What are the most memorable things you've done back in college? Made a thesis about fungi in mangoes? Drank lots of beer during spring breaks? Whatever it was, I bet it's not as cool as what these Clemson University engineering students did.
Honda R&D Americas Inc. (HRA) came up with the idea to challenge students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) to build a rallycross racecar that is exciting to drive as it is clean, fuel-efficient, and safe. The students rose up for the challenge and completed the project after two years.
Who says hybrid cars aren't fast?
The resulting car is called the Deep Orange 9 – a Honda Civic that's fitted with a hybrid powertrain. To create the project, the students took a Civic prototype, placed a 2.0L gasoline engine in the middle of the car, and employ electric motors under the hood. The gasoline engine sends 400 horsepower to the rear wheels, while the electric motors push 200 horsepower to the front axle. All these power are sent via a six-speed sequential gearbox. With the use of regenerative braking technology, the students were able to improve fuel economy by 30% – all while driving a 600-hp Civic.
Now, how fast is the Deep Orange 9? It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour within two seconds.
As for handling, the CU-ICAR students used four-wheel steering for fast cornering. This is then combined with semi-active suspension, which is a great call for a rallycross racecar. It's also equipped with long-travel suspension so it has the capability to tackle jumps and jockeying that are huge parts of rally races.
The best part is, aside from the exhilarating performance of the car, the Deep Orange 9 produces less hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions. It can also run in full-electric mode. Nice.
Source: Clemson University Newsstand