Super Street Network

 |   |   |  Caterham Cars Uses Bicycle Construction Tech in Newest Chassis Design
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Caterham Cars Uses Bicycle Construction Tech in Newest Chassis Design

New chassis is first automotive application of butted tubing

Jason Udy
Mar 30, 2016

Caterham Cars has teamed up with Reynolds Technology, a bicycle tube-maker; and Simpact Engineering, a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) consultancy, to produce a new automotive chassis that is said to be 10 percent lighter than the already featherweight frame underpinning the Caterham Seven.

The three companies showed the new chassis under a Caterham Seven prototype at the Niche Vehicle Network Symposium earlier this month.

Caterham Seven butted tube chassis prototype 3 Photo 2/4   |   Caterham Seven butted tube chassis prototype 3

"Caterham has made its name as a purveyor of lightweight sportscars but we believe more can always be done to reduce weight and, therefore, emissions," Simon Lambert, chief technology officer of Caterham Cars, said in a release.

"Caterham and Reynolds are two proudly British brands and there is a real synergy between customers of Caterham and cycling enthusiasts, so it's even better that the technology that has made this possible has come from the two-wheeled world."

The new chassis features butted tubing used in bicycle manufacturing the first use of the technology for an automotive application. Caterham could offer the new butted-tube chassis as part of an optional ultra-lightweight package for the Seven. With an estimated take rate of about 20 percent, the automaker says the new chassis could add about $1,150 to $2,300 (1,000 and 2,000) to the cost of the sports car.

Caterham Seven butted tube chassis prototype 4 Photo 3/4   |   Caterham Seven butted tube chassis prototype 4

Although Reynolds first patented the original butted tube process in 1897, the company had to develop new tooling and processes for the automotive application, while Simpact provided the virtual analysis, testing, and design of the chassis.

Butted tube technology uses tubes with thicker ends and a thinner middle section allowing for a strong and lightweight construction. The process allows reductions in mass up to 50 percent on some parts without degradation in torsional stiffness or strength, according to Caterham. Low-cost mild steel also makes the chassis cheaper than using more expensive materials.

Although the automaker produced a Caterham Seven with a prototype butted-tube frame, development of the new chassis technology is ongoing. The companies say the new processes can be adopted for other vehicles using spaceframe chassis.

Source: Caterham

Caterham Seven butted tube chassis prototype 2 Photo 4/4   |   Caterham Seven butted tube chassis prototype 2
By Jason Udy
129 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

In the market for a Group B homologation special? Then you're in luck, as seven road-legal rally cars will be up for sale soon.
Conner GoldenJun 23, 2017
While you got a sweater and a gift certificate to Olive Garden for your 21st birthday. Edgar Mendoza, got himself a barely used S2K.
Aaron BonkJun 23, 2017
The next-gen Subaru WRX and STI are two and a half to three years away, according to Subaru Australia's managing director.
Alex NishimotoJun 23, 2017
Finding out if driving a MK2 Rallye Golf is everything we dreamed it would be.
Michael FebboJun 22, 2017
Polestar becomes its own company, producing high-performance electrified cars, but will still maintain a strong partnership with Volvo.
Michael CantuJun 21, 2017
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP