Powersliding a Seven

As the proud owner of a Seven clone I have been keeping an eye out for Seven related videos and this one is perfect advertisement for the car. Track4Fun, who are track day organizers and the official Caterham importers for Italy posted this wonderful in-car video of some Caterham owners powersliding their cars around a European racetrack. Hit play to see just how much fun it is to drift a Caterham R500 on a cold winter morning. The second video shows what occasionally happens when you get a little too ambitious with the throttle

[via Axis of Oversteer]

Autocar crown Evora “Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2009”

The Lotus Evora shows its pedigree fending off tough competition from the world’s best driver’s cars to become Autocar favourite.

The competition included rigorous road and track assessment, using the stunning roads around the South Downs and the fantastic high speed corners at the Goodwood race circuit. The feature included driver’s cars from Aston Martin, Nissan, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini and Jaguar.

Chas Hallet, Autocar Editor said about the Evora, “The best here. Brilliant on the track. Nimble, delicate and forgiving. Even better on the road.”

Autocar magazine in summing up the competition added, “Decisions don’t come much more clear cut than this, with nine out of 10 judges placing the Evora first. This contest is about finding a car that is not only technically capable, but also thrilling and engaging wherever you drive it, and the Lotus nails those criteria”.

The unique mid-engined 2+2 Lotus Evora combines a super stiff extruded and bonded Aluminium chassis with decades of vehicle dynamics knowledge employed to tune its race car derived double wishbone suspension. The result is a great driver’s car that offers exceptionally high levels of ultimate grip, with performance and braking to match.

Roger Becker, Vehicle Engineering Director said, “The dynamic ability and driving experience of the Evora were the foundation of the engineering process and we are delighted that Autocar has recognised this by giving the Evora this accolade. The Evora offers the great Lotus driving experience in a very comfortable, practical, refined and efficient package, and with only 205 g/km of CO2 it shows that the Evora is a supercar for the 21st century.”

Luke Bennett, Director of Lotus Cars commented, “We are really pleased to win this title as it not only demonstrates the engineering expertise and brilliant manufacturing at Lotus, but also asserts our position in this very exclusive and competitive sector. There is huge global demand for the Evora and to cope with this high demand we are taking on over 150 manufacturing staff, which is roughly a 30% increase.”

Click here to watch Steve Sutcliffe talk about the Evora driving experience. The full article is on the Autocar website.

Tony Shute on the Evora Development cycle

TheManufacuturer.com has a fantastic video of a Tony Shute presentation on the design decisions and the development process that went into the creation of the Lotus Evora. It a bit tech heavy and quite long (38 min) but is definitely worth the watch and I guarantee that it will absolutely delight the engineer inside you.

Some of the highlights:

  1. Went from a clean sheet to final production in 27 months
  2. The front crash structure was designed and tested independent of the rest of the car
  3. The aluminum wishbones on both sides of the front and the rear uppers use the same tooling
  4. Headlight tooling was developed in China but uses UK parts
  5. Radiator acts as a front wing and generates downforces
  6. Main chassis consists of 20 extrusions
  7. Prototypes were built on the manufacturing line

Click here to watch the video

[TheManufacturer via LotusEnthusiast]

Health benefits of Autocrossing

At the last GGLC autocross Alex and I decided to try out a little experiment to see how your heart rate changes during the race. We used a Polar S720i to record his heart rate, an iPhone for video and a DL1 data logger to record G-force and speed readings. I used some simple PHP magic to sync the two data files together and used the Chasecam Dashware system to create this finished video.

You can see the speed, heart rate (BPM), longitudinal G (acceleration + braking) and lateral G in the dashboard on the top of the video. His average heart rate was in the low nineties while on the grid and rises to to 101 just before the start of the run. As the run progresses you can see it quickly rise all the way to 145 bpm by the end of the 45 second run. Just as interesting is the way his heart rate falls as soon as the run ends and drops to the low 130s just 10 seconds after the run. So now if anyone asks you why you autocross just say its for the health benefits 😉

Unfortunately the video quality is not as perfect and the heart rate only updates every 5 seconds but all in all it was a successful test of the system. I have already ordered a Polar RS800CX (1 sec resolution) and I plan to run this same setup for the duration of the Lemons race at Buttonwillow next month. So stay tuned for the health benefits of endurance racing 😀

The perfect lap of Hethel

Check out this great video of Gavan Kershaw (Executive Engineer, Chassis Department) describing a lap of the Hethel track in a Lotus 211.

And once you’ve seen that watch the full-on flying lap below.

Click through to read the Drivers Republic review of the naturally aspirated Lotus 211