The design of a Formula Student race car: a case study
A Mihailidis*, Z Samaras, I Nerantzis, G Fontaras, and G Karaoglanidis Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece The manuscript was received on 28 November 2008 and was accepted after revision for publication on 5 March 2009. DOI: 10.1243/09544070JAUTO1080

Abstract: This paper presents the procedure followed in order to design the first Formula Student race car of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Formula SAE rules, the designer has a broad range of freedom in creativity and innovativeness. The design concept of the main vehicle parts, such as the frame and the suspension, is described and the design objectives and assumptions are analysed. The paper also focuses on several new features regarding the suspension adjustments, the steering system, and the engine modifications. Following this procedure, it was made possible to build a competitive and reliable car in a period of just 9 months. Keywords: Formula Student, Formula SAE, tubular space frame, suspension design, drivetrain, engine



Formula Student (or Formula SAE (F-SAE)) is a worldwide university competition, organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which encourages university teams to design, build, and compete with a Formula-style race car. To participate in the competition the vehicles must comply with the F-SAE’s strict rules [1]. The competition is split into static and dynamic events. Static events include vehicle presentation, cost, and design analysis, while dynamic events include four racing contests: acceleration, skid pad, autocross, and finally the endurance and fuel economy event. Common characteristics of all dynamic events are the very tight corners, the intense speed fluctuations, and the need for good vehicle handling. More information about the competition can be found in the F-SAE rules [1]. This paper presents the design procedure that was followed in order to design and build a fully operational and high-performance single-seater race car. It was decided that the car should not only fulfil the requirements set by SAE but also should be
*Corresponding author: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University Campus, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece. email:
JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009

durable and easy to adjust over a wide range. This decision was based on the intention to use the car as a running test bench that should allow for on-track measurements as well as for suspension and motor set-up evaluation. Data from on-track experiments will serve as a valuable feedback for future similar efforts. In addition, the paper focuses on the new features introduced and the implementation of their design. They include the fully adjustable suspension mechanism, the steering system, the spherical joint mounts, the fuel tank, and the intake manifold. Following this procedure the first Formula Student race car of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, was designed and built. The vehicle participated in two competitions and proved to be reliable, finishing all dynamic events with good scores. In the following, the design of the frame is described first (section 2) because it is clearly one of the most important parts of a race vehicle, as it affects strongly its drivability and performance. Moreover, once manufactured, major modifications are usually difficult and expensive. However, it is not the first task of the overall design procedure shown in Fig. 1. Several decisions regarding the overall dimensions, the suspension, and steering system as well as the powertrain have to be met first, as outlined in sections 3 and 4 respectively. Further, it can be finalized only after the design of the subsystems.
Proc. IMechE Vol. 223 Part D: J. Automobile Engineering

Next. 1 Overall design procedure 2 FRAME The frame design has to fulfil several contradicting design requirements.806 A Mihailidis. servicing.e. the cross-section of the tubes has to be chosen. the pedals. It is known that monocoques made from carbon composites are lighter and stiffer than tubular space frames [4]. regarding ergonomics and controls. Proc. and even to repair in the case of an accident. to modify. steering wheel height. front and side impact protection as well as main and front hoop. Besides the aforementioned design requirements. it is important to decide how they should be integrated in the frame and where the resulting forces and moments will act (see section 4). The frame must be compact but should also allow for easy inspection. The frame has to be light but also safe and stiff. The torsional stiffness of the frame should be at least ten times greater than the roll stiffness of the suspension [2]. 440 mm. G Fontaras. the brake pedal was designed to withstand 1500 N. 3] because it affects unfavourably the vertical load distribution. 80 mm. it was decided to use circular tubes because they offer a much higher stiffness-to-weight ratio. Fig. it was decided to design the frame from steel tubes. many parameters have to be determined and kept in mind in order to design a race frame successfully. horizontal distance from the steering wheel to the H-point. the positions of the seat-belt attachment points were set according to the F-SAE rules [1]. The first decision that has to be taken concerns the type of frame. 330 mm. which are going to be used. which is the maximum force that the driver can exert in panic situations. (b) the engine and drivetrain components. It also reduces the torsional springing. Regarding the seating position of the driver the following dimensions were chosen: seat height. High torsional stiffness has a great impact on the handling of the car [2. so that the points where loads act are known. and replacement of all main parts of the vehicle. 1. particular attention should be given to the seat-belt attachment points. (d) the F-SAE rules [1]. However. 223 Part D: J. In JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 . I Nerantzis. i. and G Karaoglanidis 2. space frames are easier to produce and less costly. Automobile Engineering In the current case. Furthermore. These dimensions resulted in a comfortable driving position for drivers about 175 cm tall. horizontal distance from the steering wheel to the ball of the foot. 560 mm. design seatback angle relative to vertical. IMechE Vol. and finally the head cushion was made from Ethafoam and verified to withstand 1000 N applied rearwards. and the head cushion. they are easier to inspect. Z Samaras. (c) human factors. 35u. The most important are as follows: (a) the overall vehicle dimensions as well as the suspension type and geometry. Even though rectangular tubes are easier to join than circular ones. and especially those concerning the driver’s safety. they are determined according to the suspension design as described in section 3. Therefore.

