Turtle by Stefano Marchetto, Italy

2007: Sharing the Road.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Stefano Marchetto, 27, was born and raised in Italy. He graduated from the Faculty of Design and Arts in Venice in 2003 with a degree in Industrial Design.

Besides being selected as a finalist for the 2007 Michelin Challenge Design, in 2004 he won the first prize in the international design competition “Stile Italiano Giovani” with a microcar project called Smooth. Thanks to this contest, his project has been shown all over Italy and also in New Delhi and Seoul. In 2006, he was finalist in the 5th edition of the same contest.

His design philosophy can be summarized in these three words: rational – innovative – smooth. He is now studying at Politecnico in Milan to get a masters degree in Industrial Design.


Turtle is a MPV vehicle with a flexible interior based on a fuel cell platform with four-wheel steering controlled by a Drive-by-Wire system. Since there is no physical connection between the platform and the cabin, the nose and the tail of the vehicle can shift toward the middle of the van.

When a collision occurs, a matrix of sensors placed under the front panel of the cabin analyzes the force and the area of the impact. This data is used to control the stiffness of the bumpers that slow down the nose of the vehicle, absorbing a part of the kinematic energy. This feature decreases collision effects for the occupants of both the vehicles independently from their size. It also improves pedestrian safety, since the sensors can establish whether to activate the external airbag.

The volume contained in the central part of Turtle is completely utilizable, since the furniture is foldable and disappears in the floor and in the walls. It is possible to load large objects as well into the vehicle.

To assure maximum accessibility to the cabin, Turtle adopts a new aperture system for the two-lateral doors. Instead of sliding horizontally, they slide vertically. This reduces the space needed for the opening operation.