The Design Challenge at the Los Angeles Auto Show kicks off tomorrow, a showcase of some of the most spectacular, if outlandish, designs in the auto industry. LA is home to the Art Center College of Design, an internationally renowned transportation design school, as well as the most vehicle manufacturing design studios worldwide, making it a perfect host for the convention. Eight leading car manufacturers including Audi and Mercedes Benz have taken a whack at this year's theme, “ROBOCAR 2057,”  and come up with some pretty amazing concepts (one of the more bizarre: Mazda's alien-like Motonari RX “which contains millions of microscopic actuators functioning as a haptic envelope [which] allows the driver to experience the road psycho-somatically, while receiving electrical stimulation to specific muscle groups”). The photo above is our pick -  Volkswagen's Slipstream, a teardrop-shaped vehicle that's one fifth the size of a conventional car and travels in an upright position. This zippy two-wheeler can reach speeds of 250 mph plus, powered by the solar paneling covering the entire vehicle. [via AutoUnleashed]

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