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College Exhibition: Coventry University Degree Show 2007

Wed, 27 Jun 2007 00:00:00 -0700

Undergraduate students from Coventry University's Transportation Design program had their initial show in the end of May this year, but the range of projects was so vast that a selection of work from the annual degree show was then chosen and displayed in Coventry Transport Museum on June 15. Car Design News was there to see what had been selected.

Inspired by the Alfa BT4B with which Niki Lauda won the Swedish Formula One Grand Prix in 1978, Stephan Everwin created a modern interpretation of the 'Fan Car'.  Its rakish lines all culminate in a smooth aerodynamic shape that incorporates a huge fan between the rear wheels creating a massive vacuum under the car providing downforce at high speed.

"This project is about the aspect of emotion within the design process." said Everwin, who has devised a rendering of a racetrack within an urban metropole to fully illustrate the car's potential. "The classic fan car raced once and it won the race, it was banned afterwards," he continued, "It was a good story on which to base my design, a very emotional scenario."  

Fresh from an internship at Marcos Engineering, Peter Clarke created a futuristic desert combat vehicle for use by the British army. The 'Cerberus PLV' is a specifically-developed 'Patrol Liason Vehicle' which uses both active and passive armor, with the body panels designed to cope with land mines by deflecting the explosion away from the passenger compartment area. The hood design includes reactive armor and includes small explosives sandwiched between the tiled surface and the engine compartment to diffuse an impact.

Affording space for up to six occupants - sitting in a circular pod-like cage looking out of the vehicle - the layout provides a 360-degree view around the car and prevents unexpected attacks. The body-colored tires enable the car to blend into arable desert surroundings while the softer, less intimidating form visually engages civilians.

Richard Penrose chose to display 'British Racing Green' to answer the demands of the EEMS (Energy Efficient Motorsport) initiative. As the call for greener, more environmentally friendly racers resonates throughout the automotive arena, Penrose has created a futuristic car that benefits from a highly aerodynamic shape. Openings within the structure enable spectator to get a closer view of the driver's struggles and facilitate inspection of the driver's limbs after a crash. Its slippery styling lends itself to low drag and lift coefficients and it is powered by higher octane bio-ethanol, a combination of qualities that make the BRG ideal to embark on the next era in motorsport.

Michelle Rosendal displayed a very well-resolved Alfa Romeo concept, inspired by exclusive carmakers such as Ferrari who display their engines under glass panels for all to see. But the project is aimed to appeal to a new generation of car buyers who are not only style conscious but also environmentally aware.

"I wanted to make electric cars cool and desirable so people would want choose them regardless of their being ecological," said Rosendal. The car employs prominently displayed electric wheel-hub mounted motors and a fuel cell, enabling pollution free motoring all cloaked in a seductive design. 

Marcus Rayner, one of two students behind the Concept Climax initiative which debuted last weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, displayed his vision for the future 'Road Train Australia'. "I wanted to do something different," said Rayner whose design incorporates a diesel steam hybrid drivetrain, "So I came across the idea of using a steam engine, then I had to figure out where to use it. The Australian Road train was  the perfect application."

After much research, Rayner created a modern structure that includes a living area, kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area. While the power source itself is claimed to maximize economy, the interior layout challenges conventional truck design in search of more comfortable environment for long haul truckers. "I interviewed a few truckers to find out what it was they wanted," said Rayner. "It needed to be functional, with a flat floor and a long bed along the dashboard to see the night sky after a long day of driving."

Continues... 


By Eric Gallina