Cadillac's extraordinary Aera Concept vehicle won the Design Challenge at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. The futuristic ride blow-off the competition, including renowned car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Maybach.

This year, designers were asked to engineer a "1,000 lb. car" with efficient four-passenger cockpit, which offers comfort, safety, driving performance and style.

Jussi Timonen, lead designer for the project shared: "The Cadillac Aera concept was designed to continue the forward-thinking imagination of Cadillac's ‘art and science' philosophy. It's designed as a small city urban vehicle, but we approached this 2+2 touring coupe very much from the brand's luxury perspective. Every detail of the Aera was conceived to minimize the vehicle's environmental impact without sacrificing the style, comfort and attention to detail that are hallmarks of the Cadillac brand."

The Cadillac Aera prototype utilizes a highly efficient Pneumatic Drive System with compressed air that has a 10,000-psi composite air storage tank with capacity for a 1,000-mile range. Its outer livery boasts hi-tech material with pressurized air cells, similar to this developed for the NASA Mars Rover airbags, and further provide better passive safety and interior comfort. The body draws its design inspiration by the nature, utilizing a 3D lattice, mono-formed frame that is formed from a unique, alloy-utilizing, semi-solid freeform manufacturing, while creating a naturally strong, extremely lightweight frame.

On the inside, the Area Concept showcases spacious cabin space crafted in ultra-light recyclable polymer that allows for HVAC channels, fully adjustable seating, storage and comfort features all in one mono-form structure.

On-board extras include an all-in-one wheel system that combines rotary actuator propulsion, steering and suspension functions, a drive-by-wire system, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle communication module, which promotes active safety.

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