High School Kids Design a Dodge SRT Hellcat for the Next Decade for "Drive for Design" Contest

Car companies are always one step ahead of time, planning for a few good years in advance. While that allows them to be effective, it also makes them quite inflexible.
Drive for Design entrant 5 photos
FCA Drive for Design winnerFCA Drive for Design winnerFCA Drive for Design winnerFCA Drive for Design winner
But don’t expect that to change anytime soon. The modular platform boom we’ve been experiencing lately will help shorten the time necessary to come up with a new model significantly, but we’re still talking years here.

Of course, design is one of the key components of a new or facelifted model. In the case of a refresh, it’s a lot simpler: the designers just have to change a few lines here and there - it’s the kind of work they can do during the lunch break.

On a new model, however, there are a lot of things to consider. There’s aerodynamics, for instance, with drag coefficients and downforce and air streams and so on. Then there’s packaging - designers work closely with engineers to find the best solutions so that we don’t end up with a car that looks great but has to have its engine removed to change a lightbulb.

Behind those sketches and clay models the car makers use to illustrate a designer’s work, there’s a lot of hard, tedious work. Being a car designer is very much like being a copywriter in an advertising agency: everybody only sees the glamorous part, and ignores the rest.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. And, as contests such as the one organized by FCA called Drive for Design prove, the interest from young students looking to one day work in the automotive industry is as high as ever.

The national contest was started in 2015 and asked high school students in grades between 10 and 12 to draw a Dodge SRT Hellcat for the year 2025. After careful deliberation, the four winners have been picked:

• First place - Ben Treinen, Archbishop Moeller High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)
• Second place - Harrison Kunselman, Mount de Sales Academy (Macon, Georgia)
• Third place - Hwanseong Jang, Bloomfield Hills High School (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan)
• Fourth place - Andrew Gombac, Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Illinois)

Prizes include Apple products, a three-week summer course at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, three passes to the Detroit Autorama, a three-day/two-night stay in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and dinner with members of the FCA US Design team.

But while all that sounds great, we’re pretty sure what the four will appreciate the most is the opportunity to write this achievement in their CVs in a few years’ time when they’ll be knocking on the industry’s doors. You can have a look at the four winning designs in the gallery below.


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