Sponsored by Altair, the Off-Track Awards for Vehicle Design for Prototype Vehicles recognises innovative design research and execution. It is awarded to the team that presents the most original and coherent vehicle in terms of aesthetics, ergonomics, technical feasibility, choice of materials, and eco-friendliness.
The DTU E-Supermileage team showed incredible resourcefulness and ingenuity in this year’s competition as they sought to increase the efficiency of their car at every turn. The team went through a stringent design process when developing their vehicle. They were exacting in addressing any restrictions that could reduce efficiency, deciding early on that the vehicle needed to have a low frontal area, low drag coefficient, an aerodynamic shape, and minimum weight.
With drag reduction front of mind, the team chose a teardrop shape for their car – a design that the school had used in previous Shell Eco-marathon competitions. But to increase the aerodynamic advantage of the design even further, they improved on the previous teardrop design by encasing their wheels in the vehicle body thereby reducing drag.
DTU E-Supermileage started with a clear aesthetic in mind, taking inspiration from the eye-catching Batmobile depicted in DC Comics and the dramatic Lamborghini Aventador. Incredibly, the team were able to find the perfect balance between the striking shapes of these vehicles, while maintaining effective aerodynamic design.
The team perfected the design of their vehicle using computer-aided design software. To find the balance between aerodynamic performance and aesthetics, the team relied heavily on testing facilities, running 2,500 wind tunnel simulations in the process.
Once the team finalised the vehicle design, they turned its attention to weight reduction, opting for carbon fibre as the principal material for construction to reduce weight. In addition, the team used several other innovative methods to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, including:
DTU E-Supermileage’s vehicle was an incredible success. The vehicle secured third place at the 2019 Shell Eco-marathon competition in India with a mileage of 138 Km/kWh. Riding the wave of their performance, the team achieved coverage in many prestigious newspapers and on social media, securing stories that commented favourably on the vehicle’s incredible design.
Learn more about the winning team