Just as the 50th Rolex 24 Hours Of Daytona race was getting underway GRAND-AM made the announcement that B-Spec racing would be included as part of their 2012 season. I suspected that B-spec would become a part of GRAND-AM soon but I did not think it would come this soon! For now B-Spec drivers will be allowed to run at 6 events this year with the first being at Homestead Miami-Speedway at the end of April (27th-29th), then New Jersey Motorsports Park in May (11th-13th), followed by Mid-Ohio (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (July 29th-June 1st), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 8th-9th), and finally Lime Rock Park (Sept 28th-29th). For an amatur series’ first year that location list is pretty damn impressive!
Each B-Spec event will be in a sprint race format (30-45 minute timed races) and the events will not be “connected” as in each race is a stand alone event so there is no need to travel the country to race each one in hopes for a championship (unless you really want to). Instead GRAND-AM just wants local racers at each track to come out and do their best to win the day. I have to admit with the schedule they put together combined with the lack of pressure by not having to run a full year for a championship B-Spec is looking pretty damn attractive right now. I would love to put a car together in time for the Mazda Raceway event!
GRAND-AM To Add B-Spec Races Entry-Level Class Features Exciting Sub-Compact Street Stock Cars
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2011)
Currently, the six sprint races – planned for between 30 and 45 minutes in length – will run in conjunction with GRAND-AM weekends at Homestead-Miami Speedway (April 27-29), New Jersey Motorsports Park (May 11-13), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (June 29-July 1), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 7-9) and Lime Rock Park (Sept. 28-29). Each of those weekends will also feature North America’s most popular forms of sports car competition – the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Regional racers who meet entry requirements are welcome at each event, with a concentration on event victories instead of a national championship. No currently licensed professional drivers will be allowed to participate.
A total of five manufacturers have committed to the new competition, with the following models involved: Mazda 2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper, and Kia Rio. Additional future manufacturer entries are expected.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile business, B-Spec is among the most affordable classes for entry-level racers, and is expected to enjoy great support from club racers.
Cars will be 4-cylinder models, with a target cost range of $20,000-$30,000.
B-Spec features showroom stock racing cars utilizing stock engines and chassis, fitted with a competition roll cage, racing seat and other safety equipment; and manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires and wheels. Weight and other variables will be used to balance performance among competing manufacturers.
Each manufacturer will develop an approved performance kit which is subject to GRAND-AM approval. These will be the only alterations permitted to the respective cars. All practice sessions will also serve as qualifying to set race grids.
“This new form of GRAND-AM racing will attract new racers and in the process, new fans,” said GRAND-AM Managing Director of Racing Operations Mark Raffauf. “The cars are cool and the competition will be door-to-door, which should be a lot of fun for everyone – a nice fit with what GRAND-AM already has happening at every event.”
– GRAND-AM Road Racing announced today an exciting complement to its two existing sports car series, in the form of a new “B-Spec” level featuring sub-compact cars in six races this season.
At the root of all car lovers is a race car driver waiting to get out. At some point all of us have had daydreams of crossing the finish line at the Indy 500 or standing on top of the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix. Many of us have let our daydreams turn into a full on obsession with motorsports and have latched on to one form of racing or many as serious fanboys/girls. However, as much fun as it is to watch and follow racing there is nothing quite like doing it yourself. Yet the path to becoming a race car driver used to be quite hidden and has remained to be very, very expensive. Thanks to great programs like the Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder and the Skip Barber Racing Series the route from armature to professional is a bit easier to find. Yet following that route has become more expensive than ever before. It is that fact that has many would be racers turning sponsorship acquisition into a second job (the first job is to fund any racing that they already do!). Anyone who has ever tried to seek out sponsorship dollars for a cause or sports knows that they have to deal with a marketing manager, advertising agency, or sometimes both. To even have a shot at getting sponsorship money to go racing one has to learn how to put together a sponsorship proposal, know lingo like “impressions”, study returns on investment, become an expert in social network marketing, have “media training”, and so forth. These days the path to racing winds through the dark woods of marketing so much that someone will become an MBA in marketing before becoming a race car driver. In the whirlwind of power point presentations, photoshop renderings, and excel spreadsheets it can be easy to forget why you wanted to become a race car driver in the first place. The heart of racing has become buried in the budgets of marketing departments of non-endemic corporations and is guarded by brand managers who are looking for a “marketable face, name, or story” over talent or passion. Where does “Joe Racer” who just go when he just wants to race for the joy of racing besides the local go-kart track or Xbox Live? The answer could be a new race class conceived by a collaboration between Mazda and Honda called “B-Spec”
How can B-Spec be a new entry way into racing? Well I was invited along with a small group of journalists to Willow Springs Raceway by Mazda and Honda so that they could explain it to us personally. Here is how they put it:
