CHABON by Ricardo Dillon, Argentina

2004: China.

Scale Model and Illustrations on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Ricardo Dillon was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951. He received the finest argentine high-school education and studied at the University of Buenos Aires, focusing on industrial designing and he has obtained 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 acquired 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, pioneering in Argentina the idea of interactivity with the customer in the design process. His furniture designs have obtained great recognition and are merchandised in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay markets and some of them are actually in exhibition in the Modern Art Museum of Buenos Aires in his Permanent Designer Collection.

Designing of automobiles started for him as a hobby and gradually it became a matter of increasing interest, involvement and fondness. Countless hours of readings, layouts, and contest participations, gave him a unique formation for this aspect of his career as designer. He has received much recognition for designs of sedans, pick-ups and public transportation vehicles as well as for the innovative inclusion of alternative energy sources for powering.

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

Last year his design concept vehicle named Luthor was selected to be in exhibition in the Michelin Challenge Design Exhibit (at 2003 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan.

At this time, he has been selected again for the 2004 Michelin Challenge Design with his design solution for the emerging Chinese transportation auto market, which is the theme of the 2004 Michelin Challenge.


Chabon is a proposal that intends to get over the concept of the traditional urban car. The outcome is certainly simple: a box placed on wheels at each corner with the rear motor compartment housing a gasoline unit. Above the wheels, underlining their importance in the project, the cabin sides are almost entirely glazed and most of the sunroof is transparent as well, offering a direct contact with the outside world.

These human factor accommodations include excellent vision and controlled environment. Fundamentally the car has been designed to be a means to discover something new and not just a humble transport facility.

This concept illustrates how the role of the urban car is changing into a product that provides the means for people to experience their surrounding environment, and not just travel through it.

To facilitate this role, the design stresses the importance of providing a large and simple interior space with superb visibility. To maximize the inner space wheels are pushed to the corners of the car and the intrusion of the interior controls are minimized.

The dual frame concept breaks down the car shape in two individuals parts: a base frame on which the various mechanical assemblies (engine, gearbox, suspension system) can be inserted, and an upper frame to support the panels that make up the vehicle body.

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

Features includes swiveled front seats to facilitate coming down and two passenger seats set back to back, that users can quickly fold using tracks, along which the seats slide into their desired positions to provide additional space that allows baggage transportation.

This concept uses chassis and body panels made of thermoplastic materials that are environmentally friendly, and the color scheme also represents functionality. Its emphatically body panels come in a gloss finish, contrasting with the matt titanium grey of body frames made in safety cell-reinforced steel frame.