About a month or so back, John and I decided to take on a new project. We managed to stuff 4 different chassis braces in the hatch of our 2010 Speed3…simultaneously. We have since had some time to test the various mount points back there to see where the best solutions would be provided. Our goal is to deliver a few different bars that can be mixed and matched and then deliver a secondary stage that will tie the primary bars together.
With that in mind, we know you love your trunk space and functionality on your hatchbacks and pass-through options on your sedans… So we have some tricks up our sleeve to make sure that your significant others will still be able to take a boosted trip to IKEA without complaining about the birdcage in the trunk getting in the way of that NORDANÖ Armchair and VÄRDE Kitchen Cabinet.
Since our initial investment into the design of these systems and testing of them, we have come up with a few conclusions that have lead to some development of a final product that we’re hoping to have out in the next month or two. We looked at a number of elements of the design: bar material for optimal structural integrity, options for quick disconnects that provide solid mounting points and finally -the look that matches our existing products for the 2010 vehicles.
In order to do this, we wiped the drawing board clean and started with a 1″ solid aluminum section of bar stock, black anodized with a laser etched CorkSport logo. We then evaluated the bracketing systems and methods of making solid, quick disconnect systems that will prevent chassis flex, yet provide our customers the ease of removal on the fly. I used to work in Aircraft, and whenever we wanted to make systems quickly removable we would use aircraft seat track systems with quick latching lugs and push-button quick release pins that are reliable and can handle a substantial load.
In order to accommodate these features, our designs require a higher level of accuracy and tolerance control than we are afforded with our welded style one-piece bars. Which means the brackets and the endlinks have to adhere to a high accuracy in their diameter and their overall thickness so that the grip length of the quick release pins will hold the system together accurately.
Mind you, using hardware like this to provide the best options to our customers are not by any means inexpensive. But that forces us to use all of the tools we have to minimize the cost of our designs simply through their manufacturability and through the process of minimizing part counts and simplifying design and build processes.
What we end up with are chassis braces that you can disconnect on the fly without any specialized tools. We’re still working on ways to make the integration of these systems appear as though they were factory solutions, because we know when you pop the hatch on your brand new Mazda3 or Mazdaspeed3, your friends and coworkers don’t expect to see your carpet and interior panels hacked up with a load of scaffolding occupying what should be usable trunk space….
The best part is that from the exterior of the vehicle, to the under-hood to the hatch and interior, you’ll find a consistent product line that expresses a level of quality commensurate with your 2010 Mazda. We look forward to sharing some of our other new designs in the near future. And we can’t wait to discuss some new ideas and directions with you. Keep in touch with us if you have any comments or ideas about product development or the direction we are taking with our designs.