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Extreme 'green' cars of the future

Car designers compete in no-tech-barred contest to sketch out the ultimate green machine.



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NEW YORK ( -- An algae-filled Hummer and a Volkswagen that can dissolve and rebuild itself are among the ideas presented by car designers for a Los Angeles Auto Show competition.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, taking place at the end of November, a team of judges will present an award to the automotive design team that presents the best idea for the ultimate eco-friendly vehicle.

Nine California-based car design teams, working for companies including General Motors, Volkswagen,Toyota and Honda are participating in the "Design Los Angeles" competition. The competition was open to automobile design studios based in Southern California.

Each presented detailed sketches of what their companies might create at some future time when, according to contest organizers, "all vehicles have technology allowing them to enjoy the distinctive Southern California lifestyle and unique environment without harming it."

Gallery: Green cars of the future

According to contest rules, the proposed vehicles must be fully recyclable after five years and have as little impact as possible on the environment. Entries also must reflect the Southern California lifestyle.

Most of the vehicles dreamed up would be impossible to create using today's technology.

In order to comply with the rule requiring minimal environmental impact, some vehicles offset their emissions by cleaning the air.

The Hummer 02, for example, would have body panels filled with algae, a form of plant-life. Through photosynthesis, the Hummer would turn C02 into a pure oxygen, just like a tree. When the vehicle is parked, the Hummer's body panels could fold upwards, sticking out like leaves to capture more sunlight.

The Mini Biomoke's body panels would be impregnated with palm tree seeds, which would sprout after the panels were composted at the end of the vehicle's useful life.

The VW Nanospyder would be constructed entirely of microscopic machines that could disassemble and reassemble themselves. In the event of a crash, the tiny machines that make up the frame could loosen their bonds in certain areas to create "crumple zones" to soften the impact.

The winning entry will be selected based by a panel of judges, including representatives of the major automotive design schools. The entries will be judged based on creativity, contribution to the environment, safety and reflection of the Southern California "Green" lifestyle. The winner will be announced Nov. 30.

Gallery: Green cars of the future

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