Motor Trend and the California International Auto Show (CIAS) have announced the details of their fifth-annual international design contest. The 2003 CIAS Motor Trend International Design Contest challenges amateur, student and professional designers from around the world to conceptualize the winning combination of design form, function and creativity to create a tuner car of the future. The winners will be announced on Media Day at the California International Auto Show, on October 29, 2003. The designs will then be displayed throughout the show.

In this "Fast & Furious" age of tuner car popularity, the CIAS Motor Trend International Design Contest challenge is to define the tuner cars of the year 2020. Select a marque (past or present, in production or discontinued) then define and design the modern performance themes that will roam streets and performance car shows in 2020. Will aggressive body-kits, wild wings, and large exhaust endure? What will be the next generation's neon lights and carbon fiber trim? Will alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles become performance canvases on which to build in the future?

"Modifying vehicles is an international passion, so we're expecting some pretty creative submissions, both from around the world, and here in the United States," says Motor Trend Executive Editor Matt Stone, who serves as the contest's chief judge. "Whether the choice is a '32 Ford, '55 Chevy, early Mustang or Camaro; the cafe racers of the 1970s and 1980s; or today's popular Civic, Focus, and WRX, car owners love to personalize, no matter the era."

Prior to submitting a design, contestants must select from one of four levels of participation - design professional, design student, amateur 17 years of age and younger, or amateur 18 years of age and older. Each design submission must include a minimum of three perspectives, including a rendering of the passenger compartment identifying instrumentation and driver controls. Entries must also include a brief synopsis to explain how the design was conceptualized, as well as the car's technical and general specifications.

Registration for this year's competition runs June 1 through August 15, 2003. The deadline for entries to be received is September 15, 2003. Interested designers should visit the official contest web site, www.mtdesigncontest.com, or call 717/566-6100 for free registration and access to the participant booklet.