Features At A Glance
0-60 mph: 3.6 s
Weight: 456 lb
Power/Weight: 350 hp/ton
Top Speed: 98 mph
Max Lat. Acceleration: 1.6 G’s
The 2013 Penn State FSAE car, in a word, was a revolution. Almost every component of the car was redesigned. Some of the more notable changes include the addition of aerodynamics package, the redesigning of suspension system and the utilization of the more reliable four-cylinder motor. Finally, we added a dazzling vinyl finish so that the aesthetics of the car matched the performance. ? This year’s car weighed in at 456 lbs, resulting in 350 hp/ton finding its rightful place parallel to the upcoming 2014 C7 Corvette power-to-weight ratio. With a blazing 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and a 1.6 G lateral acceleration, a well-rounded car was embedded in the minds of all.
The MoTeC CDL3 was used this year in order to gain live data acquisition and post-processed visual aids. By logging numerous data channels that were designed and built by the team, we were then able to study them after practice sessions. This allowed drivers to see specific data and improve for subsequent runs. The CDL3 also provided a simple dash unit where we monitored readings such as temperature, RPMs, speed, and air-fuel ratio. We are still using the Drexler clutch-pack differential. This limited slip differential not only saved some considerable weight, but also allowed the driver to apply more power earlier when exiting a corner, thus maximizing the performance that can be gained from our four-cylinder engine.
In the past, we utilized the Alternate Frame rules in order to use Titanium 6Al-4AV, resulting in a stronger and lighter car frame; however, it demands more time to assemble. In the effort of increasing reliability, we abandoned the Alternate Frame rules and used 4130 Chromoly Steel instead, for the entire frame of the car. The extra time gained from using normal material for the frame was used for testing and fine-tuning the car, delivering a much better result as stated in the opening paragraph. Our team used 10” Hoosier LC-0 tires for the past three years. This year, we changed our convention, utilizing the wider 10” Hoosier R25B for maximum performance. As for the shocks, we retained the Kaz Technologies Penske shocks, designed and built specifically for Formula SAE use.
One of the most notable improvements in the 2013 design was the composite components. VARTM and CNC milled heavy production process led to more time saved and cleaner fabrication results. Wings were made adjustable to suit the needs of the driver and the particular dynamic event. The aerodynamics sub-team accomplished this by incorporating a simple design in order to switch from say acceleration mode to autocross in less than two minutes. These improvements in composites and fabrication were made possible with assistance from Penn State Applied Research Laboratory and Dr. Tom Juska. Our team looks forward to further advancing its composites capabilities in upcoming years, namely by adding a diffuser. While the team will be concentrating more on extracting the highest potential of the car for the 2014 season, innovative designs and reliability will still be part of the equation.