Team Speed Feels the Need for Speed at the OKC Auto Show

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Auto illustrator Kip Kubisz explains the plans and power behind his contest-winning ‘Auto Show Alpha’ concept racing car at the Oklahoma City Intl’ Auto Show.

It was easy to spot. Despite the hundreds of cars from automakers around the world at the recent Oklahoma City International Auto Show, Kip Kubisz‘s creation could be spotted from across the Bennett Event Center.

The “Auto Show Alpha Concept Car,” with its vibrant red color and slick black trim, caught the gazing stare of everyone who got caught in its trap. Luckily for them Kubisz was on hand to explain his vision of the concept car, which he imagines would be all-electric or at least hybrid. His is the first concept car ever produced by an auto show, which built the full-scale model after choosing Kubisz’s design as the winner of the OKC Auto Show’s design competition.

“It’s got a lot of different concept elements in it,” said Kubisz, pictured above at the show. The Lubbock, Texas-based artist elaborated on the “Auto Show Alpha Concept Car” to The Oklahoman in a recent profile. “With electricity powering [the Auto Show Alpha], you could use the electromagnetic power to get it going and for braking, as well,” he told the paper. “I’ve got a lot of concepts in my head of how the suspension would work, and how the power train would work, but those really aren’t involved in this stage of the model. It’s more of the exterior of the car so people can see the shape of the body.”

Auto Show Alpha

The 102nd edition of the Oklahoma City International Auto Show, which was held March 8 through 10, was the first show to display the Auto Show Alpha. The concept car is a full-size model made of high-density foam and polyurea coating, and of course, a smooth coat of cherry-red auto body paint. And as reported by The Oklahoman, the model was built locally by Oklahoma City-based Taylor Foam, which did an excellent job.

According to Kubisz, it took him six months to complete the design and 600 man hours to build it. Fortunately for him, it was the auto show that paid for it to be built.

Auto Show Alpha

“Having an opportunity to be the first auto show in the nation to produce something of this caliber is a big thrill for us,” Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association Chairman Laine Diffee said. “For it to be a full-size concept car model that has never been in public prior to this week just makes it even more impressive.”

 

‘Most race cars, all their ground effects are up top with big wings. This one, because the airflow goes right through the car, all of my downforce elements are underneath — the air flows right through the car.’

 

“This vehicle would have no drivetrain, no axles,” said Kubisz while discussing the concept racing car at the Oklahoma City International Auto Show. “You got four electric motors: one in each wheel hub. Also, [because] it would be electromagnetic, you’d have magnets in the wheel and also magnets in the wheel well that would provide torque from the outside of the rim. Almost every other car, you’ve got an axle hitting the tire in the middle. You’ve got a lot more torque when you’re pushing from the outside of the rim instead of right in the center.”

Kubisz also wanted the Auto Show Alpha to be different from the race cars of today.

“Most race cars, all their ground effects and things are up top with big wings,” Kubisz said. “This one, because the airflow goes right through the car, all of my downforce elements are underneath. You see how the air flows right through the car.”

Auto Show Alpha

However, the question on everyone’s mind is: How fast can it go?

“It’s so hard to say,” said Kubisz. “Once again, it depends on the power plan. Conceivably, I can see it easily doing 350 mph. But it does depend on the power plan. And for racing, most tracks may not be able to get up to that speed.”

Kubisz doesn’t know if his concept will ever become a reality on the race circuit, but he certainly hopes so, as do we here at Team Speed.

Auto Show Alpha

“I guess that depends on the reaction from it,” answered Kubisz. “Most race cars these days, the shape of them is dictated by the rules of the racing series. That’s what was fun about this: I had an open sheet to do whatever I wanted. There were no regulations on me. So, this is kind of my idea of what I wish racing would be like.”

Photos for Team Speed by Michael Kinney

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