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by Tim Beissmann

Mazda and Clemson University have collaborated to produce the Deep Orange 3 concept, previewing next-generation engineering and design philosophies.

Deep Orange 3 was conceived, developed and built by automotive engineering students from South Carolina’s Clemson University International Centre for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), with the vehicle’s body designed by student Frederick Naaman from the Art Centre College of Design in California.

The concept features a unique hybrid powertrain that automatically switches between front-, rear- and all-wheel drive; a load-bearing structure based on innovative sheet-folding technology; and a distinctive 3+3 seating configuration.

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Deep Orange 3 program leader Paul Venhovens said the students had free rein to push the boundaries of conventional engineering and design.

“We know the future of the automotive industry will require ever more flexible, more cost-effective and more innovative approaches to manufacturing,” Venhovens said.

“Our manufacturing approach on this project was exemplary of this kind of change.”

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Mazda North America design director Derek Jenkins said it was exciting to be involved in a project that focused not just on one aspect of a vehicle, but the vehicle as a whole.

“These students have provided fresh and inventive ideas from sketch pad to sheet metal, and the final product truly speaks to that open dialogue and collaboration between the Art Center College of Design and Clemson University,” Jenkins said.




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