Sep 16 2005

Lotus Concept Car Contest Lets Kids’ Creativity Flow

Youngsters will use revolutionary Cosmic Blobs 3D graphics software to create the car of the future in contest judged by Lotus engineers and designers

PARIS, September 15, 2005 – Group Lotus plc, the UK-based sports car manufacturer famous for the Elise and Exige, and Dassault Systèmes (NASDAQ: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), the world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management solutions, today announced they will invite children to try their hand at designing the next great automobile. Contestants in the Cosmic Blobs “Blob Master” Design Competition won’t use complicated high-end computer-aided design (CAD) software to pursue their dreams, but rather Cosmic Blobs®, the most powerful 3D graphics software ever invented for kids.

 

Cosmic Blobs combines the simplicity of modeling clay and the hidden power of advanced computer graphics design software to let young people easily create beautiful and imaginative 3D designs. Equally educational and fun, Cosmic Blobs has no text menus or dialog boxes and is ideal for shaping the futuristic visions of aspiring car designers.

 

Finalists will be judged by actual Group Lotus engineers and designers, renowned for their skill of blending beauty and performance, as seen in the award-winning Lotus Elise, which weighs a mere 1,984 pounds and goes from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds.

 

“Unlike the other arts, product design has not always been easy to nurture at a young age,” said Russell Carr, chief designer at Lotus. “Aspiring painters have water colors, aspiring musicians have pianos, and aspiring chefs have their kitchens. In the same way, Cosmic Blobs and Lotus for the first time can move young designers away from pencil and paper to provide an environment to realize their boldest ideas.”

 

Contestants start with a digital model of a basic chassis and can push, pull, stretch, bend, and color blob-like shapes to design their dream car. The chassis model is available in the special Concept Car section of the Cosmic Blobs Website at www.cosmicblobs.com/lotus.

 

Contest co-sponsors include Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL:Nasdaq) and ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY), the world leader in graphics acceleration technology. Contest entries will be judged on their visual style, uniqueness, originality and practicality as a concept car. Prize packs include Apple iPods, graphics cards from ATI, Lotus branded merchandise (including model cars) and Cosmic Blobs software.

 

“This contest helps our young customers make meaningful connections between creativity and common sense and between pure esthetics and practicality,” said Steven DeBenedictis, product manager for Cosmic Blobs. “Automobiles reflect many combinations of style, appearance and functionality resulting from the imagination of creative designers and the planning from skilled engineers. The Blob Master Design Challenge is an opportunity for young people to try their hand at bringing beauty and performance together in the same way that Group Lotus engineers do every day.”

 

The contest begins today and runs through Oct. 15. One winner will be chosen from each of the three contest age ranges and be crowned an official Blob Master. The age ranges for the contest are: 7-9, 10-13, and 14-18. Winning designs will be revealed the week of Oct. 24. More information, including contest rules and a trial version of Cosmic Blobs software, are online at www.cosmicblobs.com/lotus/.