December 14, 2006 Students from Cranfield University, one of Western Europe’s largest academic centres for strategic and applied research development and design, have been awarded the innovation prize at The Société des Ingénieurs de l'Automobile’s (SIA), Styling and Technical competition for designing ‘The Most Affordable Dream Car’. The Dscar has four wheels positioned in a diamond shape around the car’s chassis and apparently it handles like a go-kart. Designed primarily for extreme sports lovers and for weekend or track day use only, the car provides a very different ride – it’s very light, just 500kg, and powered by a Toyota 3 cylinder 68bhp engine. The DScar is made from mass produced car parts, so can be manufactured very easily and economically. A panel of international experts recognised DScar for its radically different diamond shaped design, unique style and unusual driving experience.
Every year, the SIA, the French equivalent of the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), invite Design and Engineering students internationally to compete in the Styling & Technical competition. This year students were tasked with designing ‘the most affordable dream car’ and writing a report about the technical and style aspects of the car. In addition to being a ‘dream car’ it could cost no more than £5000, had to carry 3 people, be fuel-efficient and was strictly ruled on emissions.
The students were presented with their award at the Paris Motor Show by Yves Dubreil (Vice-president in charge of Engineering and Innovation at RENAULT) and Ghislaine Pinson (Responsable Tendance Style et Technique Marché mondial at VALEO).
The Engineering students spent months designing DScar. With its four wheels positioned in a diamond shape around the car’s chassis – the design is completely new and unique. Designed primarily for extreme sports lovers and for weekend or track day use only, the car provides a very different ride – it’s very light, just 500kg, and powered by a Toyota 3 cylinder 68bhp engine. The DScar is made from mass produced car parts, so can be manufactured very easily and economically.
Nicolas Sergent, a student at Cranfield and member of the winning team commented, "This competition was a great challenge and a good opportunity to use all the skills we’ve learnt in the Automotive MSc. We are very happy with this innovation prize we won and the fantastic feedback we received. This was a perfect way to show the industrials what students can do!"
The Styling & Technical competition is backed by a number of well-known automakers and equipment manufacturers and is primarily designed to enable a project development team made up of students from different fields to work together in a real working environment and to prepare students for a future in car design and innovation. In addition to being impressed with the design of DScar, the judges also recognised the team’s unfaltering professionalism, despite the fact that two of their engineers were based in Paris, one in the UK and the 2 stylists were based in Valenciennes.
Cranfield University is one of Western Europe’s largest academic centres for strategic and applied research, development and design. It is unique in its entirely postgraduate focus. The university is made up of three campuses Cranfield, Silsoe and Shrivenham:
* Cranfield: School of Applied Sciences (SAS), School of Engineering (SOE), School of Management (SOM).
* Silsoe: Cranfield Health. (Note: Silsoe’s current Environmental courses are now operated via School of Applied Sciences on the main Cranfield campus and will be taught entirely at Cranfield from October 2006. Health will relocate over the coming 18 to 24 months)
* Shrivenham: The Defence College of Management and Technology