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Ingenious

A story of American automotive innovation and grassroots invention

by Hans Aschim in Design on 10 February 2014

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It's a common sentiment around the world that everything is bigger in the US—from parking lots to fast-food beverages. In his latest book "Ingenious," author Jason Fagone proves that the American capacity for innovation really is huge. The book follows four teams of amateur and professional automotive designers, engineers and garage inventors as they vie for the X Prize Foundation's $10 million award. The task: Build a safe car that can be produced on an assembly line and travel 100 miles on the equivalent of a tank of gas.

From Silicon Valley startups with millions in seed money to garages across middle America, the story features a rich cast of characters who risk it all for a shot at greatness. Written with both a deep understanding of the auto industry and also a deft grasp on human nature, Fagone's book provides a nuanced insight into the invention process that make this a worthwhile read for auto-enthusiasts and makers alike. Follow along with the successes, failures, risks and larger-than-life personalities as they aim to beat Detroit at their own game.

"Ingenious" is now available from Amazon for $20.

Photos by Hans Aschim

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