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FCA Announces Seventh Annual Drive for Design Contest

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This year, young automotive designers from across the country will be tasked with designing the ultimate status vehicle from any of FCA's brands

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FCA is once again offering young automotive designers a chance to shine
Photo: FCA US Product Design/Ben Treinen

Year after year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has invested in the future of automotive design with its Drive for Design contest. The contest invites high school students in grades 10-12 with a passion for automotive design to submit their own vision of what FCA’s vehicles might look like in the future.

During this year’s Drive for Design contest, participating students will be asked to create the ultimate status vehicle from any of FCA’s many brands.

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The Drive for Design contest is the brainchild of Mark Trostle, the Head of Performance, Passenger Car, and Utility Vehicle Design for FCA. Trostle participated in a similar contest during his youth, and wanted to offer that opportunity to the next generation of automotive enthusiasts.

“Today’s automotive designers not only sketch cars, they create some of the most advanced user experience systems available, work with 3D technology, research color trends and create interior spaces that are multifunctional and beautiful,” explains Trostle. “As the field of automotive design grows, it’s vital that we increase awareness and educate students and parents about the good-paying opportunities available. Many of today’s designers had no idea that automotive design could be a career option and we want to change that.”

Trostle launched this year’s campaign with an “Ask Me Anything” session over Facebook LIVE. He was joined by Mark Allen, the Head of Jeep Exterior Design.

Additionally, FCA has added Josh Welton as a special guest judge for this year’s contest. Welton is a writer, artist, and owner of Brown Dog Welding LLC.

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The rewards for winning the contest are plentiful. Three separate winners will be selected, each receiving a behind-the-scenes tour of the FCA US Product Design studios in Auburn Hills, Michigan. That tour will be followed up with a one-on-one session with a leading automotive designer.

The winners will also receive a scholarship to attend the College for Creative Studies’ Precollege Summer Experience Transportation Design program. The program introduces young designers to automotive design fundamentals like gestural sketching and 3D models.

Last year’s competition saw young deisgners coming up with Jeep concepts
Photo: FCA US Product Design

Finally, each of the winners will be honored during the EyesOn Design “Vision Honored” Black Tie and Silent Auction on June 14. They’ll also get a turn to act as junior judges during the concurrent EyesOn Design Car Show.

For more information about this contest, you can check out the Drive for Design website here. However, entries are due by April 27, so any interested students should start working on a design as soon as possible if they want to win.