By Aaron Bragman
Think you know what the trucks of tomorrow are going to look like? A recent competition among design students at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, sponsored by industry magazine WardsAuto World and seating suppliers Lear Corp. and International Automotive Components, aims to nurture the talents of tomorrow's young automotive designers by getting them in the mind-set of designing the truck interiors of the future. Six finalists were announced last month in the fifth annual WardsAuto Interiors Student Design Competition, with the overall winner to be named May 21 at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference in Dearborn, Mich.
This year, students were instructed to design the pickup truck interior of 2025 based on a specific scenario: The truck's owners are a family, a husband and wife with two grown children. The husband is a successful building contractor, while the wife is a large animal veterinarian. Both of them use the truck for work. The family uses the truck for recreation as well, sometimes bringing the kids along or occasionally letting them use it for their own excursions. Students were challenged to create an interior that integrates the many roles a pickup typically plays in the lives of its owners.
The challenge was especially difficult this year, as none of the students had ever even driven a pickup before. Many of them were international students who didn't grow up in a culture in which full-size personal-use pickup trucks abound.
Finalists were chosen from a dozen participants at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in April. The six official finalists and their designs are:
- Arkadiy Okham, who designed a Nissan pickup that can double as a safari photography platform.
- Dongsung Choi, who did a stylish Ford that brings individual entertainment options to each seat.
- Keunhyuk Choi, whose high-tech GMC can project interactive information onto the rear passenger windows.
- Paul Mutter, who designed a Toyota pickup interior that can be transformed into a mobile conference room.
- Tyler Charest, whose Ram pickup incorporates dedicated spaces for recreational gear.
- Sangwoo Cho, who did a Chevrolet Silverado with bold shapes and a sky hook to use as a parasail rig.
Our favorite is the Toyota by Mutter (see photo above), who seemed to best understand the idea of a pickup truck's dual role as a work truck and play truck. His entry offers seriously thoughtful touches throughout. Have a look at the six finalists' entries below, and stay tuned on May 21 to hear who won the grand prize.
Cars.com photos by Aaron Bragman
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