PRODRIVE / ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY / CASE STUDIES

CASE STUDIES

Prodrive Advanced Technology has worked with many different clients, in many different sectors on a wide variety projects using a range of skills here is just a selection.

AUTOMOTIVE : ELECTRIFICATION

FORD TRANSIT HYBRID

We helped Ford create the first Transit PHEV (Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle).  We were responsible for the integration of the hybrid powertrain systems into an existing Transit platform without any modifications to the engine bay or load capacity.  We also built the first 20 vehicles, to near production standards for year long trials in London.  The vehicles were so good that, in the words of Mark Harvey, Ford director, Urban Electrified Van programme: “This trial is the first time Ford has given such early prototype vehicles to customers, and we’ve been able to incorporate their feedback directly into the production van.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive – operators don’t want to give them back.” 

AUTOMOTIVE : ELECTRIFICATION

VOLTA ELECTRIC TRUCK

We are working with Volta Trucks to help bring their zero emission, fully electric mid-sized truck to fruition as fast as possible. Volta is designing its city delivery vehicle from scratch to fully exploit the benefits of an electric powertrain; optimising its payload and creating a safer truck for urban roads.  We are currently building the first working prototype in our workshops ready for initial customer drives.

AEROSPACE : ELECTRIFICATION

ROLLS ROYCE

We have been working with Rolls Royce to help them develop electric fuel pumps for their commercial jet engines.  The complex motor control software used an new architecture called FlexRay which allowed us to control the test rig motor using one, two or three phases.

DEFENCE : CHASSIS

NEW CHASSIS/SUSPENSION APPROACH

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.

AUTOMOTIVE : INTERIOR SYSTEMS

RANGE ROVER SV AUTBIOGRAPHY​

Prodrive designed and manufactured the rear centre console module for the Range Rover SVAutobiography. It is the most sophisticated interior system for a car ever created and features electrically deployable tray tables for both rear occupants, as well as a drinks chiller and all the controls for the in car entertainment system.  Prodrive manufactured up to 20 units a week and supplied them direct to the Range Rover production line.

AEROSPACE : POWER ELECTRONICS COOLING GALLERIES

As part of a project to develop a high power 70kW inverter for use in a commercial aircraft engines, 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.

AUTOMOTIVE : COMPLEX CONTROL SYSTEMS

ACTIVE AERO

We developed the electro-hydraulic control system for the most sophisticated active aero system on any road car.  The forces of up to 6000 N on the rear wing meant we had to look outside the automotive industry for suitable hydraulic systems. We subsequently manufactured this system and delivered them to the production line.  We are also working on further similar systems for other vehicle manufacturers.

MARINE : ELECTRO-MECHANICAL CONTROL

LAND ROVER BAR AMERICA'S CUP

We developed all the control systems for the Land Rover BAR America's Cup yacht.  Our hydraulic systems controlled the foils enabling Sir Ben Ainslie to precisely balance the boat to optimise its performance, we also the develop the control systems for the 'wing' (sail) and manufactured the electrical wiring harnesses to withstand the extreme wet and salty environment.

AUTOMOTIVE : CHASSIS

LARGE SUV MODELLING

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.

AUTOMOTIVE : CHASSIS

BASE CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT

We designed and developed a new rear independent suspension system from concept to production for a major vehicle manufacturer. Its application was on six new premium vehicles across two platforms.  As part of the project, we identified a tier one production partner and set up a resident engineering team at the client from the early concept phase. We also designed, sourced and manufactured the prototypes and supported the build of the mule vehicle at our client’s premises.

MULTI-SECTOR : ELECTRIFICATION

MULTIPORT DC-DC CONVERTER

We developed a silicon carbide-based multiport DC-DC converter

which controls power flow between multiple energy sources.  Silicon carbide devices operate at a much higher frequency than equivalent silicon components with a significant reduction in switching losses. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the size of the magnetic components and has enabled the converter to a class leading efficiency of 98.7%, a gravimetric power density of 10.5kW/kg and a volumetric power density of 20kW/litre

AUTOMOTIVE : CHASSIS

ACTIVE CHASSIS SYSTEMS

Our Active Torque Dynamics (ATD) system has been applied to more than 20 vehicles ranging from high performance front, rear and four-wheel cars to SUVs and even a CAT six wheeler off highway dumper truck.  Our ATD system was the forerunner to the now commonly termed 'Torque Vectoring'.

AUTOMOTIVE : INTERIOR SYSTEMS

VOLVO S90 ​EXCELLENCE

The Volvo S90 Excellence removes the front passenger seat to give the rear occupant optimal space and legroom.  Prodrive has created the lounge console which deploys a screen and has a lockable compartment.  The prototype was put through 15,000 cycles to prove its reliability has passed all crash testing and all the strict NVH targets set by Volvo.  Prodrive will also assemble the units at its headquarters in the UK

AUTOMOTIVE : POWERTRAIN

ASTON MARTIN VULCAN

We helped Aston Martin develop the 800 bhp V12 engine for the Aston Martin Vulcan, a limited edition track only car.  

We also built all 24 engines at our in house engine test and development centre.

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