A new, long-term initiative at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) is advancing the Center's automotive engineering graduate research and education program. It positions graduates ahead of the competition for jobs and automotive industry leadership. Called “Deep Orange,” for its commitment to Clemson-style competitiveness, this framework immerses students at the Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate Engineering Center (CGEC), which houses the automotive engineering master's and doctoral degree programs, in the world of a future OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and supplier. Students, faculty and industry partners engineer and manufacture a new vehicle prototype each year (in overlapping two-year development cycles), giving the students hands-on experience with vehicle design, development, prototyping and production planning from their first day at CGEC until graduation. Each project is focused on leapfrogging the latest vehicle technologies by eliminating the constraints and legacy issues that pervade the automotive industry. By removing these constraints and applying an integrated systems engineering approach, researchers, students and industry partners can freely and quickly explore the optimal integration of new technologies. It provides entrepreneurs and industry partners with an open-innovation platform to showcase future technologies through intensive proof-of-concept collaboration involving and engaging each graduate student. Deep Orange can take risks unthinkable to a large OEM while exploring the limits and best application of new technologies and techniques. Through this initiative, students develop a clear understanding of how to innovate and develop projects. The resulting experience prepares them to lead the automotive industry into a dynamic and challenging future.