Deep Orange 3

The Next BIG Thing

Deep Orange 3 will encompass the engineering and design of a 2015 concept vehicle for generation Y. Showcasing the next level of KODO design, this concept vehicle will have distinct Mazda brand personalities in an exceptionally functional packaging combined with sustainable vehicle performance and responsive handling.

Deep Orange 3: The Next-BIG-Thing

For the third edition of Deep Orange, the goal was to develop a blank sheet fully functional hybrid mainstream sports car concept targeted towards Generation Y (Gen Y) with Mazda North American Operations as the primary sponsor and Art Center College of Design as the styling partner. The vehicle concept developed has been given the name NBT (“Next BIG Thing”) with a target start-of-production in 2015.

Powertrain Concept

A unique powertrain concept was derived based on extensive analyses of the Gen Y market. The data revealed that Gen Y, as an environmental conscious generation, is willing to invest in sustainable powertrain technologies and also has a significant interest in all-wheel-drive (AWD). Based on these finding, a through-the-road parallel hybrid powertrain concept with a manual transmission was conceptualized. The powertrain architecture comprises of a front-wheel-drive concept using a downsized turbocharge 4-cylinder internal combustion engine and a rear-wheel-drive concept using an electric machine. This configuration allows for regenerative braking, all-wheel-drive and power boost functionality.

Seating Concept

The unique interior-seating concept was derived from extensive analyses of Generation Y market segment based on surveys completed by owners of new cars and light trucks in the United States. The survey data clearly indicated that a significant portion of Gen Y would prefer a vehicle with 5 or more seating positions. The 6-seater interior concept was conceptualized to accommodate four full-sized 95th percentile male occupants and two 50th percentile male occupants in the middle seats using a 2-row, 3+3 seating configuration.

Body-in-White (BiW) Concept

It was chosen to explore the Industrial Origami® patented technology that allows using lighter gauge material folded into complex, innovative, high load-bearing structures, formed with simple, low cost fixtures, at the point of assembly. Developing the topology, geometry and functionality of the BiW required an intensive collaboration between design students and chassis, powertrain, NVH and occupant packaging engineering students while carefully balancing functional properties, design space, cost and weight. Once the properties and design targets were met, the complete sheet Folded Metal Technology (FMT) design was realized using aluminum and structural adhesives.

The NBT Specifications