LUTHOR by Ricardo Dillon, Argentina

2003: France.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Ricardo Dillon was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received the finest argentine high-school education and studied at the University of Buenos Aires, focusing on industrial designing.

He acquired his more than 20 years of designing experience working for top companies in various designing areas where he developed a strong expertise in various designing related materials such as metals, wood, plastics, fabrics and diverse production processes such as casting, stamping and die forming. He has also a vast experience on manufacturing of PRFV pieces and other plastics.

In the furniture design and upholstery areas, his activities since 1985 encompassed all the stages from the original concept in blueprint to the making of prototypes and the starting up of the production line. He pioneered in Argentina the idea of interactivity with the customer in the design process. Dillon’s furniture designs have obtained great recognition and are merchandised in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay markets.

Designing of automobiles started for Ricardo Dillon as a hobby and gradually it became a matter of increasing interest, involvement and fondness. Countless hours of readings, layouts, and contest participations, uniquely equips him for this aspect of his career as designer. He has received many awards for his designing of sedans, pick-ups and public transportation vehicles as well as for the innovative inclusion of alternative energy sources for powering.

To present these designs concepts Dillon uses state of the art computer technology, assigning priority to ergonometric, cost-effective and environmental friendly solutions.


Luthor is a proposal that intended to get over the concept of the traditional minicar. The outcome was certainly simple: a box placed on wheels at each corner. Over the wheels, emphasizing their importance in the project, cabin sides are almost open and most of the sunroof is also translucent, allowing the passengers to be in direct contact with the outside world.

It is designed like an electrical medium range vehicle and target buyers are young urban people. This human accommodation factor also includes excellent vision and controlled environment. This concept illustrates the changing role of the current urban car which tends to be a product providing the necessary means for passengers to experience the surrounding environment, and not just travel through it.

The idea was to create a fun machine for the city finding a way to give an impression of speed and practicality. To facilitate this role, the design of this urban vehicle emphasizes the provision of a large and simple inner space with excellent visibility. The wheels are pushed out to the corners of the car to maximize the inner space and the protrusion of controls into the inner space is minimized.

The focal aspect centers upon two side doors around which the structure takes shape. The size of each door represents almost a half of the length of the whole vehicle and provides ample access even in the tightest parking conditions.

The side view appears rather dominated by an arc-like shaped roof in a mono-volume vehicle offering an elegant solution in perfect harmony with the advanced features included in the design like its simple and non-aggressive contours.

Details like the inner flat floor and location of the spare tire allows making use of the entire floor space, which could be lowered in order to house technical components.

To reinforce the practical aspect of Luthor, the spare wheel cover is located on the rear panel behind the co-driver seat. The main structure and doors are made with aluminum and polypropylene and the clear roof is a curve-shaped polycarbonate sheet. Recycled polypropylene is also used throughout the interior like the dashboard and instrument panel that adopts a simple curved form around an aluminum tube sub-structure.

Driving units for each wheel assemble a motor, a reduction gear system, a mechanical brake and a ball bearing inside a driving wheel. This type of driving unit decreases the transmission loss between motor and wheel and reduces the total weight of the vehicle.

Batteries and electric components are placed inside the floor structure. This feature makes the vehicle lighter in weight, leaves more space for the passenger compartment and lowers the gravity center.

Acceleration feeling is soft because the four motors develop a constant torque from zero to higher speed.

The security was solved with airbags and sensors in the front that deploy themselves along the driver in case of crash with an incoming object.