Is this the most ridiculous road car ever?
Two ex-McLaren engineers have created the Caparo T1, a thinly
disguiser F1 racer for the road reports Auto News.
This ridiculous example of performance car overkill carries two people in two
rows and is said to generate so much downforce that, at 240 km/h, it could be
driven upside down in a tunnel.
Its makers, the global company Caparo Vehicle Technologies Limited, employed
ex-McLaren engineers Ben Scott-Geddes and Graham Halstead - who worked on the
McLaren F1, Mercedes SLR and Formula One projects - to “create the ultimate
track day experience”.
This they surely have done, what with a power-weight ratio (it weighs 470 kg)
twice that of the astounding Bugatti Veyron, which means it will reach 160 km/h
in the same time as a Porsche 911 gets to 100 km/h (that is about 3.6 seconds).
Or from zero to 160 km/h, and back to a stop, by the time even a quick sedan
reaches 100 km/h.
The basic structure of the Caparo is fundamentally F1, with a mid-engine
configuration supported at each end by aerodynamic wishbone suspensions. The
adjustable front and rear wings work in conjunction with the ground effect
diffuser that sucks it so resoundingly onto the road.
The brakes comprise 355 mm steel race discs front and rear with six and four-pot
machined calipers used respectively at the front and rear. The result is an
ability to generate lateral and braking accelerations in excess of 3 G and a top
speed of better than 320 km/h.
The dry-sumped, 2.4-litre aluminium V8 produces 358 kW at 10,500 rpm and drives
through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
World’s fastest earth mover
JCB DieselMax has been created to break the world land speed record for diesel
powered automobiles. JCB is aiming to set a new land speed record for diesel
vehicles with a super sleek streamliner car to be driven by Wing Commander Andy
Green, the fastest man on Earth.
The record attempt will take place on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah
during August 2006. The stunning, nine metre long JCB DieselMax car boasts twin
4-cylinder, 5-litre JCB444-LSR engines with the world’s highest specific power
diesel engines used in any automobile application. With each delivering 750 hp
and 1500 Nm torque, the engines are over five times the power of the production
version and at 150 hp/litre, they exceed even motorsports applications as the
world’s highest specific power diesels. At the same time the engines retain
excellent fuel efficiency and very low emissions through the use of advanced
combustion control and diesel particulate filter technology.
The resulting JCB444-LSR engines exhibit many of the technologies which are
likely to form the basis of the next generation of high performance,
low-emissions diesel engines in both automotive as well as heavy-duty
Leading the project, codenamed H1, is Dr. Tim Leverton, JCB Group engineering
director, who put together a world-class design team with extensive experience
of Formula One, Le Mans, advanced diesel technology and transmissions.
Mentor to the project has been Richard Noble, the former land speed record
holder, who encouraged the JCB team to aim for 300 mph; the existing record
stands at 235.756mph.
Sir Anthony Bamford, chairman of privately owned JCB, is very clear why he
wanted to build a JCB record-breaker, “I am passionate about the importance of
engineering excellence to Britain and I see using the JCB engine for this record
attempt as a fantastic way of showcasing what British engineers can do. The
JCB444 has been acknowledged as a remarkable piece of engineering, and this
programme to build the world’s fastest diesel-powered automobile is precisely
the sort of technical challenge that we should rise to.”
Wing Commander Andy Green, who set the first-ever supersonic world land speed
record at 763.035 mph in ThrustSSC on the Black Rock Desert on 15 October 1997,
is thrilled to have been given another opportunity to enter the record books. He
said, “We will be following in the tradition of British record breakers by
running at the sport’s spiritual home, the remarkable Bonneville Salt Flats. I
am really looking forward to driving another British entry in the ‘300 mph
Club,’ and a diesel-engined, wheel-driven one at that.”
The current diesel-powered land speed record stands at 235.756 mph to Virgil W.
Snyder and the Thermo King Streamliner and dates back to 25 August 1973.
In the lead up to the attempt, the JCB has topped 200 mph on an airstrip in the
UK. During two weeks of testing at RAF Wittering, Peterborough, the
diesel-powered JCB car achieved a top speed of 201 mph and seven runs over 180
mph. However, the runway is only 1.6 miles long compared with the nine miles
available in Bonneville so this has limited the car’s speed to 200mph.
“I’m so impressed with what has been achieved - exceeding 200 mph really
shows the potential of the car to break the record,” said Wing Commander Andy
Green. “Combined the engines have twice the power of a Formula 1 car and
it’s remarkably easy to drive. It steers very well, the brakes work smoothly
and the chassis is extremely stiff. That gives you the confidence you need when
accelerating to very high speeds and then coming to a stop in a limited
“We’ve been working to an exceptionally tight timescale and we’re having
to learn new things every day, from engine and transmission performance to
parachute deployment,” he continued. “It’s impossible for everything to
work perfectly when testing land speed record vehicles as you’re pushing the
boundaries but we’re on target.”
Dr Tim Leverton, the project director emphasized, “We have learnt a huge
amount about the car and the team has done a fantastic job of overcoming the
many challenges we have inevitably faced in such a complex and demanding
project. I am really proud that we have exceeded 200 mph at this stage of
development, and now we can be more confident about achieving our target of 300
mph at Bonneville. The car is a testament to the very best of British
During the trials Green has had 1200 hp available while on the Salt Flats the
engines will produce their full 1500 bhp. The actual record attempt should be
later this month.
Kia comes out with another new one
Thailand is sitting with fingers crossed, hoping that the Kia
Rio can be brought here as the ultimate econocar, which is reputedly going to
sell for under 500,000 baht.
Now the company is releasing in Europe the Euro ED hatch which is expected to be
joined by a range of station wagons and sporty high-performance three-door
hatchback models from September and December 2007, respectively.
Based on the Cee’d concept car, the hatch has been designed with Europe in
mind and will make its world debut at the Paris motor show in September.
Kia has designed and engineered the ED to challenge the established class
leaders in Europe, namely the VW Golf, Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus. The ED
shares its underbody architecture with Hyundai and is tipped to replace the
Cerato in Europe.
At 4200 mm long the ED has a 2650 mm wheelbase, and Kia claims it offers
class-leading interior space, plus highly competitive levels of equipment and
state-of-the-art active and passive safety features.
In Europe, four engines will be available including 1.4 liter, 1.6 liter and 2.0
liter CVVT petrol engines and an all-new 1.6 liter VGT diesel engine.
Visually the hatch has strong design with kicked-up rear window, pronounced
wedge with a high waistline and headlights that feed into the bonnet line. The
ED will be built at Kia’s first-ever European manufacturing facility at Zilina
Last week I asked which World Land Speed record driver was a fur
broker by profession? A couple of clues: his car was four wheel drive and an oil
company was involved. The answer was John Cobb (the Railton Mobil Special) and
Peter Eades was first across the line this week! He had actually driven one of
Cobb’s record breakers as well (illicitly)! Well done, Peter.
So to this week. In the formulae for racing cars in 1906 and 1908, both
stipulated weight regulations. The weights were almost the same (1000 kg and
1100 kg), but what was totally different?
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