Whaszat by Diego La Magia, Sweden

2005: Germany.

Illustrations on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Diego La Magia was born in Uruguay in 1948 but is a citizen of Sweden. He currently works for a telecom company and was self-taught in almost everything. His passion is the pursuit of design.


It is all in the name, this is a modern design with covered wheels and its roots in pre-war Auto Union racers, but even includes elements from the Avus and today’s Audi TT. As then, Whaszat! (what is that), is a very distinctive, cabs forward, mid-mounted-rear-engine design, with butterfly doors and detachable roofs panels. Its organic and voluptuous forms give more than a hint of its mechanical prowess. The design is specially characterized by being extremely short and having no overhangs, presenting a very purposeful and powerful stance. Special attention has been given to keep good rearward visibility. Following modern racing sports car practice, this design is intended to use a carbon fiber monocoque with A-frames linking the monocoque to the transmission unit.

At the moment it seems that the optimal and ideal solution would be a true monocoque, body and chassis in one. Alternatives such as using PMI (polymetacrylimide) foam, wrapped with unidirectional intermediate-stiffness structural carbon and aramid fibers, embedded in a thermoseting or cyclic thermoplastic resin, seem most attractive. The front and rear suspension systems are integrated in a metal sub-frame module attached to the monocoque.

Exterior body elements would also use the same RFI technique. The wheels have been designed having composite construction in mind. This approach would result in a light, stiff, solid and safe construction.