Muscat: A stronger, lighter and more fuel efficient car is the weapon of choice for its designers, a group of German University of Technology (GUtech) students, at this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia which kicks off on March 3.
The group, would represent Oman at the 4-day event being held in Manila, the Philippines.
The street circuit in Manila tests the boundaries of fuel efficiency and the winners are not measured by speed but on who can design a car that can drive the furthest on one litre of fuel.
“The car is built completely from scratch with extensive use of carbon fibre, as it is stronger and lighter than aluminum or steel,” said Adhir Kallingapuram, a student at GUtech while adding that this competition is a great platform for engineering students to show their skills and gain knowledge. Except for the engine, everything in this year’s car is new.
“With respect to the design, we stuck to the tear drop design like, last year, as it occupies least surface area and causes less drag,” Adhir added. Describing the building process, he said that his team started out by using laser cutting technology to make the endoskeleton for the mould of the body.
“After assembling the various laser cut outs we had the endoskeleton of the mould. The mould was then ready after applying foam and many hours of sanding to achieve the perfect shape,” the engineering student added.
Adhir, who likes to describe himself as a “petrol head” said that the next step was to apply carbon fibre to the mould which is quite difficult.
“It is the same procedure with the monocoque chassis. Again, to reduce weight every single component of the car is made out of carbon fibre except for the engine, wheels, seat harness, side mirrors and the steering wheel,” he said.
Last year GUtech came fifth at the competition by completing 142.7km on a litre of diesel.
“We hope with our much lighter and improved car we can score a better position than 5th,” said Mohamed Salman, a member of the team.
The team members are Mohammed Omer, MobashirKabir, Mohammad Shiveh. Kesh, Tejas Janardhan, Abdul Aziz Chowdhury, Issa Al Habsi, Mohamed Salman, Mohammed Essam, NavaneethSadasivan, Adhir Kallingapuram, Yousef Dak Al Bab, Aymen El Yatmi, Azeem Khan.
However, only four students will travel to Manila this year. “Since the competition isn’t a race, but a mileage run and an amazing experience to live, it is a win-win for everyone,” Adhir concluded.
Besides GUtech, student teams from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE) will be also representing the Sultanate at the event next week.