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.


Saturday, April 24, 2010


The exhaust system has been a debate for some time.  Being a longitudinal V8, I have exhaust manifolds on both sides of the engine bay.  On most cars with a similar driveline, these manifolds exit into tubes that follow the transmission into the trans tunnel, and run underneath the driveshaft until they reach the rear of the car.  Here, they go up and over, or even under, the rear axle, into a muffler, and finally the exhaust exits out the tailpipe.  Well, this poses a problem.  The tunnel is tight around the transmission to increase interior room and especially leg room, too tight for exhaust pipes to run next to the transmission.  Under the transmission, or under the car at all might work, except that the current ground clearance is set at 5" - running 2.5" pipes would reduce the clearance to less than 2.5", unacceptable for a street car.  The underside of the car is a perfectly flat undertray, with no place to tuck the exhaust pipes into, without intruding into the passenger compartment.

What then, if the pipes cannot be routed under the car?  Sidepipes are a great option, but have some drawbacks as those familiar with them can attest to, usually referring to the burn scars on their legs.  Heat shields help, but the pipes are still literally running right next to your legs and body as you drive, and are going to be at least somewhat hot.  I was actually thinking about a sport bike when I modeled this muffler/rear fender idea, and mind you it is a bit rough, but gets the point across.  Again, picture a sport bike where the exhaust exits out over the center of the rear tire.

The other thought was to simply shorten the sidepipes - a lot.  For this to work, the round canister muffler would be moved close to the engine, just behind the front wheels.  The muffler would end just before the front corner of the passenger compartment, ending with a rectangular angled tip.

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