Oct 16, 2008
21st Century Car: Ford Model T 2.0, redesigned to cost $7000
It's been 100 years since Ford's first Model T hit the road, and to commemorate the occasion, Ford commissioned a design contest to create Model T 2.0. Of the two winners of $25,000 in scholarship money, the Model T2 design you see above was our favorite, a three-wheeled coupe from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. It has motors on each wheel's hub, powered by compressed air. It also sports an unspecified "novel steering system," which we figure has something to do with all three wheels getting into the act.
The parameters of the design competition were tough, requiring the vehicle to cost less than $7000 and have a range of 125 miles. It's not going to be easy to actually build a car that cheaply, since the most inexpensive car available these days costs nearly twice that. But if a car like this could get you a $7500 tax break like the increasingly expensive Chevy Volt, they'd be paying you $500 to drive one away from the dealership. Take a look at the other winning design:
This is the 2015 Ford Model T, designed by students at Aachen University in Cologne, Germany. Like the old version 1.0 jalopy, this vehicle uses a common chassis that can accommodate various bodies such as a truck, sedan or mini city car. Both designs are simple, but we're still not sure if these cars could be built for $7000 — maybe if the currency deflates to half its value by 2015.