Hammerhead by Andre Costa, Portugal

2009: Brave + Bold. America’s Next Iconic Vehicle.

Drawings on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


André Costa, 27, graduated with a degree in Industrial Design from the “Faculdade de Belas Artes de Lisboa” (Fine Arts Faculty of Lisbon, Portugal) in 2006. His long-time passion for car design made him the 1st prize winner of the 3rd International Peugeot Design Competition with his project “Moovie” in 2005.

Self taught in many ways on car design, Costa tries to push the envelope in every project he makes, from powertrain to materials, but always takes into account the feasibility of his projects. He dreams to become a successful car designer but for now he works as a freelance designer.


The basic idea on the Hammerhead was to develop what could be the future American sports car, a car that combines “brute force” with new technologies. Something for the “gearheads” that love muscle cars, big noisy engines and racing in general, but still care about the environment.

The Hammerhead has a biofuel powered V10 engine associated with four electrical engine wheels. The V10 provides raw power for drag racing and fun driving, making it powerful – but environment friendly. The engine can also be used in a two phases: one using only four cylinders, for travels in cruise speed and to save biofuel, or the full V10, for racing.

Associated with the internal combustion engine are four electrical wheels powered by battery packs. These are to be used on urban spaces, to reduce noise, emissions and consumption – this also increases the range of the car. Every time the internal combustion engine is used, it recharges the batteries that power the four electrical-driven wheels. You can also combine the use of the two front electrical wheels with the combustion engine (rear drive) for racing – giving the car better grip and handling.

On the outside, I aimed for a simple clean look, yet, still aggressive, with a streamlined body. It features a front spoiler that enhances the grip. This spoiler can also be used as an airbrake. For pedestrian safety, this spoiler can fold up into an airbrake position and collapse on impact, to absorb and minimize impact energy. Inside of it, there is a folded airbag that spreads on top of the hood, to absorb additional impact.

The suspension is magnetic making it smoother. The doors fold up in a two piece system making it stand out, saving space. The car is made of recycled and recyclable materials (for example, the body panels are made in plastic, strengthened by a layer of carbon fiber). The wheels use a pad system: instead of changing the whole tire, you can change only the pad that is damaged, removing the need to travel with a spare tire. The car features a special paint that glows when activated by a small amount of electrical current, which allows the user to custom “paint” the car with unique features. The front grid can also be lit up, giving it a unique look.