If you do a little bit of research, you’d know that Clemson University in South Carolina is one of the most forward-thinking schools in the country in terms of sustainable mobility. More specifically, its Deep Orange Center for Sustainability.
And for the past three years, the university has been teaming up with automakers, allowing students to create their interpretation of the future of the auto industry. This year, Mazda hopped on board and gave students the task of designing one sharp, futuristic hatch known as the Deep Orange 3.
Now, the Deep Orange 3 isn’t your average run-of-the-mill hatchback. Rather, the 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid engine sips up somewhere in the mark of 45 average mpg. At 208-hp and a 0-60 mph time of only 7.5 seconds, it may not be the peppiest of the bunch, but Clemson University promises that the 3 concept is focused directly at “sustainable powertrain technologies,” presently and in the future. Even more enticing, it’s all paired to a six-speed manual transmission.
Outside, the design doesn’t stray much from Mazda’s current “KODO” design language, nor the current-gen Mazda 3. The grille receives a minor makeover, along with both the headlights and taillights. A few body angles were sharpened up and the team tossed on a more aggressive set of wheels. Bada bing, bada boom.
The custom Mazda will be on display at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in Travers City, Michigan, beginning August 5th. So check it out.