06 August 2008

The electric Furai?

Top Mazda designer joins Tesla. We might want an electric car after all...

Franz von Holzhausen

The era of the electric car you actually want to drive might just have moved a bit closer, with the news that Mazda designer Franz von Holzhausen has just taken the top job at Tesla Motors.

This might sound like a boring bit of industry dullness, but consider this: von Holzhausen was the man behind the incredible Furai concept car and the evolution of Mazda's swoopy 'Nagare' design language.

He'd even been tipped for the top design job at Ford, so it's a big move to up sticks and head out to a tiny electric car company in Silicon Valley.

However, Tesla has big plans. Following the Elise-based Roadster, we expect to see an all-electric four-door... and maybe a full range of voltage-eatin' cars after that.

"We are going to turn the world on its ear and create high demand through design," says von Holzhausen. "We are looking to where automobiles are going in the future."

So how does an emissions-free sports car with Furai-style bodywork and frugal running costs strike you? Yeah, us too. Best of luck, Mr von Holzhausen.

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