As the demand for shorter product development cycles grows, there is an increasing trend to replace some physical prototypes with virtual prototypes to help reduce timescales.  Prodrive CAE team has a proven track record of implementing analytical processes in real-world applications which:


  • Enhance product performance

  • Reduce costs

  • Reduce time to market

  • Reduce risk

We integrate with teams early in the product development cycle to influence and steer designs by way of analysis and data.  We find that our rigorous approach enables us to be successful across engineering sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, marine, and product design.  We ensure that we apply the correct analytical process which may include simple hand calculations, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics and systems simulation.

Our skills:

  • Load cases, performance targets and analysis procedures

  • Linear and non-linear static analysis

  • Fatigue analysis

  • Topology optimisation

  • Dynamic analysis

  • Thermal analysis

  • Design of Experiments (DOE)

  • Physical testing

Our tools:

  • Dassault Systemes Abaqus (FEA)

  • Altair Optistruct (FEA)

  • Altair Acusolve (CFD)

  • Altair HyperMesh/HyperView

  • HBM Prenscia nCode Design Life

  • Head Acoustics ArtemiS

  • Cosin FTire tyre model

  • Mathworks Matlab (Simulation and hand calculations)

  • C++


We’ve invested in the latest tyre modelling software and are already using it within our own simulation tools to help develop the next generation of active and passive suspension systems for the defence and automotive sectors, as well as for our own race and rally cars. In this simple simulation the tyre hits a 75mm step at 50 mph.


This programme, to investigate and develop a chassis/suspension system for military vehicles which require a paradigm shift in capability to meet future generation platform targets, was completed in just 78 days. Engineering feasibility was determined, issues were identified and consideration was given to factors such as occupant comfort and hardware scalability. The level of robustness achieved in the results was enough to justify the allocation of additional funding to progress the concept further. It is precisely this kind of funding go:no go milestone that demands the optimum combination of accurate yet timely information.


We have created a virtual model of a well-known large SUV to perform kinematics and compliance testing, and various manoeuvres.  Using data from ‘real world’ vehicle testing the model, which incorporates the Cosin FTire tyre model, was tuned to achieve close correlation to physical results.  Model parameters that were tuned include bush stiffness, damping values, un-sprung mass, tyre pressure, top/bottom mounts and engine mount stiffness.  The model will be used by our customer to understand the vehicle performance and how to influence its behaviour in ride quality without adversely effecting handling.


This video shows how the vehicle reacts in three different manoeuvres.


As part of a project to develop a high power 70kW inverter for use in a commercial aircraft, we had to model both heat transfer and the fluid flow properties of the coolant, which in this case was aviation fuel.  The success of the modelling led us to design a complex cooling gallery that had to be manufactured through 3D laser sintering.

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Registered office: Prodrive Holdings Limited, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 4XD
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