Riley Technologies announced Friday at Petit Le Mans that it will create an all-new customer chassis for the LMP2 sports prototype category starting in 2011.
The LMP2 category will utilize a new set of specifications next season, including new parameters that set strict cost caps for the machines. While the Riley Technologies design makes the most of the opportunity to create an innovative new machine within the specifications, the build speed as well as reliability will be boosted as the Riley design utilizes components from partners that Riley Tech has already established successful working relationships with, including wheels, brakes, and gearboxes. The process has further been boosted by the Riley Tech partnership with Siemens, putting the PLM Software's digital product development solution to work for the firm once again.
The carbon fiber tub will be manufactured in the Charlotte area, and the chassis has been designed to accept both turbocharged and naturally aspirated LMP2 engines including the Roush-Yates V6 EcoBoost, HPD V6 twin-turbo, Judd, and Nismo/Zytek. Additionally, the design makes the most of the extensive CFD technology that the company has invested in at its headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.
“We are very excited about this all-new LMP2 design and feel like we will have a car that will give our customers the speed and reliability they need to be competitive,” said Riley Technologies director Bob Riley. “Designing a new product within a set price point while also hitting all the targeted benchmarks for performance is an exciting challenge for us, and this design is one that we are very proud of. As a designer, I am still sometimes amazed with what is possible with CFD, and we are all very much looking forward to showing that in competition next year.”
Using unique front suspension design elements, the Riley team focused on a design that opened the front of the car to create significant through-body airflow and clean air direction. This allows large quantities of air to flow through channels inside the front wheels, creating significant amounts of downforce before being channeled back and around the car. The front-end design also cultivates a significant airflow above and below the front splitter, which itself is deeper and wider than any currently deployed in the class.
At the rear of the car, the design continues to show elegant simplicity as well as efficiency, with the rear fin blending directly into the central mounting post for the rear wing.
While the initial focus for the new car is in the American Le Mans Series, the company is also exploring options for establishing a European-based dealer.
“The opportunity to design a car that showcases a lot of innovation but still works within a set of rules that keep costs down was something that is a perfect fit for us and our product lineup,” said company president Bill Riley. “We plan on giving our customers the same kind of support that we always have. We hope to finalize the first build in the coming days, and have the car ready go, and be competitive, at Sebring.”