Weight. The less weight one has to carry around, the faster and nimbler one will be. Take a look at professional cyclists – small dudes (on really lightweight carbon bikes). Take a look at Formula 1 cars – they are piloted by small dudes (on really lightweight carbon cars). See a pattern here?
Back in the 50′s a fellow by the name of Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman founded an automotive house that specialized in extremely lightweight cars powered by (of all things) twincam inline four cylinder engines of small displacement. No, they did not have carbon back then – they had aluminium. Lotus Cars became a major force in the automotive world, producing very quick and nimble cars. Basically he proved that very lightweight cars could be extremely competitive… The holy grail: the lighter a car is, the quicker it will not only accelerate but it will stop.
Well, the ECOTEC TR4 was built based on this premise. If you look close enough at the photo above you will see things that are not in your average TR4: for one, the hard top; then the bonnet is missing the ‘bulge’ and believe it or not, the boot lid is not ‘original’. All of these three components have been hand crafted from aluminium. To save even more weight, the glass in the hardtop shown above is not exactly glass… It is plex.
Close inspection of the pic above also shows the ECOTEC TR4 sitting on scales. The silver case in the middle holds a Longacre automotive scale. This is where things get interesting. I’m sure you know where I’m going here. So what is the total weight of this car?
Let’s start at the front, shall we?
That is it: 984 lbs, 47.2% of the total weight is on the front wheels.
Not let’s take a look at the rear:
That is 1099 lbs, 52.7% of total weight is on the rear wheels.
And finally, the total:
Total weight: 2083 lbs. Now keep in mind a few things: the frame is brand new, made from scratch. The ECOTEC is all aluminium and the car was put on scales with an oversize fuel tank, 90% full. Not bad huh?
Comments? Questions? Let me know…