but they were chosen on the basis of preliminary calculations assuming a tyre friction coefficient m 5 2 and sufficient engine torque to spin the tractive wheels. (b) simultaneous cornering with 1. However. Automobile Engineering JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 . 2 (a) The frame beam model. Taking into account that Formula Student cars are allowed to participate in races that take place during 1 year. in order to save weight. The above boundary conditions are not set by the F-SAE rules. and the braking deceleration was 2 g.and post-processing were carried out in BETA CAE System’s ANSA and mETA respectively. and finite element analysis results of suspension mounts Proc.5 g and braking with 2 g. while MSC’s NASTRAN was used as the solver. developed in Autodesk’s Inventor. In order to verify the strength and to choose the proper dimensions of the frame members. the current frame was designed below the endurance limit. (e) braking with 2 g and failure of one of the two available brake circuits. The frame has a calculated torsional stiffness of about 3450 N m/deg. All the above were embedded in a three-dimensional computer-aided design model. The analysis included extreme load conditions to ensure that the space frame fulfils the main design goals: (a) cornering with 1. (c) accelerating with 2 g. IMechE Vol. for theoretically infinite life. This rule has been followed wherever possible in order to avoid bending of the frame members. many of these are designed for a limited fatigue life. However. The durability of the frame must be sufficient to withstand the necessary tests and the races. In particular. i.3 g.The design of a Formula Student race car 807 order to obtain a comfortable driving position for taller drivers either the pedals or the steering wheel should be made adjustable. Shell element models were used to approach parts with complicated geometries such as the suspension mounts (Fig. (b) shell element model. calculations were carried out using a simple finite element beam model (shown in Fig. 2(a)) that allows for easy and rapid design changes. measurements carried out on the built car showed that the above values are rather overestimated. 2(b)). Pre.5 g. 223 Part D: J. 3. the maximum lateral acceleration was 1. since it was decided to use the car for tests and training of the drivers even after the racing Fig. wheel uprights. which is almost 14 times greater than the roll stiffness of the suspension. The final space frame is shown in Fig. It should be noted that suspension and powertrain elements such as wishbones. pushbars and springs. in order to obtain the correct loads on the frame. Additional frame members were added in order to form triangles. since they are much stiffer than rectangles. The space frame was designed using the previously determined load-receiving points as nodes. (d) braking with 2 g. the longitudinal acceleration was 1 g. The nodes were then connected by tubes.e. and anti-roll bars as well as engine and differential elements were included in this model.

Some details. and 12. and 9 per side than the obligatory 10. see text) period. are shown in Fig. It completely isolates the impact attenuator (shown in Fig. This is the main reason for the relatively high net frame mass of 35 kg. Automobile Engineering . The side impact protection structure includes three more members 7. The cross tube 2 with the seat-belt attachment points 3 and 4 is supported by the diagonal members 5 and 6. 11. The impact attenuator is interchangeable and mounted on the frame by eight screws. They are positioned in the lateral direction as can be seen in Fig. 4) from the driver’s feet. 3. According to the F-SAE rules. the Fig. and G Karaoglanidis Fig. If a mounting screw were in the longitudinal direction. 4 (a) The impact attenuator and its mounting onto the frame. which further increased the mass. Several compromises were required to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. (d) results of the finite element analysis JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 Proc. G Fontaras. reducing the size of the engine oil sump. 8. IMechE Vol. (b) detail of the shell element mesh. Finally. 223 Part D: J.808 A Mihailidis. it should be noted that the mounting plates 13 and 14 of the lower wishbones allow for the anti-dive and antisquat adjustment. I Nerantzis. then one of its fractures could enter the cockpit and injure the driver in case of an impact. such as mounting the battery and the fuel tank as low as possible. 3 The final space frame (for explanation of numbers. 4(a) for safety reasons. Z Samaras. The front plate 1 is supported by two rectangular tubes and is shown in detail in view A. (c). and finally installing the driver’s seat to the alreadymentioned low position.

