The Zenvo Super-Car Design

In this episode, Allison and Vince explore how designers of the Zenvo super-car created a road rocket that your mom could drive.
 
Channel: Product Design Show iTunes Podcast
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In the past, high-end performance cars have been notorious for requiring a steel nerve, steady foot, and almost superhuman driving skills to harness the mindboggling power available. Luckily, you don't have to be a superman like me to drive a supercar anymore. That's because the Danish car maker, Zenvo, hit upon the unique design goal of producing a supercar that would be as at home driving on city streets as it was tearing it up the racetrack.

The founders of Zenvo took their design requirements one step further by stating that the car would have to be so easy to drive that one of their mothers would feel comfortable getting behind the wheel. Zenvo's efforts paid off in just 5 short years, the result being the ST1 a 1100 horsepower beast with a top speed of 234 mph, and the ability to race from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds. This incredible road rocket was the end-product of a unique design approach.

Zenvo engineers started off creating design drawings by hand manually building prototypes of the frame. They then incorporated CAD software to interface surface model scans of their car body with the frame prototypes that were previously built. This allowed seamless integration to provide better form and fit for the different subassemblies of the car. Whereas past hand-built supercars suffered from leaky joints, allowing water inside the cabin, in addition to other problems unbefitting cars carrying hefty price-tags, the Zenvo ST1 maintains a high standard of quality, earning it the badge of luxury supercar.

You may be asking... how is this car so fast? Well, horsepower definitely helps. But weight reduction is also key. CAD software helped the engineers at Zenvo by allowing easy changes of component shape and design to shave off weight without compromising strength. Speed is fun, but keeping the car on the road is critical. For most vehicles, Bernoulli's principle comes into effect. At higher speeds, a greater amount of lift is generated. So super-car makers have to design the underbody in a manner to produce a downforce. They do this by creating pathways that make the air flowing under the car travel farther than they would around, say, your Mom's car.