H_ster Concept by Zsolt Tarnok, Hungary

2007: Sharing the Road.

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Zsolt Tarnok, 24, was born in Budapest, Hungary. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Car and Transportation Design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, Italy. Tarnok recently completed an exchange student program in Product Design at Bell College in Hamilton, Scotland. During this program, he worked with motorsports, the Peugeot 205 roll-cage design, formula student car building and Turner LMP bodywork design.

Tarnok received his M.sc. in Industrial Design Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Dept. of Product Engineering. He also has completed a designer internship at Mor, Raba Automotive Group where he helped design plans for trains, busses and tram seats for passengers and drivers.

Over the past three years, Tarnok has received numerous honors and achievements including his selection as a display finalist for the 2007 Michelin Challenge Design. Other achievements include: 2005 L’argus International Utility Vehicle Design Contest (Finalist, Top 10); 2005 Electrolux ‘Imagine the home in 2020’ International Design Competition (Semi-finalist, Top 120); 2005 Hungarian Design Award (Finalist, Selected for exhibition); 2004 Motor Trend International Design Contest (Finalist, Top Five) and 2004 Motor Trend Editors’ Choice Award winner.

Tarnok speaks four languages including Hungarian, English, German and Italian. His interests include reading, playing musical instruments, driving, sailing and various other sports.


Michelin H_ster (Hydraulic_roadster) concept is a unique new roadster. As the name shows, the car is powered and controlled by hydraulics: the drivetrain consists of a hydraulic pump, that pumps oil to all the wheels where it is injected into the built-in wheel-turbines which drive the vehicle, and then the oil is chanelled back to the reservoir.

The concept has a unique intelligent safety system: the main carbon-fiber spaceframe is separated into two pieces: the front nose part and the rear cabin part, which are connected by four hydraulic pistons that provide side protection as well.

In case of an accident the pistons function as crash-structures: the pressure-control valves control the amount of oil leaving the pistons and so these control the deceleration of the rear part of the frame. The computer keeps the valves open for the first milliseconds of the collision and so can measure the weight and velocity of the hit object. On the basis of this data the pressure in the pistons can be controlled by the valves to keep the deceleration of the cabin at a bearable level for the passengers.

The visual safety of the concept is enchanced by the four pistons which have a very strong effect, and also by the carbon-fiber insets on the body of the car. The outer cover of the car is soft and flexible for pedestrian safety while the inner spaceframe is very strong to channel the energies to the pistons with minimal deformation.

H_ster is a brand new concept with a unique drivetrain, a re-usable crash structure and improved overall safety for the people inside and outside of the car.