Hopefully by now you’d have seen some of the excellent student designs from Coventry University’s Automotive Design degree show.

I spent the evening at the show yesterday; it was a pleasure to meet the students, see their work and listen to them explain the rationale behind it. Here are some of my favourties.

Chris Rose – Synergy

The design was impressive, but the packaging even more so. Within each of Synergy’s wheels are electric drive motors and active suspension systems.

The compact sports car could seat four adults in comfort as less space is taken up at the front, rear and underneath by components.

Chris Cheng – (mini)2

Here’s a Mini that lives up to its name. Chris designed a spacious three-seater that’s shorter than the original Issigonis Mini. It sits in size between the Smart ForTwo and Toyota iQ and is quite a topical car, given Mini’s announcement that intends to build its own city car.

Perhaps someone at Mini should take a look at Chris’s design?

Douglas Hogg – Bugatti Aerolithe

Douglas’s Bugatti grand tourer was arguably the most visually attractive car on display last night. The car is designed for 2025 and is aimed at the continent-crossing millionaire.

“I want it to be quite simply the best grand tourer money can buy,” said Douglas.

Gavin Smales – Nissan Z Concept

Where does Nissan go next with the Zed car? Reinventing an icon can always be tricky, but Gavin’s design mixes classis old school Zed car charm with the underground Japanese drifting scene.

His concept doesn’t look too far into the future – 2015 is when Gavin proposes his Zed would be ready for the consumer. And the best bit? It uses the GT-R’s powertrain…

James Taylor – Ducati Quattroruote

The concept behind James’s design was brilliant – what would a Ducati with four wheels look like? With a weight of less than 600kg and being powered by the L-twin engine from the Ducati 1198, James’s design wouldn’t look out of place next to the likes of the Ariel Atom or KTM X-Bow.

And all for around £25,000, too.

Seung Koo - Mercedes-Benz SLW 2020

Seung’s design is another to make use of in-wheel electric motors. He showcases a small, Lotus Exige-sized Mercedes coupe for 2020.

The design is more aggressive than anything within Mercedes’ range at the minute – Seung has tried to pitch the car at a much younger audience than Mercedes currently sells to.

Andre Picart – Formula ZE

Formula One has long pledged to ‘go green’, although there’s little sign of progress. Andre’s design is a revolution of F1 for 2020, making the cars all electrically powered.

The cars wouldn’t be silent, however. Andre has placed several butterly valves in the rear wing; more open as the speed increases, and the wind helps the car create a high-pitched and unique sound.

Reiss Finney/Andy Webber – Jaguar XK shooting break

My favourite, however, was the Jaguar XK shooting break concept created by Reiss and Andy. It looked every bit production ready, startling given it took the pair just six weeks to come up with the design.

The pair’s fellow students awarded the car the ‘Dear God Make This Now’ award. I certainly wouldn’t argue with that.