So there you have it. The passionate minds from Mazda and Honda want you to be able to get a “B-level” car such as a Mazda2 or Fit and with the purchase of a kit, some elbow grease, safety equipment, and a fabricator to put in a cage you can participate in a race in several sanctioned race series or (likely with sponsorship support) try to run a full season in one particular series of choice. Although sponsorship might be key go compete for a full season in a B-Spec class, there will be rules and regulations to keep a manufacturer from stepping in and becoming overly dominant. OEM participation will be limited to simply offering B-Spec kits to customers. So far there is an impressive list of OEM’s that will be a part of B-Spec but it is promised that none of those OEMs will dump a ton of money into any one team to get an edge over the competition. There are also rules to keep power as equal as possible among the eligible cars from each OEM. For example certain cars will have to run intake restrictors to keep their horsepower closer to the rest of the pack. Of course certain cars may still have advantages or disadvantages due to wheel base, suspension type, etc. However, no one car will have a disproportionate advantage over the others. The great thing about B-Spec is that SCCA is on board and making an effort to include B-Spec classes not only in their club racing series but in some of their bigger pro series such as World Challenge and even Rally racing. There is also a possibility of B-Spec being a part of Grand-Am endurance racing as well. So, theoretically with one car you could go to a number of different race disciplines without having to make many changes (if any) to your B-Spec car. The bottom line is not only does B-Spec make real racing accessible again to people who want to race for the love of racing but it also still provides a doorway into the professional ranks for those who still wish to seek that out as well. B-Spec has the potential to give racing’s soul back to the racers and with OEMs such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Nissan, Ford, GM, and most recently MINI race fans will get to see real manufacturer competition in America again.
By the way if all of this is getting you exciting about going racing but you have no experience have no worries. I drove B-Spec versions of both the Mazda2 and Honda Fit and they are both incredibly easy to drive in race-trim and with an impromptu coaching session from GrandAM driver Charles Espenlaub I was able to pull a decent amount of speed from both chassis. I would recommend a three-day school at Skip Barber to get race theory and technique down followed by a few SCCA races at the club level and you will have the confidence and skill it takes to try your hand in one of the premiere series.
As B-Spec unfolds in 2012 we plan to keep the site updates with any news and developments that will arise. If you are anxious to get your feet wet now I suggest looking for a Mazda2 or Honda Fit and contacting either Mazdaspeed Motorsports or Honda Performance Development as they will likely be first out of the gate to have B-Spec kits available. I might look into it myself! Stay tuned! In the meantime you can check out the full SCCA B-Spec rule book by clicking on the link below.
Not to be outdone by Dodge’s Charger SRT8 reveal, Chevrolet unleashed a new beast of its own in the form of the 2012 Camaro ZL1. Basically GM decided to give the Camaro the same treatment they gave the Corvette when they created the ZR1. The ZL1 will boast a 550hp/550ft-lb supercharged and intercooled V8 “LSA” engine. They haven’t released the exact displacement of the LSA but obviously its enough to produce big numbers from some boost. The power will go through a dual clutch 6 speed transmission and the suspension will feature magnetic ride control.
Chevy reps were pretty clear in communicating that the ZL1 is looking to be a world class sports car rather than a brutish muscle car but looking at this thing I’d say it could go either way really! The reps also said you can expect to see the Camaro ZL1 at dealerships in early 2012. In the meantime check out some pictures below and a few teaser videos.
LSA 6.2L supercharged engine will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and is matched with a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system
Packed with performance technologies, highlighted by Magnetic Ride Control, and advanced materials – including a vented carbon fiber hood insert. Extensive aerodynamic development designed for high-performance driving
Development ongoing, targeting launch at the beginning of 2012
Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.
CHICAGO – The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.
Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.
“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”
The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.
The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.
Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.
“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”
Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro. Built on GM’s legendary all-aluminum, small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:
Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
High-strength hypereutectic pistons
Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
Piston oil squirters.
Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.
Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:
Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.
Exhaust – ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.
Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.
Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.
Brakes and Steering – Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.
Exterior – ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.
Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or unique features:
Six-way power driver and passenger seats
Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
Wireless PDIM and USB-port
Boston Acoustics premium audio system
Rear parking assist
Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).
If you’re pushing one of GM’s newest muscle cars or even their Corvette ZR1 supercar then Lingenfelter just produced a beefy clutch to help you wrestle all that power to the floor. Their new Twin Disc Clutch and Flywheel is capiable of biting down on up to 700HP! Nasty!
The Hankook 2010 Camaro is finally ready for battle. A short video was leaked out today of Conrad Grunewald’s new beast carving it up in a short technical course. It is likely they were sorting out their suspension set up. Either way, this thing looks absolutely furious. If you are going to be a pro competitor in Formula D this year then make no mistake. This Camaro hates you..
