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Mazda's outlandish electric racer, the KAAN, wins design award

Click on image above for a high-res gallery of the Mazda KAAN and more from the Design Challenge

The collection of outlandish green racing design concepts submitted as part of the "Motor Sports 2025" at the Los Angeles Auto Show has been whittled down and we have a winner: the MAZDA KAAN (above). The KAAN is an all-electric four-wheeler (see the two in the back?) that could theoretically go up to 400 km/h (about 250 mph). Wouldn't that be fun to see speeding down the tracks 17 years into the future? Apparently, judges were not put off by the need for a "race track resurfaced with a sub-level, electro-conductive polymer that powers electric cars" needed to move the KAAN.

Other contenders in the contest: the energy-generating GM Chaparral Volt, the hyperaerodynamic Audi R25, the BMW Hydrogen Powered Salt Flat Racer, Honda's The Great Race 2025, Mitsubishi's MMR25, Mercedes-Benz's Formula Zero Racer, the hydrogen-powered Toyota Le Mans Racer "that never needs to stop," and VW's Bio Runner.

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[Source: Mazda]


Mazda wins LA Auto Show Design Award

Leverkusen, 27 November 2008. Mazda has won the Design Challenge "Motor Sports 2025" at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, which opened earlier this week. Nine of southern California's automobile design studios were asked to give their vision of how a sports car might look 17 years from now – in California's zero-emissions society – and Mazda North American Operation (MNAO) design team's concept car, Mazda KAAN, was chosen the winner.

Judges selected the Mazda concept for how well it integrates innovative technology into the design, and for its unique styling. It is an electric race car concept that uses a patented electronic tyre system to reach speeds of up to 400 km/h, while producing no harmful emissions. It is designed to drive on a race track resurfaced with a sub-level, electro-conductive polymer that powers electric cars. Its exterior design was inspired by electric fields and textures seen in nature, particularly those in a lightning bolt. It is uniquely designed around powerful electric wheels, while the cockpit acts as a capsule to safely house the driver.

This accolade is the latest of several prestigious awards won by Mazda Design during the last two years, including the 2008 Grand Prix du Design at the 23rd Festival Automobile International in Paris, the contest's 2006 Most Beautiful Design Concept for Mazda Senku, and the Louis Vuitton Classic Concept Award 2007 for Mazda Ryuga.

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