MR-16 vehicle is designed to minimize mass and CG height, as well as compacting devices to maximize aero performance. A hybrid chassis consisting of a carbon monocoque and rear steel space frame is integrated with the aero and suspension packages. It uses a NA 599cc 4-cylinder engine with 93 octane fuel and a custom 4-speed transmission. A Bosch ECU with wireless telemetry and data logging, along with an electronic paddle shifting system are baseline components of the electronics.
The MR-16 chassis is comprised of a hybrid monocoque and rear steel space frame in order to optimize weight and manufacturing time. Materials of choice for the monocoque include preimpregnated Cytec weave and Toray unidirectional carbon fiber, combined with aluminum honeycomb core.
An SLA suspension allowed the team to create a light-weight, easily designable, and easily adjustable system. Full vehicle simulations were used to select ride rates for ride-height sensitive aerodynamics, with validation being conducted on-track.
The aerodynamics package is designated to maximizing dynamic vertical loading on tires with minimum added weight. The system goals were set with MR-15 as a benchmark while recognizing the limits of manufacturing time and budget. Goals included 890 N of downforce @ 65 kph, a Cl/Cd greater than 2.5, and a total mass of 18 kg.
The MR-16 is powered by a naturally-aspirated Honda CBR600RR inline 4-cylinder engine fueled by 93 octane gasoline for maximum overall output. The overall strategy of the engine team was to use an iterative design process combining analytical and numerical calculations followed by physical testing on an engine dynamometer and validation on vehicle. To meet our vehicle performance goal, the powertrain must deliver efficient and drivable power across a sufficiently wide RPM range while also decreasing mass and rotating inertia.
Electronic control systems on MR-16 include: traction control, electronic shifting control, and acceleration event control. The traction control uses 4 wheel speeds and gear position to meet a target slip ratio by reducing torque with spark timing retardation. Target slip ratios were determined through simulation and on-track testing. Electronic shifting control uses a 12:1 DC motor to actuate the shift drum. The shifting control system cuts fuel on upshifts to allow for 80 millisecond no-lift shifting. The shifting system also includes LED shifting indicators and gear position feedback for the driver. The acceleration event control system uses launch control to maintain a constant RPM before launch and then automatically shifts at the optimal engine speed.
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