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Monday, August 16, 2010

Reynard Inverter sports car EV version in development

(click to enlarge)

THE Reynard Inverter sports car, so-called because it produces enough downforce at 160km/h to theoretically drive upside-down on the ceiling of a tunnel, has passed the British Individual Vehicle Assessment (IVA) to make it road-legal.

A brainchild of race car constructor Dr Adrian Reynard and race engineer Andre Brown, the 445kg Inverter is claimed to be capable of producing 1180kg of downforce and sustaining more than 3g in corners on road tyres.

In the UK, a track-ready Inverter powered by a 132kW 1000cc Honda Fireblade engine and with a top speed of 217km/h can be had for £35,000 ($61,000). A 147kW, 1340cc Suzuki Hayabusa engine is also available, with further versions powered by car engines and even an EV under development.

A franchise system is being considered to enable third parties to manufacture the cars internationally. One of the aims of the Inverter project is to become a “virtual car company” with manufacture and assembly of the vehicles outsourced so that the company can focus on design and development.

Significantly, on page 13 of the company’s brochure, they include the description of a 145kW Inverter EV with a 240km road range, dropping to under 50km under race conditions. 

The specs given are a 60 kWh Kokam battery powering a Evo Electric Axial Flux PM DC motor via a Zilla Z1k controller. Seeing as the Evo motor is 3 phase BLDC and the Zilla only works on brushed DC motors we'd say the Reynard EV version was in the VERY early stages of development. They are however open to partners willing to assist. Such a technical gaffe is ironic given the cars name.

Dr Adrian Reynard built his first racing car in 1973 as a student. In 1979, he drove cars of his own design to win the European and British Formula Ford 2000 championships. The race car designer and builder went on to become a founder of the BAR Formula 1 team. To this day, he continues to provide consultancy and test facilities to motorsport.

Andre Brown, who met Mr Reynard through the Motorsport Industry Association, has an Engineering degree from Bath University and founded his own company, Hartham, for the purpose of race car design and development.

Mr Reynard’s interest in low-cost manufacturing and a desire to produce a road car led him to team up with Brown to design a road-legal sports car capable of competing in the 750MC Bikesports championship that would be easy to construct using automated, computerised and robotic techniques.

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