Welcome to my latest project, the Spartan V8 prototype roadster.

Take a look around, and feel free to leave a comment!

What is it?
The Spartan V8 is a type of high performance car called an "exoskeleton" car, exoskeleton referring to the framework of the car which is both visible and aesthetic by design. It is being designed entirely from scratch, by me alone (constructed and tested entirely in SolidWorks). I'm about a year into the design; from initial idea, to working concept, to full 3d virtual model. Once I have the remainder of the crucial components (engine, transmission, suspension, etc) modeled accurately in 3D, I'll be able to finalize the design and begin construction.

What would it be like to drive?
Something like this.
The metallic click of a switch engages the ignition and fuel pump with a hum. You engage the clutch and push the starter button.. the V8 engine thrashes and bursts to life with a snarl, sending shivers through the frame, and straight up your spine. The shifter in your right hand snicks into gear, and you ease out the clutch and apply the throttle.. by the time you fully release the clutch, its already time to shift into second. As you shift to 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th, the sheer acceleration nails you to your seat, the exhaust roars to either side of you, the intake growls in front of you, the big 305 series tires shriek in protest as they claw at the pavement, the wind whips past your head and body, and you are catapulted to speed more rapidly than you thought possible.
A stab at the brakes invites the race compound pads to bite into four oversized vented rotors, rapidly bringing you to a screeching halt.. brutally throwing you forward against the belts of your 5 point harness, threatening to eject you from the cockpit as you slow back to a stop. Your pulse is racing, your breathing is quickened, and the back of your neck is tingling. Savage and raw, the Spartan V8 isn't just quick. It is downright terrifying.

More akin to riding something wild, overpowered, and foaming at the mouth than just driving a car. It roars, it screams, it snarls. It thrums with power lurking just under its thin skin, daring you to mash that accelerator to the floor, and chase down something exotic..

Why design and build your own car?
Why not? It will be fun to design, build, and drive. It will be a learning experience like no other. Also, because of it's tremendous power to weight ratio, the Spartan will be a veritable supercar - more than able to hold its own on the road or racetrack against other street cars costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Check back whenever you like, as I'll be adding updates frequently.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Modeling a Human Driver - Andekan "Andy" model

Some of you may recall my previous and rather crude human models for calculating cockpit ergonomics.  They were simplistic, looked like 1960's era robots, and looked awful in the Spartan car model.  A friend (thanks Tom!) pointed me towards these folks:

These guys have created a good looking, fully positionable model of a 5" 9" tall man for modeling and scaling purposes.  With any luck, I'll be able to convert their model to SolidWorks format and import him right into the Spartan V8 model!  I think "Andy" will be quite happy behind the wheel, while lending an excellent sense of scale and proportion, and allowing me to ensure that the car's ergonomics are the best they can be.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wire Bundling

Still working on the custom wiring harness, but have just about all the wires incorporated in.  Added the 5 wire MAF with a rubber coupling, it seems to all fit together nicely.  Since the intake manifold is rotated 180 degrees, the MAF will face the cockpit, and in fact there will be another rubber coupling to the filter, which will actually sit inside the cockpit, under the dash in between the driver and passenger.  Should make for a rather vocal engine, with sidepipe exhausts roaring and intake reasonance whining.  All together it should make it a very raw and visceral experience.