Audi Snook by Tilmann Schlootz, Germany

2008: Smaller. Safer. Better.

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Tilmann Schlootz was born in Frankfurt, Germany and studied industrial design at the Academy of Art and Design Offenbach after basic studies in machine engineering at the TU Darmstadt. In many projects he exhausts the design language potentials of new product categories based on alternative technologies. In Cooperation with Honda he was in the student team of the motorcycle design OFX that won two Intermot Design Awards 2004. His first Michelin Challenge Design Awards, Schlootz won in a team of two in 2006 with the two mono-rubbertrack-vehicles Baal and Hyanide, supported by Edag.  Supervised by Opel, he created the sports car Moton, combining the skateboard platform GM Autonomy with a face down ergonomy. He could start motor sports experience in a team of three with the design and prototyping of race car TY 2006 for the Stralsund Racing Team that won the 3rd place of the first Formula SAE style event. After six years of a side job at Solutions PR and a variety of freelance designs, Schlootz makes diploma at Volkswagen future research with his mono-spherewheel-vehicle Audi Snook that wins a VDA Design Award 2007 and a Michelin Challenge Design Award 2008. At the moment he works at Audi Design.


As well as for my diploma thesis about analogies and synergies of design and future research, I worked in the Volkswagen Group Research Future Affairs for my final year project. Snook is one of the concepts I developed concerning the megatrend of urbanization in respect to technology forecast.

In urban regions and tight spaces agility counts. Beside its minimal traffic area, Snook provides maximum agility through the principle of instability in combination with an auto stabilized carefree handling system. Drive-by-wire-technology and a multidirectional engine raise all of them three, comfort, safety and joy, by allowing completely new manoeuvres such as driving sidewards and turning on a point, for fun as well as for security. The control system runs redundant, so it tangibly proves the emotional suggestion of safety of the helmet-like impression and the SUV-like seat level.

The egg of Columbus, or better, two billiard balls standing on each other – this icon is my origin on the way of reducing the hardware demands of physical mobility to the minimum. One point touching the ground, the inverse pendulum in motion. Agility through instability, controlled by artificial intelligence – that is my formal issue. I intend to quote the simplicity of the sphere wheel that made the multidirectional engine even possible at all, by figuring the cabin also spherical and make a formal lamination of place for both, man and machine. This sculptural attempt appreciates the progress of the shrinking of technology and the raise of human responsibility.