Zeus by Joao Miguel Dias, Portugal

2010: Electrifying! Beautiful, Innovative & Radiant.

Drawing on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


João Dias, 26, was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He is a Product Design finalist at Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias. He has been enjoy drawing since he was very young and cars was always his biggest passion. Since the Automotive Design course in Portugal does not exist, João decided to join the course of Product Design in order to open the doors for his future. When he finishes the course he will aim for a master’s degree in Automotive Design and after that, only time will tell where he will stop.

He also loves to travel taking advantage of the experience with other societies and countries to enrich his culture which will be reflected in his work. When he started reading about Design, he realized that to draw well is not enough to be a designer. Design is more than drawings, colors and forms.


As a truly innovative vehicle, Zeus not only brings a series of technical and aesthetic innovations but also fills what always lacked in the majority of electric vehicles: A truly attractive aesthetics. It was conceived to be the future of electric sports cars and it was projected to be dramatically beautiful, having the fluidity of Nature (wind, water…) as main concept.

Despite being a super sports vehicle, accessibility was not forgotten. To access the interior glass, the doors open up giving the driver the possibility to access not by two but three different ways: left, right or front. The glass is made in one piece and opens 35°; doors can open up to 50°.

Inside there is only one seat which is in central position and has an inclination to improve comfort at high speeds. The vehicle control is done via two joysticks built into armrests. These joysticks control the acceleration, braking and steering. In both side panels there are a set of touchscreens that display all the information related to vehicle, navigation system, etc. The most important information is displayed in two HUDs that are placed in front of the driver. To improve driver’s access and exit, both HUDs are retractable and armrests rotate up.

To improve driving, wheels have two settings: “Urban” and “Highway”.  In “Urban” mode the wheels are thinner to make the steering easier. Front wheels can also rotate 180° in this mode to facilitate the parking and driving in the middle of heavy traffic.

In “Highway” mode the wheels automatically adapt to high speeds, becoming wider, thus improving the stability of the vehicle at high speeds, in straight lines and curves. In this mode front wheels cannot turn 180° due to larger space that occupy.

And how do you access to wheels? Simple … Both front sections open in a similar way as cargo airplanes (Airbus Beluga for example). Front sections can open up to 90° vertically giving much more space to operate. To access rear wheels, there is a sliding panel and all the wheels have its own electric engine. Rear electric engines are more powerful than the front ones, and rear wheels are also bigger than front wheels.

The material used to cover the vehicle is a carbon nanomaterial that stores a large quantity of renewable electrical energy in ultracapacitor cells. These cells are placed in both sides of the vehicle in special compartments.

All materials used in Zeus are and can be recycled as a truly environmental care concept.

To finish and to pretend that the car is “electrified”, there is a thin ray of light that runs along the vehicle connecting the headlights and rear lights.

And this was my quest. Make an electric and innovative vehicle that would be…radiant. So radiant that everyone would want one.