Before we got to the fun of cutting and welding, the team worked out several different drafts of what the car might look like.
In the Spring semester of 2008, this was our final model:
The Redshift has the chassis of a Subaru Sambar, which is a type of microvan, and the body of a Honda Civic. The Civic’s cabin was sliced lengthwise and widthwise to make it shorter and slimmer, then welded back together to form a smaller body and fitted to the Sambar’s chassis.
Welding the lengthwise halves back together, February 2009:
Cornell 100+ MPG also presented the Redshift at the New York State fair in Syracuse last year, drawing an extremely diverse crowd with the partly finished vehicle.
The Redshift, designed to be a two door coupe, would seat four passengers and have 10 cubic feet of cargo space. It was outfitted with a UQM Power Phase 125 motor which could hit a peak of 167 hp (125kW) and a 1.4L Volkswagen TDI engine, which runs on B20 Biodiesel (20% Biodiesel 80% conventional Diesel). The battery pack is made up of lithium iron cells manufactured by Chang’s Ascending Energy. The batteries, with a capacity of 15.5 KWh and weighing in at 500lbs create no heat generation issues, are relatively cheap to manufacture, and provide high bursts of energy.
By this time, the Redshift was estimated to achieve over 100 MPGe, could accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.5 seconds, and run for 60 miles on electric power only, and 200 miles total.
On November 7th and 8th of 2009, the Redshift was taken out for its first test drives. A video of the test drives can be found here: http://ow.ly/Aml5
For the body panels, the main materials sponsor is Amber Composites, located in the UK with General Plastics Corp also donating the foam used for making the panel molds. The Cornell Sailing team also played a major part in the fabrication and design of the body panels.
We began milling the foam late in the summer of 2009, then spent the entire fall semester sanding, painting, and prepping the female “plugs” used to layup the final panels which are made out of fiberglass. The last panels were completed in late February. They are extremely lightweight and strong and also more affordable than carbon fiber.
The team also partnered with the Morrisville State College Autobody Program in creating a transition panel that we were not able to fabricate ourselves. The panel is made of metal and is attached directly to the back of civic passenger compartment. The students and faculty from the Autobody Program also completed the bodywork, smoothing out seams, and removing any dents other other imperfections, and painted the vehicle.
And the final product…