LA Auto Show Design Challenge Won by Mazda

Whenever the LA Auto Show Design Challenge takes place, motoring enthusiasts keep an eager eye out to see who the winner is. This year it was the Mazda R&D team who has managed to beat some rather stiff opposition with their creative and innovative design.

The theme for the 2008 design challenge was posed in the form of a question, namely: “How will auto racing look in the year 2025?” The resulting entries were amazing, but none quite as impressive as the Mazda entry. The team created a super-skinny, super-slick, three-wheeled vehicle that uses a patented electronic tire system to power it. The system makes use of an electro-conductive road surface from which the tires draw their energy. The concept is not new and has already been proposed for commercial roads as part of the Mazda Blue-Sky initiative. It is capable of enabling the vehicle to achieve speeds of up to 250 mph with absolutely no harmful emissions. Environmentally-friendly, fast and innovative – this is exactly the sort of thing that judges were looking for.

The Environmentally-friendly Mazda Kann definitely takes auto racing to a whole new level. Not only does it propose an entirely new way for a vehicle to be supplied by efficient power, but it also looked into the way that motor racing is typically done. The Mazda Kann team suggested that the sport could possibly change with up to thirty team members racing at the same time instead of just having one or two individuals. The idea is that the team could work together, using certain formations to give them an aerodynamic advantage and increase their speed.

The LA Auto Show Design Challenge saw a number of excellent entries from big auto manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Toyota, GM, Honda, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and Audi. However in the end it was the Mazda concept that won the 2008 design challenge. According to the director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy Inc., Chuck Pelly, “The scope of entries this year was very impressive and in the end it came down to which team had the most innovative and artistic design that could go beyond the expectations and challenges of racing today. Mazda’s designers created an optimistic vision of 2025 and ultimately brought unique styling back to motor sports.” When one looks at the finished design, it is easy to see why the Mazda R&D team was the final winner.

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