3640. Colin Chapman and Automotive Mass Properties

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Title3640. Colin Chapman and Automotive Mass Properties
Publication TypeConference Paper
Paper Number3640
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWiegand, B. P.
Conference74th Annual Conference, Alexandria, Virginia
Conference LocationAlexandria, Virginia
PublisherSociety of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc.
Date Published05/2015

As a small start-up company competing against long established automotive concerns such as Ferrari, Colin Chapman’s Lotus Engineering Company1 did not have the capability to gain advantage through advanced engine design, or even via the design of most of the other major mechanical systems. Most such components were commercially sourced, and so the only way a decisive advantage could be obtained was through an uncompromising emphasis on gaining performance “edges” from the remaining design elements of structure, body, and suspension. Because the automotive performance aspects of acceleration, braking, and handling are so dependent on various vehicle mass properties the optimization of those mass properties became the “Holy Grail” of Lotus design as directed by Colin Chapman.

Key Words31. Weight Engineering - Surface Transportation
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