The former BMW designer is taking aim at the Chinese market.

Former Opel, Fiat, and BMW designer Chris Bangle now runs his own design studio, Chris Bangle Associates. He has steered well clear of the automotive industry in recent years but he's ready to make a comeback with a new project named Redspace. We saw it for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Bangle jointly developed the Redspace with a Chinese company named China Hi-Tech New Energy Auto Company Limited, or CHTC Motors in short. A quick Google search reveals the firm specializes in making long-haul buses, airport buses, mining trucks, and delivery trucks. Some of its line-up runs on electricity.

The project Redspace takes the form not of a luxurious barge, a sports car, or a mining truck but a small, city-friendly model barely longer than a smart fortwo. It's aimed at young, city-dwelling Chinese motorists, according to Form Trends, and it was designed from the inside out. The model is fully electric and it can drive itself when needed.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Edgar Allen Poe once said, "there is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion." Maybe that's what Bangle had in mind when he started sketching; who knows? All we'll say about the design is that the Redspace looks like nothing else on the road. We'll let you judge whether that's a good or a bad thing.

Chinese motorists spend an inordinate amount of time stopped. To that end, Bangle fitted his concept with a 17-inch screen and a rear bench that doubles as a sofa, Autocar reports. The driver's seat pivots to face the rear passengers.

Bangle's Redspace will spawn a production model in the not-too-distant future. It's not merely a design study. It will be aimed largely at the Chinese market, but it's too early to tell whether it will sail towards the American or European continents. We'll bring you more details as soon as they become available.

Photos by Brian Williams.