This helps to reduce the anti-roll bar stiffness and the wheel rate but on the other side the frame receives jacking forces during cornering [5.1 Overall dimensions The track and the wheelbase of the car are the first parameters to be defined. the next step was to choose the appropriate tyre size JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 The placement of the roll centres plays an important role in the vehicle’s behaviour because it influences the way that the camber angle changes during cornering [5. and tyre R a radial tyre. 4. This type of handling performance is suitable for the Formula Student competition because the circuits consist of many small-radius (4. which are usually either not available or difficult to determine. 1. 3. The need for a wide range of camber angle adjustments is evident. and the wheelbase length 1650 mm. Tyre behaviour is very complex and depends strongly on road surface. and type. 5.2 Wheels and tyres After the track width and wheelbase were defined.4 Suspension geometry 3. (c). IMechE Vol. Automobile Engineering . while straight lines are limited in number and length. there are no bending moments. This type of independent suspension is typical for Formula-type race cars for the following reasons [5]. since different races often require alternative set-ups. 3. Progressive wheel rate can be achieved by properly designing the bell cranks. the implementation of these models requires the knowledge of numerous parameters. and in this case it was decided that the suspension design should include the following adjustments: camber angles. The mean deceleration at a crash with a velocity of 7 m/s was calculated as 15. roll is minimized. when a vehicle with a total mass of 300 kg runs into a solid non-yielding impact barrier with a velocity of 7 m/s. In general. tyre data given by the Calspan Corp. 6. In Fig. When defining the attachment Proc. diagrams of two typical Formula Student tyres are shown. The front track width was chosen to be 1297 mm. 223 Part D: J. 3. so as to ensure easy accessibility to all main car components and to improve space availability. In contrast. only 10 in and 13 in wheel sizes are allowed. According to the F-SAE rules the wheelbase must be at least 1525 mm and the narrower track must be no less than 75 per cent of the wider track. Otherwise. 5. the results are shown in Figs 4(b). The total unsprung mass is reduced. According to F-SAE rules. the average deceleration does not exceed 20 g.5 g. as presented in Fig. (d) compliance with F-SAE rules. if they are close to the centre of gravity. 12–15]. excessive roll occurs which may require too high wheel rates. front and rear anti-features. 13]. It allows for four-wheel independence. The following sections describe how these objectives were met. 2. They also define the roll axis around which the frame pivots when it is laterally loaded. anti-roll bar stiffness.The design of a Formula Student race car 809 impact attenuator must be designed so that. speed.3 Type of suspension Unequal-length double wishbones with push rod actuators were chosen for the front and the rear suspension of the vehicle. operation temperature. If the roll centres are close to the ground. 13 in wheels were chosen because they provide more space for the brake discs and callipers. the rear 1250 mm. One of the most important characteristics of a tyre is the lateral force–slip angle diagram because it describes the way that the tyre will react in cornering. they are more manoeuvrable and allow for higher cornering speeds [5]. 3 SUSPENSION The main design requirements of the suspension design of a Formula Student race car are the following: (a) the ability to keep all four wheels in contact with the ground at the correct angles in order to exploit the maximum tractive force of the tyres. as well as steering angles. camber angle. (b) the ability to have many adjustments. Tyre D is a diagonal tyre. Convenient adjustment of camber angle and antifeatures is possible. Eventually. The current design was evaluated by the finite element method with ANSA as the pre-processor and LSDYNA as the solver. inflation pressure. especially if tyre D is used. normal force.5 m minimum) corners. For this reason. The linkages are loaded just in tension or compression. 12. (c) optimal vehicle manoeuvrability. and (d). were used [11]. and other parameters. Many analytical models have been developed in order to predict the tyre’s behaviour [6–10]. 3. race cars with short wheelbase and wide tracks are less stable in straight line. However.