After months of fabrication and wrenching Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Chevy Camaro drift car was started for the first time tonight. You can see the momentous occasion in a grainy cloverfield-esque footage below. Turn your speakers up for this one.
The new 2010 Camaro was the official car of the 2009 SEMA show this year so they were all over the place. However I’d have to say that the Lingenfeltercollab with Hotchkis was easily the “cleanest” one of the bunch. They kept things simple and added some pop with the orange lip on the wheels. Throw an aggressive stance and a supercharged LS motor under the hood and it all comes out to a pretty vicious combination.
I just caught this story from Autoblog that GM told their (remaining) dealers that they’re planning to release a limited “Bumblebee” Edition of the new Chevy Camaro to capitalize on the soon to be released Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen movie…
I’m sorry but it did it just get FREAKIN’ AWESOME IN HERE?!?!
They say that the only real difference will be the special rally yellow paint job with the black stripes and some special “Transformers” badging and center caps for the wheels but that is more than enough!! They’re giving us the chance to drive Bumblebee!!
This is easily one of the freshest Corvette’s I’ve ever seen short of the ZR1. Apparantly the “Grand Sport” was some sort of concept that was built way back in the 60s but never really saw the light of day beyond a few one-off races. Then, in ’94 GM decided to build a Grand Sport model Corvette to celebrate the end of the C4 model Vette. 14 years later GM is doing it again with a 2010 model Grand Sport and its freakin’ awesome! Just take all the best visual and technical parts from the Z06 but with a few more creature comforts. Oh and you can get the new Grand Sport with a paddle shift transmission! Sweet!!
Chevrolet Announces New 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -Grand Sport. It’s one of the most storied monikers in Corvette’s illustrious racing heritage. Today, Chevrolet announced it is returning to the lineup in the new, 2010 Corvette Grand Sport model.
The announcement was made at the 12th annual C5/C6 Corvette Birthday Bash, held at the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Ky.
The new Grand Sport combines the Corvette’s LS3-based powertrain with unique, wide-body styling and a racing-bred suspension for a distinctive model that delivers a great balance of road and race track performance. It is offered in both coupe and convertible body styles, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The LS3 6.2L engine is rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW)* and 424 lb.-ft. of torque (575 Nm)* with the standard exhaust system. An optional two-mode exhaust system elevates the power ratings to 436 horses (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm).
The Grand Sport replaces the Corvette’s previous Z51 package and brings a greater degree of handling performance, with wider wheels and tires; revised shock, stabilizer bar and spring specifications; and specific gearing. The equipment enables cornering capability of 1.0 g, as well as a 0.2-second improvement in 0-60 acceleration vs. standard LS3-powered models.
Grand Sport coupe models equipped with the manual transmission are uniquely outfitted for race track competition, too, with a dry-sump oiling system, differential cooler and a rear-mounted battery.
The complete list of content and special features for the Grand Sport includes:
Wider front and rear fenders – including specific front fenders with integrated Grand Sport badges
Z06-style front splitter and tall rear spoiler
Functional brake ducts and extra cooling
Unique 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels; painted finish standard and chrome finish optional
Large 275/35ZR18 tires in front and 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear
Z06-size brakes, including 14-inch (355 mm) front rotors with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch (340 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers
Specific manual transmission gear ratios
Specific rear axle ratio on automatic-equipped models
With its special equipment, the Grand Sport offers a unique blend of performance and amenities. Its suspension package approaches that of the Z06, but includes a removable roof on coupes (Z06 has a fixed roof) and, of course, the availability of a convertible body style. Also, the paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission is offered, while a manual transmission is the only choice with the Z06.
All of Corvette’s exterior colors are offered on the Grand Sport, and an available Heritage package adds iconic front fender hash marks offered in four colors, as well as two-tone seats with Grand Sport embroidery. The Grand Sport can be ordered with 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim packages, too.
Grand Sport history
Envisioned by legendary Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov as a factory-built, lightweight and race-ready production model that would trump domestic and foreign road-racing competitors, the original Corvette Grand Sport was a promising idea that led to the production of five special prototypes in 1963. The project was later shelved, following GM’s agreement to stay out of manufacturer-backed motorsports.
The five prototypes were based on the styling of the 1963 Corvette and were hand-assembled under Duntov’s watchful eye. But while they looked like production models, the prototypes were purpose-built race cars that shared little with their assembly-line cousins. Duntov also oversaw the Grand Sport engine program that featured a special, 377-cubic-inch small-block V-8 with side-draft carburetors.
