Clemson University in South Carolina is known for its International Center for Automotive Research, and in particular the Deep Orange sustainable mobility program. We profiled one of the program’s first concept vehicles designed by students back in 2010, and now those involved in it have just unveiled their third next generation ride known as Deep Orange 3.
The Deep Orange 3 vehicle, according to Clemson, is a Mazda concept vehicle designed in collaboration with the automotive company. It sports what’s described as a unique hybrid powertrain that automatically chooses front-, rear- or all-wheel drive and consists of a downsized turbocharge 4-cylinder internal combustion engine mated to an electric motor with peak output of 80 kW that all total offers a combined horsepower of 208 hp. The motor is powered by a 2.4 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack.
Offering drivers a five-speed manual transmission, this hybrid seats six in a unique 3+3 seating configuration. It is capable of a 7.5 second acceleration in the 0 to 60 MPH range. Top speed is set to 125 MPH, and its cruising range is around 350 miles. Those behind this car estimate its EPA fuel consumption ratings to be at 42/49 MPH for city/highway driving.
Deep Orange 3 is envisioned as a 2015 concept idea focused upon Generation Y, who is seen as “willing to invest in sustainable powertrain technologies.” It comes with body panels designed by student Frederick Naaman at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
“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,” said Derek Jenkins, design director for Mazda North American Operations, in a statement.
Students in Clemson’s graduate automotive engineering program are required to create and manufacture a new vehicle prototype, noted the university. The vehicle’s concept and design are developed in partnership with students from the transportation design department at the Art Center, ”focusing holistically on the vehicle and the end-user.”
It gives the students involved in it experience in vehicle design, development, prototyping and production planning as well as giving them “an opportunity to work directly with automotive industry partners to innovate and develop ideas.”*