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Nov 20, 2008
(Left to right: Carlos Salaff and Jacques Flynn of Mazda Design Americas accept award for LA Auto Show Design Challenge
IRVINE, Calif., November 20, 2008 - The Los Angeles Auto Show has awarded the Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) design team top honors for the Mazda KAAN - the company's rendition of a 2025 race car. With eight other Southern California automotive design studios, including Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen in the running, KAAN took first place for how well it integrated a high level of innovation and technology into the design, as well as its truly unique styling.
Taking into consideration key racing principles like speed, power, performance and safety, the MNAO design team lead by Jacques Flynn and Carlos Salaff created an electric race car designed to compete in the 2025 season of E1 races, a time when California freeways have been resurfaced with a sub-level electro-conductive polymer that powers the electric cars of the modern world. Mazda's patented electronic tire system uses this technology to power the KAAN 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. Using strategies similar to those in cycling peletons, the tighter the group sticks together, the more aerodynamic and powerful it becomes.
Inspiration for the KAAN comes from electric fields and textures seen in nature, particularly those in a lightning bolt. The car is uniquely designed around its powerful electric wheels while the cockpit acts as a capsule to safely house the driver, allowing for tighter peloton formations and a team victory.
The team included Flynn, Salaff, Minyong Lee, Greg Lee, Tim Brown and Jordan Meadows.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City; and in Puerto Rico by Mazda de Puerto Rico in San Juan.