Although never officially sanctioned by General Motors, the five Grand Sport prototypes saw extensive racing experience throughout the 1960s in the hands of “private” racers who had strong contacts within Duntov’s engineering circle. All five original cars are accounted for today and are among the most valuable in the collector market.
Chevrolet offered a limited-edition Grand Sport production model in 1996, commemorating the original racing cars and marking the end of the C4 era in Corvette production. All of the 1,000 examples were painted Admiral Blue and featured a white center stripe and red “hash mark” graphics on the left front fender, a graphic scheme that mimicked the look of some of the original race cars.
Every year during the LA Auto Show a contest is held for transportation design students and other artists to create a future concept around a given theme. Usually its something boring like “urban living” or “mobile entertainment.” This year its finally getting exciting as this time around the theme is racing. The task for the contestants is to design cars for the 2025 race season. So far my favorite is from the Audi of America Design center. They’re concept dubbed the “Audi R25″ is a LeMan’s inspired work and it looks fresh! It reminds me of Ridge Racer from back in the day. If you want to see the rest of the entrant’s design pieces then check out the LA Auto Show later this month.
LOS ANGELES – Oct. 20, 2008 – Today’s race cars have ground-breaking technology to improve speed, power, performance and safety but what a difference 17 years into the future can make. Imagine race cars that go beyond the expectations and challenges of racing today, such as never needing to stop for re-fueling or collision avoidance assistance technology for enhanced safety.
Nine of Southern California’s automotive design studios did just that, predicting how auto racing will change by the year 2025. The designs are part of the fifth annual Los Angeles Auto Show’s Design Challenge, where studios including Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen are pitted against each other to showcase their talents and further explore new ideas in automotive design.
“Automotive designers have always been fascinated with Motor Sports and this year’s Design Challenge has provided them with the opportunity to use their creative talent to look at these cars with new eyes, using innovative technologies and approaches,” said Chuck Pelly, director of Design Los Angeles and partner in The Design Academy, Inc. “This adds to the excitement, interest and personal involvement in the sport that has thrilled people of all ages for many years…and many more years to come.”
Entries in this year’s Motor Sports 2025 Design Challenge include:
Audi of America Design Center California: The Audi R25 incorporates innovative features such as high-velocity banks and tunnels, which allow cars to race “inverted” and the opportunity to pass anywhere with aerodynamic racecars.
BMW Group DesignworksUSA: The BMW Hydrogen Powered Salt Flat Racer reuses existing, ordinary and mundane materials such as old oil barrels and BBQ lids to whimsical and sustainable by employing goldfish as “co-pilots” to ensure that the vehicle is running clean emissions.
General Motors Advanced Design: The GM Chaparral Volt collects and generates its own energy from three different clean, renewable and abundant California resources: Earth, Wind and Fire to create an entirely new category of racing – the eco-triathlon.
Honda Research and Development, North America: The Great Race 2025′s sonar/echolocation sensors are able to detect changes in speed, terrain, and altitude, allowing it to switch to any configuration to circumnavigate the globe in 24 hours on land through the U.S., by sea through Asia and by air over Europe.
Mazda R&D of North America: The MAZDA KAAN is an electric race car that has a patented electronic tire system 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.
Mitsubishi Research & Design of North America: The MMR25‘s multi-terrain, omnidirectional wheels consist of eight independently-controlled motors, allowing for “8 x 4″ wheel drive so that the car can be driven forward while pointing in any direction.
Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America: Luxury racing arrives in the Formula Zero Racer by incorporating the thrill of Formula One, the track dynamics of the bobsled or luge, and the grace and efficiency of yacht racing.
Toyota’s Calty Design Research: The Toyota Le Mans Racer is the ultimate race car that never needs to stop. Powered by highly efficient hydrogen fuel cell electric motors, each of its body panels is embedded with photovoltaic panels to supply electricity when extra energy is needed.
Volkswagen of America Design Center: In the Bio Runner, the rider is positioned inside a protective cage on a motorcycle-like saddle with controls attached to the hands and feet. These controls manipulate all wheels via synthetic muscle-based suspension which offers unparalleled control and traction.
Entries will be judged by Tom Matano of San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, Imre Molner of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and Stewart Reed of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design. Daniel Simon, an established car designer and founder of Cosmic Motors, is the special guest judge this year. Simon began his design career at Volkswagen and recently published his first book: Cosmic Motors-Spaceships, Cars and Pilots of Another Galaxy.
The winning design will be announced at the Design Los Angeles conference Nov. 20 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
About the Design Challenge
The Design Challenge is part of the Design Los Angeles automobile designers’ conference that has evolved into an integral element of the Los Angeles Auto Show. Entering its fifth year, Design Los Angeles provides designers with leading design speakers and the opportunity to address common issues. More than 500 designers attended last year’s event.