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JTEKT-Sponsored Clemson Student Rally Car Makes Debut

October 24, 2018

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                                                                                                                                                                              Photo Credit: CU-ICAR

CLEMSON, South Carolina — Students at the Clemson University International Center for Autmotive Research (CU-ICAR) unveiled their newest Deep Orange concept vehicle, sponsored by Honda R&D Americas Inc. (HRA). After two years, the 19-student team unveiled the high-performance, fuel-efficient motorsports prototype at the ALL-IN Auto Rally Ride & Drive event at Clemson University Saturday, Oct. 6.

Engineered, built and tested by Clemson automotive engineering students, Deep Orange 9 is a next-generation rallycross race car that disrupts market perceptions of energy-efficient vehicles by showing they can meet extreme performance demands in a safe, clean way. The vehicle combines high-performance, ultra-tough racing features with a clean, fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain, advanced technical innovations, a lightweight/high-strength steel structure and highly dynamic handling and acceleration. The concept is a response to rising fuel-efficiency standards and millennials’ interest in vehicles that are safe, clean and exciting to drive.

To support the two year development journey of Deep Orange 9, JTEKT donated product and engineering expertise.

JTEKT North America has been a sponsor of the Deep Orange program since 2015 with engineering support dating back even further. We saw early on that by utilizing the exciting platform of motorsports to develop engineering capabilities, the program was helping to cultivate the next generation of forward-thinking product engineers,” said Gary Sullivan, General Manager, JTEKT Automotive North America. “This year, along with continued engineering expertise, JTEKT provided the hub and torque control units from our South Carolina facilities in Richland and Piedmont, respectively, as well as steering systems shipped from our Vonore, Tennessee, facility. With innovation being a top priority for JTEKT, it’s exciting to see the direction the students took to adapt these components for their vision of Deep Orange 9 and then take those skills to the next phase of their engineering careers.”

Matt Wessner, a JTEKT Vehicle Dynamics Engineer, worked closely with the program's students throughout the project and was on site for the car's debut to showcase the vehicle's capablities on the test track. Wessner and fellow Automotive Dynamics Engineer, Matt Bruce, also served as co-pilots to the event's attendees as everyone was invited to drive JTEKT"s Honda Odyssey, a prototype vehicle that highlights the full range of the company's steering capabilities. Additionally, JTEKT had an extensive product and application display on site as well as associates who interacted with students and attendees.

Read the full CU-ICAR press release here.