Images: California dreamin' for concept cars
Maybach's California Gourmet Tourer
Maybach's entry, the California Gourmet Tourer, features refrigeration, espresso machine, microwave, wine rack, food preparation area, recycler and foldout tables--along with GPS software to do the chauffering while passengers ride and dine.
It may look like a Frankensteinian combination of an inchworm and a garden shed, but on Thursday the judges awarded it first place.
Honda's Running Bus
One of Honda's entries in the Design Challenge, the Running Bus, offers a different take on hybrid energy--inspired by California's fitness culture, it packs 10 stationary runners inside the bus for power.
Hyundai Greenspeed Gator
The Greenspeed Gator from Hyundai was inspired by drag racers of the 1960s and the fuel cell innovations of the 21st century. Under the hood are hydrogen storage tanks, and the rear wheels house electric motors.
Environmental consciousness hits the raceways in the Kia Sidewinder design. Kia's entry in the design challenge incorporates a compressed natural gas turbine, which feeds electricity to high-torque in-wheel electric motors.
Mercedes Mojave Runner
A gasoline-electric hybrid from Mercedes, the Mojave Runner features night vision, sandstorm radar and GPS sensors. It also comes with smart tires--they automatically change tread depth to match the road (or off-road) conditions.
Smart Rescue Vehicle
No Southern California-inspired design contest would be complete without something for the beach. A work of the imagination inspired by the lifeguard life, the Smart Rescue Vehicle does double duty as a dune buggy and jet boat.