G Fontaras. mainly at the front in order to react better in low road irregularities [12]. The bell cranks were designed to give a progressive wheel rate. the bell crank geometry affects the wheel rates. the ride rates can be adapted to different tracks and driving styles. Z Samaras. During high longitudinal accelerations the tyre forces are transmitted directly to the frame. In the current case. ‘anti’ features force the suspension to appear stiffer and less sensitive. Therefore. 9. 223 Part D: J. the static camber can be easily changed by means of different spacers at the wishbone mountings. Their vertical migration is negligible and the lateral migration is about 80 mm. as shown in Fig. Both front and rear lower wishbones have four tune-up positions varying from 20 per cent to 84 per cent anti-dive and from 30 per cent to 100 per cent anti-squat. The bell cranks are supported by JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 . 7. As mentioned earlier. By altering the angles q1 and q2 and radii l1 and l2 of the bell crank (Fig. Depending on the tyres used. 5) and it was used to determine the lower and upper wishbone lengths. the suspension remains undeformed in contrast with Proc. IMechE Vol. 7. bypassing the springs and the absorbers. Automobile Engineering the tyres. 8(a)). 13].810 A Mihailidis. care should be taken to avoid excessive roll centre migration. and G Karaoglanidis Fig. which can be easily adjusted by altering the frame mounting positions. Pitching motion is even more disturbing than bounce motion [13]. However. 5 (a) Tyre D and (b) tyre R lateral force–slip angle diagrams points of the wishbones. as shown in detail B in Fig. This is why an ideal suspension could be designed for 100 per cent anti-dive and anti-squat in order to eliminate pitch rotation during braking and accelerating. Their compliance becomes excessive and severe tramp may occur [5. I Nerantzis. The desirable range for the camber angle alternations was estimated from the tyre’s performance curves (Fig. the front and rear roll centres were set at 36 per cent and 40 per cent of the centre of gravity height above ground. 6 (a) Front and (b) rear suspension Fig. In order to optimize the vehicle’s behaviour under acceleration alternations. as shown in detail A in Fig. adjustable anti-dive and anti-squat are implemented.

These angles were chosen so that. The caster and kingpin inclination influence the steercamber characteristics.The design of a Formula Student race car 811 Fig. IMechE Vol. The choice of the appropriate diameter of the antiroll bars depends on the circuit conditions and the JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 Fig. during cornering. The caster angle specifies the mechanical trail of the wheels and generates the self-steering effect. 8(b). Therefore. 10 for two static camber adjustments. 9 Front. 8 (a) Top view of the front bell crank with the push rod and the shock. 10 Steer-camber characteristics for all anti-dive adjustments and for two static camber adjustments Proc. they were designed to be easily interchangeable. In the current case these angles were chosen to be 6u and 14. the outside wheel has a more negative camber. 223 Part D: J.5u respectively. For example. The steercamber characteristics are shown in Fig. A section view of the mounting is shown in Fig. 7 View of suspension adjustments Fig. Automobile Engineering . if the static camber is set at 0u. while the inner has a more positive camber. (b) section view of the bell crank mount two preloaded angular ball bearings in an O arrangement so as to be clearance free. when the car turns in a tight Fig.and rear-wheel rates driver preferences.

11 Spherical bearing mount design: 1. 5. The spherical joints A. A2 and A3. see text) JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 Proc. the outside wheels receive a much greater normal force than the inside because of the lateral weight transfer.5 Steering geometry Fig. by mounting the rocker 1 in one of the alternative positions A. the steering geometry can be adapted to the racing conditions. In order to avoid these phenomena the inner wheel should be steered at a smaller angle. They must be as light as possible. It should be noted that anti-dive has negligible effect on the camber angle change. 13 was developed. 2. 7. 3. light. A1. and C lie on the kingpin axis.812 A Mihailidis. In the case of Ackermann steering the resulting slip angles afi and ari of the inner wheels will be greater than required (Fig. carrying ring. 12 (a) Front wheel upright. G Fontaras. carrying part. frictional-force-transmitting surfaces In order to provide the proper steering angles while maintaining minimum bump steering and to gain adjustability. 13(c) the steered wheel angles are presented for the three alternative adjustments. In this way. 223 Part D: J. U-holder. inner ring. I Nerantzis. the steering mechanism shown in Fig.5u and that of the inner wheel is +5u. In Fig. Figure 12 shows the design of the front uprights. The result is that the car could slow down because of the drag of the inner wheels. Moreover. Z Samaras. In all suspension joints. 3. outer ring. and stiff enough to hold the forces from the tyres without altering the suspension geometry. 6. as is the common practice. Automobile Engineering . The pushrod 2 is mounted straight on the upright 1 with a spherical bearing B and not at the lower wishbone 3. clearance-free spherical bearings were used. and C shown in Figs 13(a) and (b). spacers. their temperature and wear would rise. deformed lips. reliable. (b) finite element results when braking with 2 g (for explanation. and cost effective [16]. B. The position of the tie rod on the upright is defined so Fig. because their mass is unsprung. IMechE Vol. 14). It was proven to be compact. Their slip angles define mainly the actual centre of the turn O. Figure 11 shows the design of a bearing mount which fulfils these requirements. During cornering. 4. It consists of a rocker 1 which transmits the axial motion of the rack 2 to the tie rod 3 via the auxiliary rod 4. bending of the lower wishbone is avoided and the suspension linkages are loaded only in tension or compression. They have to be easy to replace and mounted clearance free. A4. Therefore. B. and G Karaoglanidis corner the camber angle of the outer wheel is 21.

