Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mazda Kaan: Three-wheel Racer from the Future?

One of the features of this week's LA Auto Show was a challenge to develop a racecar design for 2025. The challenge was answered by nine Southern California automotive design studios -- and our favorite was the product of Mazda R&D of North America.

"The MAZDA KAAN is an electric race car designed to compete in the E1 races, the pinnacle of international motorsports in terms of technology and popularity. In 2025, California freeways have been resurfaced with a sub-level electro-conductive polymer that powers the electric cars of the modern world. MAZDA’s patented electronic tire system uses this technology to power the KAAN to reach 250 mph with no harmful emissions!
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 peletons, the tighter the group sticks together, the more aerodynamic and powerful it becomes.
Inspiration for the KAAN comes from electric fields and textures seen in nature, particularly those in a lightning bolt. The car is uniquely designed around its powerful electric wheels while the cockpit acts as a capsule to safely house the driver, allowing for tighter peloton formations and a team victory."
If Ricardo Montalban had a car like this in the 1982 Star Trek flick, The Wrath of Khan, he might have been able to drive right out of that nebula, and we would have been spared the two movies that followed this one.

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