Originally Posted by heretic
I am quite sure it has been done by Graupner, germany. I saw a picture of it from a Nuremberg toy fair several years ago. Perhaps your friends could get some advide from them, I don't know.
Your project sounds nice but what I don't understand is that you say " from scratch" then you say that you'll use a VW beetle. What are you going to keep ? to me if there's no mechanical constraint ( hopes that makes sense) then you're just trying to beat Mr Case's record.
A few pictures/drwaings would help a lot.
There are essentially two projects here. The full scale vehicle (1974 Super Beetle) and the 1/8th scale testing vehicles (RC cars). The purpose of the bettle is to achieve a 500 mpg hybrid. The purpose of the RC cars is to experiment with "hybrid" technology without spending a fortune.
For instance, I want to test the difference between types of batteries. If I were to do this on a full scale level, I would have approximately $5,000 in building a lead acid pack and say $50,000 in building a Lipo pack. Now on the RC level, this is gonna cost far less than $500.
The purpose of building for speed, is to essentially make an attempt at the most efficient vehicle possible. By doing this, we will be experimenting with technologies that directly carry over to our full scale project. Say the Lipo batteries in the above experiment do prove to be that much better. It is now much easier to justify this expense to donors, sponsors, advisory board, department, etc...
The 1/8th scale vehicle does not have to have any representation of a VW Bettle what so ever. It could be anything we please. The original concept was to build something similar to the 2010 Camaro and make aerodynamic changes to it. We have decided that the car just isn't that aerodynamic to begin with so we are going to start with a ZR1 Corvette body and mold it into something similar to the Fireblade concept. All the while reducing the coeff. of drag.
As far as from scratch is concerned we are going to design a SST (suspension, steering, and tires) system that gives us the least rolling resistance possible. We will then essentially model a chassis to fit this system. The chassis will then be tested for strength, deflection, weight, etc (in SolidWorks) and modifications will be made to achieve the lightest and strongest chassis possible.