View Single Post
  #4  
Old 10-08-2009, 07:03 AM
netburner's Avatar
netburner netburner is offline
Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,003
Germany -> West Germany -> NRW -> Düsseldorf
Adding lightness

Weight is the enemy of performance in every area of car design. It affects acceleration, speed, handling, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions – everything. McLaren Automotive engineers pursued weight saving obsessively. For example:
  • The Carbon MonoCell not only reduces the weight of the structure but also allows for the use of much lighter weight body panels.
  • The close position of the driver and passenger allows a narrower, lighter body while giving improved visibility with a clearer perception of the car’s extremities.
  • Brakes with forged aluminium hubs save 8 kg and weigh less than optional carbon ceramic brakes.
  • Lightweight exhaust pipes exit straight out the rear of the car, minimizing their length and weight.
  • Airflow-assisted Airbrake deployment dramatically reduces weight of the Airbrake activation system.
  • Small, compact downsized engine coupled to lightweight compact SSG minimizes vehicle length, weight and polar moment of inertia.
  • Significant weight was pared off the alloy wheels through intensive Finite Element Analysis of wall thicknesses.
  • The engine cooling radiators were mounted at the rear, as close to the engine as possible, to minimize the pipework, the fluids contained within them, and therefore weight. They were also mounted in car line to minimize vehicle width.

“We have spent most of the programme ‘adding lightness’,” said Mark Vinnels, McLaren Automotive Programme Director. “If the cost of reducing weight brought performance gains in speed, handling or economy, we did it. However, if the expense could deliver improved performance elsewhere we didn’t pursue it. We never set weight targets as such; we set cost-to-performance targets and examined everything in this way.

“A good example of this philosophy is that we considered carbon fibre body panels. They would have reduced weight but added little benefit as the new one-piece Carbon MonoCell provides all of the torsional strength the body needs. The costs saved were used elsewhere for greater weight reduction and efficiencies overall. This was the holistic approach to weight saving that we used all the way through development,” he concluded.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 150.jpg (530.5 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 154.jpg (574.5 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg 158.jpg (493.4 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg 162.jpg (468.0 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg 166.jpg (263.5 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg 182.jpg (412.5 KB, 59 views)
__________________
WRC - That's motorsport!

"If you can see the tree you are about to hit, it is called 'understeering'. If you can only hear and feel it, it was 'oversteering'."
Walter Röhrl
Reply With Quote