Toronto designers win concept Popemobile contest
Eco-friendly, high-security vehicle features latest automotive technologies.
Italian auto parts OEM Berman S.p.A and the organizers of the 2012 Autostyle Design Competition recently named Toronto native Eric Leong and classmate Han Yong-fei of Sweden’s Umea Institute of Design, as the winners of the annual automotive design competition. The pair won for their concept design of a new Popemobile to potentially replace the Pontiff’s more traditional Mercedes with a more modern and eco-friendly set of wheels.
The new design, based on a modified hybrid Volkswagen Cross Coupé, incorporates high tech touches beyond the standard bullet-proof glass, including spider silk infused with titanium and spray-on lithium-ion battery technology as well as bullet-proof Kevlar-belted wheels and a solar panel on the roof.
Leong, an industrial design graduate of Humber College, and Yong-fei were chosen from 70 international contenders invited to Mantua, Italy in October by competition sponsor Berman. The competition’s judges’ panel included design directors from Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, Fiat, Ford, Ferrari and Toyota.