Thursday, February 12, 2009

Proton Satria Neo Rally Car

MEM Proton Super 2000 Rally Car was launched last August at Proton’s headquarters in Bristol England. The car has undergone a full rebuild by MEM ( Mellors Elliot MotorSports )in accordance with Super 2000 specifications and probably the only reaining commonality between this car and the road foing version of the Satria Neo are the door handles and headlights, while everything else has been strengthened, modified or switched.

Designed by Mellors Elliott Motorsport, (MEM), the new Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car has just raised the performance bar for the rapidly expanding FIA Super 2000 rally series.

The concept was developed by using a combination of innovative engineering designs, the 25 years of experience of the team’s technical staff but, crucially, also the input from the team’s owner and extremely successful driver, Chris Mellors. The result is an astonishingly small and agile car which from the very outset was designed for the driver.

With an attractive and aerodynamic package for the front bumper, wings, rear bumper and rear spoiler complimenting the eye-catching Satria design, the Proton S2000 can achieve in full rally trim the smallest frontal area and the lowest roof height in its class even at rally ride height settings. Driver and Co-driver seat positions are fixed at the rearmost possible mounting points to maximise the car’s weight distribution but with the pedal box and steering column both adjustable to suit different pilots. The MEM rollcage design uses 35 metres of lightweight Chrome Moly tube together with strategic body strengthening resulting in vastly improved torsional bodyshell stiffness and a no-compromise safety cell for the crew. The cleverly designed side crash protection bars are uniquely shaped to aid driver and co-driver access into and out of the car.

The 2 litre Proton Super 2000 engine is derived from the 1.8 litre engine fitted to Proton’s Waja model and has been further developed by MEM’s engineers to produce a reliable 278 bhp @ 7600rpm with a usable power band from 5,500 to 8,500rpm. Combined with the best 6-speed sequential 4WD Super 2000 transmission currently available, (the “532” version from market leaders Xtrac), the car sets new standards for engine performance and driveability.

The fuel system innovates too with a quick-change fuel control cassette, (which includes all the fuel pumps, filters and valves), attached to the MEM-designed FIA FT3 safety fuel cell to aid rapid maintenance.

Alcon provides the braking power with their latest Super 2000 alloy 4-pot calipers and ventilated discs which combined with the Neo’s low overall weight of 1150kg gives astoundingly short braking distances. The ventilated disc sizes are independently maximised for both Gravel, (15” rims), and Tarmac, (18” rims), but for both simplicity and cost the brake calipers are common to both setups thanks to a simple mounting arrangement.
MEM’s engineers have designed the suspension with a relatively conventional layout of wishbone and MacPherson strut, which means it will be easy and relatively cheap to maintain whilst remaining super-reliable. However, the design has cleverly maximised damper travel to such an extent that the bump stops are the only part that stops the body sills hitting the ground on full bump travel! This translates into achieving both an ultra-low tarmac setup with go-kart levels of body roll and a long-travel gravel setup with enormous ability to soak up the biggest bumps. With various anti-roll bars available for both front and rear and with MEM’s 25 years of rally experience, the suspension setup can be easily fine-tuned for any rally surface or type.

The latest technology is used in the electrical systems with a state-of-the-art Multiplexed wiring system capable of managing the entire car’s electronics from a central unit ideally placed in the centre of the car in-between the driver and co-driver. Apart from the weight saving reduction that this achieves, it is simple to operate and, with automatically resetting circuit breakers, this is technology and reliability at its best.

The result of all this is a car which not only has well-proven technical advances and novel design but also has simplicity where appropriate to ensure the best possible combination of performance and reliability.

Car specification

Can be configured for Right-Hand or Left-Hand drive
Front bumper design to maximise aerodynamics and cooling
Small frontal area
Modified front & rear wings to maximise width
Lightweight rear spoiler for minimum drag
MEM lightweight FIA-approved integrated Chromo-steel rollcage
Strategic body strengthening increasing torsional stiffness

4 cylinder MEM-Proton 2000cc S2000 engine
Forged pistons
Lightweight steel connecting-rods
Billet steel crankshaft
Lightweight steel flywheel with integral ring gear
GEMS X25 engine ECU and power management system with
integrated data-logging and colour dashboard display

Xtrac “532” 4WD Super 2000 transmission system
6-speed sequential gearbox with engine cut on up-shift
Limited Slip Differentials:
? Front, plated mechanical, externally adjustable
? Centre, spool
? Rear, plated mechanical, externally adjustable
Hydraulic handbrake with auto-release system for rear differential
Bespoke WRC-style lightweight driveshafts all round

Tubular fabricated front & rear crossmembers
Front: Lower wishbone and MacPherson strut
Rear: Lower wishbone and MacPherson strut
MEM-Dynamics dampers all round
Anti-rollbars front and rear, optional sizes available
One-piece alloy hubs, interchangeable front to rear

Front: Alcon 4-piston forged calipers, 350mm vented discs, (Tarmac)
Front: Alcon 4-piston forged calipers, 300mm vented discs, (Gravel)
Rear: Alcon 4-piston forged calipers, 300mm vented discs, (Common)
MEM pedal box assy, adjustable for driver position

Hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion
Adjustable steering column reach and height
Quick-release steering wheel

GEMS Multiplex wiring and power management system incl. auto-power reset
Central multi-function key pad control and integrated data-logging.
Information by colour TV screen dashboard display.

Fuel system
72 litre AFS FT3 safety fuel with quick-change fuel control cassette
FIA Staubli dry-break fill and vent connections

18”x8” alloy for Tarmac
15”x6.5” alloy for Gravel

Length 3905mm
Width 1800mm
Height 1300mm
Wheelbase 2440mm
Front track 1543mm
Rear track 1543mm
Weight 1150kg, (Tarmac), 1200kg, (Gravel)

No comments: