Driving towards the future of car manufacturing

Posted on 11 Dec 2014 by Jonny Williamson

Design and development firm, MarchantCain Design has launched two new performance car innovations built around active aerodynamics, which it says will improve the performance of new vehicles and increase their fuel efficiencies.

The Midlands-based firm used the international Advanced Engineering Show to demonstrate its advanced concept active aerodynamic system and a new active diffuser system. The projects, which have been in research and development at the company’s Coventry premises, are already attracting the attention of a number of niche automotive OEMs.

MarchantCain has revealed that it will be demonstrating the innovative designs again at the forthcoming Autosport International Show at Birmingham NEC on January 9, during a workshop in conjunction with the Motorsport Industry Association.

Rob Marchant, managing director at MarchantCain: “There is now a drive to reduce the weight of vehicles while maintaining their overall functionality and performance. By deploying active aerodynamics, a vehicle can effectively add mass when it is required, while remaining lightweight and fuel efficient during normal operation.

“Active aerodynamics has been used in automotive design for many years when managing downforce and drag, but we are taking this technology further for niche vehicles and developing solutions that can be incorporated into mass produced vehicles; designing, prototyping and manufacturing our solutions from scratch.”

The company’s active aerodynamic system controls downforce on supercars and allows a vehicle to modify aerodynamic forces to maintain optimum performance levels. Described as an “industry-first move”, the system is electronically actuated instead of necessitating the use of hydraulics, which makes it lighter and faster than existing systems, enabling vehicle manufacturers to meet lower emissions obligations.

MarchantCain’s products have already caught the attention of German vehicle manufacturer Porsche, and its new underbody diffusers are fitted to the Porsche 918 Spyder model. Active aerodynamics have the advantage of being able to be driver-deployed for driving at various speeds and conditions; to achieve minimum drag for lower fuel consumption; to balance drag for downforce and high driving stability at speed, and to produce maximum downforce for best performance.