Modern racing cars are the ultimate in hi-tech engineering, boasting massive speed, tremendous performance and sophisticated safety features. But the future promises to be even more spectacular, as is clear from this year's Design Challenge at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The organisers challenged the auto design studios of Southern California to come up with their visions for motorsport in the year 2025. What emerged were some bold ideas that go way beyond motor racing as we know it today.
Nine design studios dared to show us what they thought the next 17 years hold in store. Their visions have gone on display in the form of gigantic posters within the context of the fifth such competition at the LA Auto Show. The constructors squaring up to each other are Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagen.
The best of these studies came from Mazda R&D of North America. Their contribution, going under the title of 'Kaan', was selected as the winner of the Design Challenge 2008. It was not only the combination of innovation, technology and design that set the Mazda 'Kaan' apart from the rest but also its individual style. This electric racing car derives its power from induction between tyres and track surface. It reaches a maximum speed of over 400km/h without emitting any harmful substances at all. Each competing team consists of 30 cars. Team members benefit from each other's slipstream, just like in cycle racing. That way, they achieve higher speeds and save energy.