A color change and, more importantly, a switch to all-wheel drive in the search for speed is debuted as the electric-vehicle wizards of Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveil their 2019 electric race car.
No longer the MIT Pantone 201 red, the 551-lb. (250-kg) vehicle, entered in SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series competition June 19-22 in Lincoln, NE, now is black.
Mechanical lead, driver Jeremy Noel says the 50-member motorsports team has added two DHX Hawk 40s motors to drive the front wheels in addition to a single Emrax 228 MV motor propelling the rear wheels.
“We can deliver more power to the ground and the car will be faster,” Noel says in a statement.
Team captain Serena Grown-Haeberli says the car’s expected 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time is 2.6 seconds.
“Expected top speed (is) about 80 mph (128.75 km/h) – our tight coursework doesn't reward a higher top speed,” she tells WardsAuto. Peak power output is 80 kW (107 hp), due to competition regulations.
“(It’s a) student-designed, student-built mechanical and electrical system.”
A redesign of the 9.1-kWh battery pack switches from forced-air cooling with fans to water cooling by pumping water through the modules.
The team also has developed control systems for the open-wheeled electric racecar, including power limiting, launch control and torque vectoring.
The team formed in 2001, co-founded by mathematics major Nick Gidwani and mechanical engineering major Richard James.
The Collegiate Design Series has attracted the maximum 30 entries with seven teams on a waitlist.
The event takes students beyond textbook theory by having them design, build and test the performance of a real vehicle and then compete against other students.
“Students also gain valuable exposure with recruiters from leading companies in the mobility industry to help land their first engineering job after graduation,” organizers say.
Last year’s event was won by the University of Pennsylvania, with MIT finishing 10th. A year earlier, MIT was second to Penn State.