Darkside is a new British startup by Prodrive engineer Rob Moon, who came up with a modern three-wheeler chassis powered by a turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa bike engine rated at 275 horsepower. With the whole thing weighing just 530 pounds, the Darkside promises to be an absolute riot to drive both on road and track. However, on its way towards production, the project needed to source a suitable exterior design. One that's not only striking to look at while being aerodynamically efficient, but also feasible for such a small operation.
To find its future look, Darkside set up a competition open to everybody, with former Ferrari/McLaren/BMW/Mini design chief Frank Stephenson at the judging table. Now, out of the hundreds of entries sent in from around the world, the race comes down to Jonathan from St. Louis, the UK's James and Abuzar from India, with the following three soon-to-be tweaked concepts:
Darkside's homepage features an additional 18 designs that are more than worth an honorable mention, yet the competition now comes down to the yellow American, the silver British and the red Indian submissions.
Jonathan from St. Louis presented Stephenson and Moon with a three-wheeler that not only has that "wow factor," but also the aero package such a vehicle should offer. Keeping costs in mind, it should now evolve into something with a more integrated rear end that also exposes the Hayabusa engine.
Enjoying some home-ground advantage, James from Cornwall, England sent in a futuristic design Stephenson calls "fresh, modern, organic and mechanical at the same time." According to the 30-year-old designer, he was inspired by the Space Shuttle and shark rays. Company founder Rob Moon is also a huge fan of the angular rear end of the British entry, so James can feel pretty confident about his chances here.
From India, Abuzar's Darkside design is the most dynamic-looking of the three, with many angles adding a lightweight feel to it. At 530 pounds, that will be confirmed. With a unique light signature as another plus, Abuzar cooked up this study in just 48 hours, which is an impressive pace to say the least. Stephenson points out that it will need custom wheels, an upgrade that should be easy enough.
All three aspiring Darkside designers are back at their screens revising their entries, after which one will be chosen for production. Best of luck to all three, and may the best win as the Morgan 3 Wheeler goes all-electric.
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