The Kaan from Mazda wins top honors at the fifth annual Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge.
Mercedes-Benz Formula Zero
Innovation in design and technology
The Design Challenge, part of the auto show since 2004, is to pit the auto manufacturer’s Los Angeles-based design studios against one another. In addition to allowing stylists to explore cutting-edge ideas in automotive design, the auto show’s extensive press coverage allows participants to be recognized outside their studios.
GM Chaparral Volt
This year’s theme, Motor Sports 2025, challenged nine of SoCal’s studios to present their vision of what auto racing might evolve into by 2025. Design studios included Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen – all manufacturers with a design presence in Cali.
And the winner is…
For 2008, the winners are Jacques Flynn, Carlos Salaff, Minyoung Lee, Greg Lee, Tim Brown and Jordan Meadows of the Mazda North American Operations design team and their entry, the Mazda Kaan.
According to Mazda, the team “created an electric race car designed to compete in the 2025 season of E1 races, a time when California freeways have been resurfaced with a sub-level electro-conductive polymer that powers the electric cars of the modern world.” Using a Mazda-patented electronic tire system, the Kaan would be capable of speeds of up to 250 mph with no harmful emissions.
In a nod to Japan’s popular cycling culture and the celebrated “Keirin” races, “The vehicles are piloted by individual drivers but teams are made up of thirty cars, all on the track together. Using strategies similar to those in cycling pelotons, the tighter the group sticks together, the more aerodynamic and powerful it becomes.”
VW Bio Runner
The Bottom Line
Design contests are always great fun and this one is no exception. Considering the fact that Southern California has some of the most promising design talent in the U.S., this makes the event that much more remarkable. Kudos to the Mazda team for their first place finish.
Mitsubishi MMR 25