Student Work


1999 formula SAE racecar design Public

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The Formula SAE project involves the design, fabrication, construction, testing and marketing of a formula type racecar. The car is entered in an intercollegiate competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) involving approximately 90 other engineering schools throughout the U.S., Canada, South America and the United Kingdom. Each car is judged against the other competitors' cars to determine the car that best fulfills the overall competition goals. Static events include Engineering Design, Cost, and Presentation (marketing/manufacturing). Dynamic events include Skid-pad (lateral acceleration), Acceleration, Autocross and Endurance. Each team must design their car following the premise that a manufacturing corporation has hired them to design and manufacture a limited production racecar (1000 units per year) aimed at the non-professional autocrosser. The car must demonstrate superior performance along with ease of maintenance/repair and reliability at the lowest manufacturing cost possible. The car should be aesthetically pleasing, innovative and provide comfort as well as sound ergonomics. The team must combine all these design aspects into a well-balanced package that will sell for $9000. Our team was organized with captains who were responsible for monitoring the overall efforts of the remaining team members. Tasks were identified and sub-groups were designated to execute them either from volunteers or by appointment. Distinct groups were assigned responsibility in the following areas: frame, suspension, engine, drivetrain, steering, braking and tires/wheels, body, ergonomics/interior and safety, manufacturing, electrical, cost, marketing, and dynamic testing. The major objectives for each group were simplicity, lightweight, aesthetics, manufacturing cost, and performance. Several of the car's systems and components were modeled using various commercial software packages, e.g. Algor and TKSolver. Some experimental analyses were also conducted to verify the computer results. The car was completed on April 1, 1999. A formal testing program was conducted to document the car's performance envelope. The testing consisted of skid-pad, acceleration, braking and autocross/endurance trials.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
  • 99D180M
  • 1999
Date created
  • 1999-01-01
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