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October 21, 2010

One Thousand Car Design Part 2 - Mercedes-Benz Biome, Toyota Nori and the Volvo Air Motion

The Mercedes-Benz Biome is an ultralight vehicle that utilizes technologies from nature to achieve unparalleled efficiency and seamless integration into the ecosystem



The Toyota NORI concept challenges us to look ahead and create a clever vision that addresses fuel economy, emissions, green materials, new design and manufactured technology, and transforms it into an emotionally appealing design solution.

As the majority of current generation automobiles consist of a chassis covered by attached body panels, the NORI concept presents the idea that the body and chassis are one, as a PODULAR form, designed to be strong, light and beautiful. Bioplastics technology is created using “nori” (the Japanese word for seaweed) combined with a carbon fiber weave for strength. Woven into the PODULAR form are solar cells that capture and generate supplemental solar energy. As a holistic solution and new design aesthetic, NORI reduces weight and the number of parts while capturing and generating energy.

A vehicle lighter than a Formula 1 racing car... Experiencing the adrenaline rush of carving through the canyons with up to three friends… Not using a drop of gasoline... Now just imagine if these dreams could be brought together in a single vehicle.

Tipping the scales at under 1,000 lbs. the Volvo Air Motion Concept makes these dreams a reality and delivers this in a beautiful Scandinavian body. Designed like a clam shell and sculptured from ultra light carbon fiber.

Minimizing weight and complexity, while maximizing driving enjoyment, is the philosophy behind this vehicle. Thousands of fewer components are employed than in a traditional car, thanks to the powerful, yet simple, compressed air motors that replace a heavy internal combustion engine. The motors cool down under load rather than heat up, thus removing the need for heavy cooling systems. An integrated approach to designing the chassis, interior and suspension also contribute significantly.

To compress the air needed for the centrally mounted air tank, Air Replenishment Sites are used. Powered by air turbines floating 1,000 ft. in the air, they harness the power of the wind and convert it to electricity to provide the compression

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