Mazda has teamed with a group of American students to develop the Deep Orange, a styling and technology concept showcased in Las Vegas this week.
Penned by design student Frederick Naaman at the Art Center College of Design in California, the Deep Orange houses a petrol-electric hybrid system developed at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).
Devised and built entirely by CU-ICAR students, the system uses a petrol engine to drive the front wheels and an electric motor to turn the rear wheels, automatically switching between front, rear and all-wheel-drive as needed.
The team has not revealed details of the car's power figures or driving range, although it has highlighted an innovative new construction technique, using a new sheet-folding technology developed by Industrial Origami.
"We know the future of the automotive industry will require ever more flexible, more cost-effective and more innovative approaches to manufacturing," CU-ICAR's Paul Venhovens said.
"Our manufacturing approach on this project was exemplary of this kind of change."
On the design front, the Deep Orange features a sharpened and more streamlined approach to Mazda's new Kodo language, looking more like a stylised sketch taken right off the page.
The Deep Orange also boasts a three-seat layout in the cabin, although details of a finished interior have not been revealed.