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Introducing Deep Orange 3 | research and creative discovery | Clemson University

Introducing Deep Orange 3

If you like cars, this may be the coolest master’s thesis ever.

Deep Orange 3 stripped

Clemson student engineers test-drive the frame and working parts of their creation, Deep Orange 3. Photo courtesy of CU-ICAR.

Engineered and built by students, Deep Orange 3 features a unique hybrid powertrain that automatically chooses front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive. And despite its sports-car lines, the car seats six, because today’s young drivers tend to hit the road with lots of friends.

Clemson students in automotive engineering built the car in collaboration with students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. The California students designed the body panels, and Clemson students built the rest, working their way step-by-step through market research, concept sketches, and computer-aided design into assembly and testing at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Paul Venhovens, BMW Endowed Chair in Systems Integration at CU-ICAR, who leads the Deep Orange program, says the students had free rein to push the boundaries of conventional design and engineering. “We know the future of the automotive industry will require ever more flexible, more cost-effective and more innovative approaches to manufacturing,” Venhovens says. “Our manufacturing approach on this project was exemplary of this kind of change.”

deep orange3

The complete vehicle sports sweeping body panels designed by art-school students in California. The students’ coast-to-coast collaboration produced a truly original design, from the ground up. Photo courtesy of CU-ICAR.

Deep Orange 3 is a Mazda concept car, and the project received support from Mazda North America Operations.

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