the engine of a car remains almost upright. In this way the left flanks of the first pinion and the right flanks of the other are pressed permanently on the rack.6 kW power output at 13 000 r/min. This ensures not only that the deformations of the frame do not load the engine block but also that vibrations are partially isolated from the frame. 7. Regarding engine lubrication the following problem can be experienced owing to the original use of the engine in a motorcycle. In Fig. and lighter than the dry sump option since no additional mechanical parts are required. selective laser sintering (SLS) technology was used for the production of the fuel tank.The design of a Formula Student race car 813 4 POWERTRAIN A 2005 Honda CBR 600RR motorcycle engine (engine type PC37E) was chosen. In this case a bump steering of only 0. since it ensures that the deformations of the engine block remain in the range that its manufacturer has foreseen. Several modifications had to be made to the engine intake manifold to meet the F-SAE reguProc. (d) the new intake and exhaust manifold design according to F-SAE regulations. The engine is attached to the frame at eight points using rubber silent blocks. the lubricant drifts towards the sides of the sump. (b) the engine lubrication during cornering. there are two possibilities: the engine block can be used as part of the frame as is done in Formula-1 cars or. alternatively. Therefore. During cornering. Therefore. The overall weight and number of parts are significantly reduced because SLS provides the ability to create complex and compact geometric forms out of plastic material. As concerns the fuelling system. In order to ensure proper lubrication. easier to manufacture. 223 Part D: J. 13 Adjustable steering geometry in (a) full Ackermann and (b) parallel set-up. The rack 1 is driven by the two helical pinions 2. Furthermore. The rack and pinion steering was designed to provide zero clearance as shown in Fig. separators were added in the oil sump. and the lubricant flow in the pump may be disrupted. Elimination of clearance is achieved by axially preloading the Belleville springs 3 between the two pinions by means of the nut 4. JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 . the tie-rod mounting height on the rockers was designed to be adjustable to ensure that bump steering remains low for every anti-dive setting as shown in detail C in Fig. its height was reduced in order to allow for a lower mounting of the engine. This design was chosen instead of a dry sump because it is cheaper. Starting from the mounting. 16 a detailed view of the fuel tank is presented. Automobile Engineering Fig. several problems need to be addressed. (c) Angles of steered wheels for the alternative steering geometries that the bump steering is minimized. The latter approach was followed in the current case. unlike the engine of a motorcycle that leans. the engine can be mounted in the frame in a way that does not allow the block to receive any forces or moments. The most important of these concern the following: (a) the mounting of the engine in the frame. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) configuration of the engine provides 61. In order to install this engine to a Formula-type car. IMechE Vol. Anti-dive adjustments also affect the bump steering. 15.8 N m torque output at 11 000 r/min and 79.03u was achieved. (c) the installation of a new fuel tank and fuelling system.

814 A Mihailidis. fuel pump mount. 7. In addition. see text) Fig. 5. main compartment. These requirements significantly affect engine operation and performance. 16 Fuel tank: 1. aimed at achieving the highest possible torque and power output in the 7000–9000 r/min operating range. G Fontaras. new intake and exhaust manifolds were designed. 15 Rack and pinion steering (for explanation of numbers. 2. the engine was originally designed to deliver its nominal power and torque at relatively high speeds (above 11 000 r/min). and G Karaoglanidis Fig. I Nerantzis. 6. 223 Part D: J. a single throttle must be used and placed before the restrictor. Z Samaras. air venting tubes lations. the exhaust manifold by welded stainless steel tubes. a 20 mm restrictor must be placed in the intake manifold in a way that all intake airflow passes through it. secondary compartment used as overflow tank. The new intake manifold was manufactured by SLS. Therefore. overflow inlet. 3. According to these regulations. Automobile Engineering . 14 Steering angles Fig. In order to compenJAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 Proc. 4. Furthermore. The presence of a restrictor and the racing conditions of the F-SAE competitions call for lower-engine-speed driving. fuel inlet. IMechE Vol.

