As if YouTube presidential debates weren't enough, Mazda turns to the Internet to find a designer for its future Mazda 3 model. The company posted the Mazda Design Challenge on Facebook (Facebook registration required), inviting would-be automotive designers to submit their ideas for what the 2018 model should look like. For the initial entry, you will have to submit a 150-word description of your vision for the 2018 Mazda 3, plus an optional sketch. Our advice: don't skimp on the sketch--visuals help, especially in a design contest. Mazda judges will choose 10 semifinalists, then throw it back to the Facebook community to pare the field down by half. The remaining five get to work with Mazda designers to perfect their creations, then Facebook members get to determine the winner. The winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, where he or she will build a full-scale model of the design during the 10 days of the show, from November 16 to 25.
Judging from Mazda's recent concept cars, Hakaze, Ryuga, and Nagare, the company's designers dig striations, low-slung cars, and big wheels. These concept cars were inspired by how wind and water shape earth, so we might suggest submitting a vision like this, as a haiku:
Wind strips canyon walls
Cars zoom zoom down winding roads
Water streaks windshield