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USM 08

USM08 marked a departure from previous USM cars and was designed from a clean sheet of paper.


As with previous USM cars, a Honda CBR 600cc engine was used to power USM08. Dynamometer testing was used to maximise the performance of engine, whilst an in-house designed and manufacture flow-bench was used to develop the engine's free-flowing intake system. Whilst an intercooled turbocharger set-up was developed for USM08, the added complexity and development time to complete the project proved prohibitive so USM08 was run naturally aspirated at all competitions.


To deliver the engine's power to the track, Goodyear slick tyres designed especially for Formula Student were chosen after analysing tyre data which the team purchased from the Formula SAE Tyre Testing Consortium. The use of physical tyre data allowed the car to be designed "from the tyre in" with the tyre chosen first and the suspension designed to maximise the grip available from the tyres.


With three floating disc-brakes used to stop USM08, the single rear disc was mounted to the differential which was lightened compared to previous units by replacing the cast-iron casing with a custom machined aluminium unit. Further improvements to the drive train were made with the use of tripod constant velocity joints and integrating the rear hubs, stub axles and constant velocity joint housings into one unit.


The newly designed engine systems, suspension, brakes and drive-train allied to a steel-spaceframe chassis designed for maximum rigidity and lightweight using extensive Finite Element Analysis proved to be a successful combination. USM08 performed flawlessly in testing and at both Formula Student UK and Germany, in the process completing USM's fourth and fifth successive Endurance finishes.


Vital Stats

  • Wheelbase: 1575mm

  • Track (front/rear): 1200mm/1220mm

  • Weight (front/rear, 70kg driver seated): 150kg/160kg

  • Chassis: Mild steel spaceframe construction

  • Engine: Honda CBR 600cc (20mm intake restrictor)

  • Fuel: Shell V-Power

  • Electronics: DTAFast programmable ECU, Race Technology DL1 data-acquisition system

  • Transmission: Standard bike sequential gearbox, chain driven Zexel Torsen Limited Slip differential

  • Brakes: Twin outboard front disc brakes, single central mounted rear disc brake, mild steel floating discs, Wilwood calipers front, ISR caliper rear

  • Wheels: 13" X 7" 3piece wheels with student designed cast aluminium centre

  • Tyres: Goodyear Eagle FSAE Slick 20.0x7-13 

  • Suspension: Non-parallel unequal length double wishbone suspension front and rear, pullrod actuated four-way adjustable Ohlins/Cane Creek dampers (FSAE edition), adjustable anti-roll bars

  • Bodywork: Glass fibre / Kevlar side pods and nose cone, carbon fibre floor

  • Safety: FIA approved 6-point harness, quick release steering wheel, frontal impact attenuator

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