The design of a Formula Student race car 815 sate for the new intake and exhaust systems and to achieve high engine performance. The engine was modelled in Gamma Technologies’ GT-POWER. a new cooling system was designed in order to provide adequate cooling under low-average-speed. in order to provide a different maximum torque output curve according to the demands of each race track. and lambda value. A programmable electronic control unit (ECU) by Motec was used in order to introduce the new engine control strategy in line with the aforementioned modifications. Figure 17 shows the intake manifold. The final transmission ratio of the chain drive is 43/12 5 3. and to fit in the frame without compromising the vehicle weight balance. highpower-output conditions. To save experimental time. operation is optimized to the 7000–9000 r/min range. 18 Output torque and power curves achieved JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 Proc. Two sets of intake runners were foreseen. a new engine calibration was necessary. The aim was not only to have an efficient and competitive engine but also to provide the ability of using different control strategies according to the requirements of each event. 17 Intake manifold and runners Fig. and the restrictor–diffuser system were studied to maximize the volumetric efficiency in the predetermined speed range. The self-contained gearbox of the engine was used. Automobile Engineering . the intake and exhaust manifolds were initially studied and optimized using computer simulation. The driver can easily and rapidly shift the gears by pressing buttons mounted on the steering wheel. The new ECU was programmed using an engine dynamometer to optimize the power output and fuel efficiency by tuning parameters such as the spark advance. It was decided that the engine should be configured with respect to the acceleration performance rather than the top speed. because the average race speed is limited to approximately 60–70 km/h. Appropriate engine calibration was conducted for each intake configuration. Since the restrictor causes a significant drop of the engine power output at high engine speeds (over 11 000 r/min). and a richer mixture for maximizing power during the autocross and the acceleration events. 18. Engine power is transmitted to the rear wheels by a chain drive and a differential. 223 Part D: J. it is coupled with the engine ECU and cuts off the ignition for 40 ms during gear shifting. The air filter is placed in the air box to assist the diffusion of the incoming air. the air-box volume. The quick shift contains an onboard air compressor and an adequate pressure accumulator so as to allow an unlimited number of gear shifts. a leaner air–fuel mixture is used in the endurance and fuel economy event to minimize consumption. Also. Finally. The gears are shifted by an electropneumatic quick-shift mechanism mounted in the rear of the driver’s seat. similar to those encountered in Formula Student races.583 in order to enhance the acceleration performance of the car. fuel injection timing. Thus. The resulting torque and power curves are shown in Fig. and the intake and exhaust runner lengths. Fig. IMechE Vol.

223 Part D: J. I Nerantzis. It is important initially to set clearly the design objectives of each subsystem. In this way the engine and the differential can be dismounted or changed independently from each other. G Fontaras. the overall dimensions. the human factors regarding ergonomics and controls. Z Samaras. Belleville springs JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 Proc. the type of the suspension and its geometry. and G Karaoglanidis A Torsen type II differential (Fig. the input torque. However. 19(a)) was chosen because it gives better drivability at the exit of the corner and better traction during straight-line acceleration. the wheels and tyres. Then. (b). 18]. bolt. IMechE Vol. and the engine are decided first. In the first case the transmission forces do not load the frame. it had to be decided whether to mount it on the engine or directly in the frame. 5 RESULTS The design procedure described above can be summarized as follows. and the required safety. 4. It should be finalized after the design of the major car subsystems. 19 (a) Magnified view of the differential. Automobile Engineering . 3. (c) Chain pre-tension and differential mount: 2. The bodywork is the last step to complete the design. as shown in Fig. An initial frame design may follow. chain. This procedure includes of course much iteration because no explicit answers can be given to the complex questions that Fig. 19(b). in the presented design it was chosen to mount the differential in the frame using two L-shaped arms 1. and the friction coefficient between the faces of the planetary gears and the cage of the differential [17. Regarding the mounting of the differential. Its torque bias is affected by the initial preloading.816 A Mihailidis. Given the F-SAE rules. and the steering geometry have to be chosen.

