Footnote Today – September 25, 2013

2015 Audi A8 To Use Polymer Composite Wheels

2015 Audi A8 L; Photo: Motor Authority

2015 Audi A8 L; Photo: Motor Authority

The updated 2015 Audi A8 will get a new set of wheels made from a somewhat unusual material. Instead of aluminum, the wheels will be made of a plastic composite material called Chromtec. The wheels’ manufacturer, Lacks Wheel Trim Systems, says the wheel comprises “a lightweight structural backbone and a design surface that consists of a proprietary high-impact modified polymer, proprietary urethane cellular foam system and true metallic finishes.”

The plastic rims, it says, will have a “true metallic finish,” so they should still shine like metal wheels. What’s the advantage of making a wheel out of plastic? As Colin Chapman would say, they “add lightness.” Lacks says the A8’s new wheels eliminate 38.8 pounds of weight per vehicle against conventional metal wheels.

Removing weight from a car benefits fuel economy, acceleration, and handling–and in a big sedan like the A8, any weight savings is a significant achievement. Making the wheels lighter could also result in a big reduction in unsprung weight, yielding extra benefits both for handling and ride comfort.

Source: Motor Authority

Footnote – Here Comes Quiet Wheels!

Besides engine noise and wind noise, another very irritating noise that finds its way into car cabins and degrade Comfort and Convenience and luxury is road noise, that is, noise from the tires rolling on the tarmac.

While automakers build attenuation materials into the chassis, doors, and windows of a vehicle, one area that hasn’t gotten quite as much attention is the wheels.

Besides saving weight and improving driving dynamics, one thing building wheels out of polyurethane can achieve is noise attenuation. This is because polyurethane itself is a rigid thermoset foam upon forming. The polymer has enjoyed use as high-Performance insulation material. The wheels can be designed to absorbed rolling noise from the tires in high frictional contact with the ground.

Another improvement in noise attenuation can come from the glass filling of the composite material. Glass is added upon forming during the reaction injection molding process to increase the structural stiffness and thermal stability of the polymer. While the process guarantees equal weight-bearing strength as high-strength steel or aluminum – glass is also a good noise absorber – it opens the window to the possibility of quiet wheels.

Hyundai Rockets into SEMA with 1,000 HP Genesis Coupe

Bisimoto delivers 1,000 horsepower out of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec; Photo: The Detroit Bureau

Bisimoto delivers 1,000 horsepower out of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec; Photo: The Detroit Bureau

For those who’re sad to see the leaves begin to turn colors and the day get shorter there is a reason to feel excited about the arrival of autumn: the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas. And if Hyundai’s teaser release is any indication, this could be a good year at the annual aftermarket extravaganza.

Consider, if you will, the idea of stuffing a 1,000-pony powertrain package under the hood of a Hyundai Genesis Coupe. That’s one of the big announcements the Korean carmaker has in store for the upcoming Specialty Equipment Marketers Association event at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The result of a partnership with Bisimoto Engineering, the package starts out with a factory-stock 3.8-liter V-6 from the Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec edition. Of course, there’s a lot more going on, including twin turbochargers, to transform this into what Hyundai calls “a no-holds-barred racer.”

“The key to producing reliable, high-horsepower engines goes well beyond the design, engineering and fabrication of performance parts. The core powerplant must be strong enough to withstand advanced modifications. The Genesis Coupe 3.8-liter Lambda engine is a thoroughly robust powerplant, and Bisimoto Engineering is excited to develop it to its full potential for the rigors of competitive motorsport,” said Bisi Ezerioha, owner of Bisimoto Engineering.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

Footnote – Bisi Ezerioha Fired!

Last year, 2012, Bisi Ezerioha’s Bisimoto Engineering designed and built the most powerful Hyundai in the world, a 602 WHP 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT, and showcased it at the SEMA event in Las Vegas.

WHP, or wheel horsepower, can be a better way to communicate the real (or active) power coming from an engine (the power that actually moves the vehicle) because it is measured at the wheels by a chassis dynamometer, or rolling road, after some power has already spun the transmission, alternator, water pump, fuel pump, just about everything that takes direct power from the engine. Wheel horsepower may be akin to torque.

This achievement now will surpass that one. That is, for Hyundai. You see, Bisimoto Engineering has designed and built (or tuned) more powerfully charged Porsche 911’s and Hondas. The question I like us to ask is why would Bisi do that?

The answer lies in Bisi Ezerioha’s (born Ndubisi Ezerioha) love for speed. The professional racing driver and drag race enthusiast just loves to see things driven fast and quick, and has to engineer and build them if they didn’t already exist. And if they do to make them to his taste (or delight) of fast and quick.

His love for engineering high-Performance motorsports equipment far supersedes any professionalism in petrochemical engineering (which was his undergraduate major from Anambra State University of Technology, Uli) and chemical engineering (his second bachelors from the California State University, Long Beach). His company, Bisimoto Engineering is notable worldwide for having built some of the most powerful and robust naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines, and the name Bisi Ezerioha is favorite among high Performance magazines like Turbo and DSport.

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