Venhovens, P., Brooks, J., Uthayasuriyan, A., Xi, Y. et al., "Conceptualization and Implementation of a 6-Seater Interior Concept for a Hybrid Mainstream Sports Car," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 6(2):608-622, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-0449.
The Deep Orange  initiative is an integral part of the automotive graduate program at Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. The initiative was developed to provide the graduate students with hands-on experience of the knowledge attained in the various engineering disciplines and related disciplines (such as marketing and human factors psychology). For the 3rd edition of Deep Orange, the goal was to develop a blank sheet hybrid mainstream sports car concept targeted towards the Generation Y (Gen Y) market segment.The objective of this paper is to explain the unique interior-seating concept that was derived from extensive analyses of the Generation Y market segment based on surveys completed by owners of new cars and light trucks in the United States. The survey data clearly indicated that a significant portion of Gen Y would prefer a vehicle with 5 or more seating positions. Based on this aspect, a 6-seater interior concept was derived incorporating the project sponsor's brand essence and additional unique selling propositions such as the hybrid all-wheel-drive (AWD) powertrain concept.The 6-seater interior concept was conceptualized to accommodate four full-sized 95th percentile male occupants and two 50th percentile male occupants in the middle seats using a 2-row, 3+3 seating configuration. This paper will also elaborate on how the unique interior setup was derived based on a holistic approach incorporating competing aspects such as vehicle exterior design and proportions, hybrid powertrain packaging, seating comfort for all passengers, range of motion for each seating position, 360 degrees field of view analyses, instrument cluster visibility, passive safety aspects, and positioning of primary and secondary control.