2007. Taking into account that. Pennsylvania. 1991. in July 2008. F. SAE technical paper 2006-01-3606. 2006. P. 223 Part D: J. England. Italy. the vehicle proved to be not only competitive but also reliable. A new tyre model for vehicle dynamic simulations. Pennsylvania). 1998. In the skid pad the best time of the presented car was 5.. Literature survey of transient dynamic response tyre models. J.. A. 2 Puhn. Tyre modelling for use in vehicle dynamic studies.. A.02 s and the worst 10. V. L. USA. only 24 managed to complete the endurance event. It took part in two Formula Student contests. 1996 (SAE International.65 s. 1993. Des. California).405 s to cover 75 m. 7. and the competitor finishing last. 1987.96 s. The fastest car needed 227.277 s. whereas the best time was 5. 1978 (Aero Publishers. K. E.. 10 Bakker. and Yanchar. 14 Gaffney III. and Odom. SAE technical paper 971584.7 s less and the slowest 67. SAE technical paper 911921. available from http:// www. 13 Barak. Nyborg. D. K. J. Los Angeles. J. and Streit. Fallbrook.5 s. The tight course of the autocross event was covered in 61. California). Int. 2004.. Race car vehicle dynamics. 34(3). Proc. SAE technical paper 870421. where it achieved the following results. F. Y. SAE International. How to make your car handle. 8 Pattas. and in Silverstone. Carbon fibre reinforced steel spaceframe techniques. 2006. 20 View of the car arise during the development. 2004. 34(4). Analytical predictions of steady state tyre characteristics. Dorking. Automobile Engineering . 4 Henningsgaard. In Proceedings of Automotive Technology International ’93. JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 3 Auer. Tune to win. 260–285. Veh. pp. E. Figure 20 shows the completed car. C. SAE technical paper 2006-01-1009.sae. 193–198 (UK and International Press. M. while the fastest car needed 9.. and Milliken. Beitrag zur Fahrdynamik. whereas the competitor finishing first needed 3.. and Lafon. Technical University of Karlsruhe. Veh. E.997 s. The 22 km of the endurance event was covered in 1465. in Fiorano Mondenese. Introduction to Formula SAE suspension and frame design. 7 Chang. PhD Thesis. El-Gindy. especially in cases where the design of a completely new model is required. REFERENCES 1 Formula SAE rules. SAE technical paper 983055. 1997. Germany. B. 354–386.The design of a Formula Student race car 817 Fig.. the presented design procedure can be adopted to speed up the development. B. and Ramji.66 s more. Warrendale. Although Formula Student race cars and passenger cars are totally different. In the acceleration event the car needed just 4. Warrendale. 1966. Int. Design and optimization of a Formula SAE frame. F. The Formula SAE Tire Testing Consortium – tire testing and data handling. H. Surrey). S. Z.41 s less and the slowest 456. Magic numbers in design of suspension for passenger cars.. K.. R. L. C. J. Karlsruhe. in September 2007. and Pacejka. Forissier.75 s more. N. 6 Goel. 1976 (HP Books. F. 12 Milliken. Des. D. and Salinas. P. from the 78 competing cars. 9 Bayle. 5 Smith. and Gentz. M. E. 11 Kasprzak. McCombs.471 s. D. IMechE Vol. P.

Warrendale. 2002.. Austria. IMechE Vol. J. J. Zahnradgetriebe. Nerantzis. Proc. The automotive chassis: engineering principles. 223 Part D: J. and G Karaoglanidis 15 Reimpell. A. 17 Shih. H. and Stoll. Pennsylvania). 16 Mihailidis. and Karaoglanidis. pp. 2008. W.. I Nerantzis. C. 1995 (Springer-Verlag. G. and Bowerman. I. An evaluation of torque bias and efficiency of Torsen differential. S. Vienna. Pupaza. In Annals of DAAAM for 2008 and Proceedings of the 19th International DAAAM Symposium. 1996 (SAE International. Berlin). G Fontaras. SAE technical paper 2002-01-1046. Modelling and simulation of a spherical bearing mount.818 A Mihailidis. Vienna). Automobile Engineering JAUTO1080 F IMechE 2009 .. 853–854 (DAAM International. 18 Looman. Z Samaras.

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