to go straight to the heart of the biggest issues that car-makers face today: how do we make cars cleaner and more sustainable? How do we make them cheaper, safer, better-performing and more efficient all at the same time? How do we squeeze more performance out of fewer cubic centimetres? And how should we change the way we build and sell them in today’s tempestuous global market?

Alternatively, you might have a doodled design for an ever-lasting cambelt or a workable four-point seatbelt on a bit of paper somewhere. Whatever your idea, you’ve got until 23 October to enter.

And as for those of us ineligible to enter, I thought we could write a precy of our industry-altering ideas in the comments section here. Because a lot of criticism of the car industry goes on throughout these web pages; we’re never slow to pour scorn upon a car, an individual or an idea that we think is worthy of it. This is a chance for us all to step up and explain how we’d do it better.

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