More stories related to Geneva Motor Show PARIS – Automobiles Peugeot SA awards its latest public design prize to a 23-year-old Portuguese design student, Andre Costa, for his M00vie concept of a 2-seat city car.

Costa will get a check for €6,000 ($7,800) at the Geneva auto show, and a team of Peugeot model makers will produce a fullsize concept of his bowling ball-like car for the Frankfurt auto show in September.

"The design pleased us a lot," says Peugeot Managing Director Frederic Saint-Geours, particularly its emphasis on the lion logo. He also notes that the name calls attention to the 1007, the first genuine Peugeot to employ a double zero in its name.

M00vie concept
by Andre Costa

Peugeot uses its contest – this was the third in five years – to promote its brand and to get feedback on what budding designers think of as a Peugeot.

"We don't use the concours (design contest) to recruit," says Gerard Welter, director of Peugeot design. "There is a considerable difference between an amateur designer, even the enlightened ones, and a professional."

The theme of this year's contest was to design "the Peugeot of your dreams for the near future."

"We wanted to know what they dream of and think of as their dream cars," says product chief Bruno de Guibert. "Sport/utilities? Monospaces? Coupes? Sedans?"

Among the 30 designs chosen by Peugeot as finalists and put on the Internet for public voting, 11 were coupes, three were sedans, one was an SUV and 15 were hard to classify, including the winner.

The lesson Peugeot takes from that, says Saint-Geours, is that young designers imagine a future in which more and more niches are developed as vehicles become specialized for very particular uses.

Bodyboard finalist design

One of the 30 finalists was the Bodyboard, a car in which a driver would lie flat on his stomach to guide it. The implication is a future in which vehicles are made in smaller and smaller volumes. Today, says Saint-Geours, Automobile Peugeot could not make a business case for anything with a volume of less than 30,000 units a year.

The variety of concepts, he says, "shows that designers consider the Peugeot brand capable of being innovative, original, different and audacious."

De Guibert says within the industry it is clear the M00vie's fuel-cell powerplant means that it is not really a near-future concept, but "for a 23-year-old designer, fuel cells are the near future."

The concept includes doors that open in a circular fashion. It is 90.6 ins. (230 cm) long, 59.1 ins. (150 cm) wide and 59.1 ins. tall. Before the model is made, Peugeot designers will ask Costa to crystallize his thoughts for the interior.

The first contest in 2000 drew 2,030 entries, the second 2,800 and this one 3,800.

After Peugeot chose the 30 finalists, the 115,000 Internet votes whittled the field to 10, and Peugeot designers chose the winner.

Each year, the average age of the competitors has been 28.

Full details are available on a special website, peugeot-concours-design.com.